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36 yrs old mother of 5 with BAC

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I was 35 when I was diagnosed with Stage IV BAC. I have never smoked and I have always taken care of myself. Because of that, I am still alive and fighting this diease head on. I am continually looking for ways to fight this and I am looking for the best doctors around. I have 5 children (11-16) that I need to be around for. There isn't more that I want then to be a grandma and I need to be here a while for that.

I live in Michigan but would travel anywhere to get the treatment needed. So far, my only treatment has been Tarceva. At my last scan in March, I was told there hasn't been any progression. That is good, but I would still like to see it get smaller. Although you are unable to tell that I am sick, I feel a little be more worn as days go by, whether that is age or diease, who knows.

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Hello Krissie and welcome.

I am sorry you had the need to find this group but glad you did. There are many, many people here that can and will answer your many questions and offer advice as well as support. I wish I had found them all sooner than I did, but can attest to the warmth and care I have been shown since I joined.

Never hesitate to ask any questions or voice any concerns. There will no doubt be someone who can answer you or guide you in the right direction.


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Welcome. BAC is not a common type of lung cancer. We have one young women in our local support group who had a little girl when she was diagnosed. She was able to have surgery. A couple of years after she got pregnant and had our little miracle Henry. So far she is doing well. Donna G

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Welcome Krissie, Sorry to hear that but glad you found us. I to have (see my profile) BAC and has been 4 years this month. I'm currently on Tarceva (15 months) and in remission. Great attitude, your right nothing short of a cure is the way to go. Get another opinion, research as much as you can, whatever it takes. One can still have lung cancer and have a life, it is doable. Hope this helps. Stay with us and keep us posted. Prayers for the best for you and the kids. Rich

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Welcome Krissie~

I am also in Michigan. Which part of the state are you in? There is a lung cancer clinic at the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor. We went there for a 2nd opinion. I hope you continue to do well.


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You have come to a wonderful place here in this lung cancer support group, but sorry you needed to find us. This is a place where you can tell us your troubles, anxieties, worries, and all the other things that we go through with this savage beast cancer. I know you must have been shocked to get lung cancer when you never smoked. It seems more and more people are being diagnosed with lung cancer that never smoked. Dana Reeve never smoked and many others. We hope and pray that there will be more and more treatments available for lung cancer now that we all have organized and are fighting the cause.

The best thing you can do is have frequent scans, a positive attitude (yes, it's hard), and fight the monster with all you have. You are so young and hope that is to your advantage in being able to fight the beast.

Love and prayers sent to you now.


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Hi krissie,

You are so right to want a cure, stopping the progression is good, but beating this beast into oblivion is better. I do not have BAC, but as you can read in my profile I too have stage IV LC and am currently being treated with Tarceva. I have only been on it for 4 weeks and I don't have scans until next week so I do not yet know if it is working.

I am very curious, when were you diagnosed? How long have you been on Tarceva?

I admire your attitude, you are young and you DO need to be around for those kids and you WILL, you will do WHATEVER is necessary and get treatment wherever it is that will make that happen.

Lots of positive thoughts and prayers coming your way!


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Also from Michigan here and wondering where you are. I went to MD Anderson in Houston for my second opinion and settled in with a local oncologist who was willing to treat me - MD Anderson told me they had nothing for me and to go home.

Good luck to you!

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Thank you for the kind responses. I have found out through this ordeal that there are many people in this world that really care. I appreciate your kindness.

We are all battling a monster and together we can make a diffrence in this battle. If there is anything I can do to help any of you, I am here and I will help.

I am located in White lake, Michigan (North of Detroit). I am interested in finding others in the area to develop a support group or something. I feel I have to get more involved to safe my life and others. There is a reason I have this, I don't know why, but I am going to try to find out.

thanks again,


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I am late in my reply and am sorry. I just did not know what to say upon hearing your story. It enrages me :twisted: that this disease affects so many ~ AND so many young people..........many of whom you will find right here. I want to welcome you and let you know that the folks here are nothing short of awesome. You will receive support, information, hope, and prayers...............anything to help you along the journey. I am so pleased that you seem to be doing well with Tarceva. May that continue until you are at least as old as I am :wink::lol: !!! Much longer actually!


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Hi Krissie, I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but glad you came to our site.

I was diagnosed with BAC almost 6 years ago at age 46. Like you, I never smoked. My tumor was 10 cm, and at first they didn't think they could operate. It looked like tumor was too large and too close to center of chest to operate. The second thoracic surgeon I was sent to (who was most experienced within 300 mile radius) told me upfront that he might not be able to get it all, but he was willing to try. He left me with a tiny margin on my bronchial tube, but they were able to clean that up with radiation. I can't help but feel that most other surgeons, cancer experts or not, would have passed on my case. But he didn't.

Maybe I would have been better off going to chemo first to try to shrink tumor before surgery, but BAC is a slow growing cancer and slow growing cancers sometimes don't respond so well to chemo.

The thing to remember is that BAC does not necessarily follow the same rules as other LC and your onc may be working off experience with other LC. For example, even if there is a tumor in the lung with a few bad nodes in the mediastinals, they should be able to remove tumor from lung and zap mediastinal nodes with radiation. Some surgeons won't touch LC if the mediastinal nodes are involved.

Of course MD Anderson is excellent option, or you are also within driving distance to Mayo in Rochester Minnesota. Some folks here have good things to say about Cancer Treatment centers of America. Often hospitals with heart surgeons, like Cleveland Clinic, also good source of thoracic surgeons. Your family doc should be able to get on the phone and make referral/arrangements for whatever you choose.

The COX inhibitors like vioxx, celebrex are supposed to suppress BAC. Also Iressa has worked well sometimes for BAC. (But it's been a while since I've done any reading on BAC drugs).

So Krissie I'm not sure what your exact situation is. BAC frequently stays in the lungs, but can go into both lungs or sometimes spreads further. You are young, it is a slow growing cancer and you never smoked, so that's all in your favor.

I am hoping a second opinion will give you better results.

Hugs, Barb

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Hi Krissie,

A big welcome to you. I can tell you are a good fighter with a winning attitude. Keep it up!

Already you can see that folks here are willing to help out. Thanks for your willingness to reciprocate.

Best of luck to you and your lovely family.

Cindi o'h

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Hi Krissie...

This is amazing... I live in Fenton , MI -- about 10 miles west from you. I am a 45 year old never smoker who has always been a fitness nut....I was diagnosed with BAC in 2003 and had surgery to remove a 2.7 CM tumor (RML lobectomy) radiation and chemo (stage 3a due to a positive lymph node in the middle of chest).

I currently am doing well altough I have many (13) small nodules throughout both lungs (range from 2 mm to 6mm). I am only taking celebrex at this time but am considering Tarceva.

The good news is that there is much in the way of new breakthoughs particularily with BAC never smokers. And some amazing successes.

I have 3 daughetrs (a little older than your crew (18, 16,14). And I too want too live a long, long time.

I have been to Dr Toni Wozniak (female) at Karmonos in Detroit and Dr Kalmekarian at Univ. of Mich in Ann Arbor for 2nd opinions. Both are great doctors and both feel for me it is growing very very slowly and to either watch & wait or start Tarceva are both perfectly acceptable courses.

I have also been to MD Andersen in Houston right after the surgery and b4 chemo and radiation for an opnion.

send me a private e-mail and we can chat some more and strategize together. I am willing to share with you what I know...also my wife Gina has become very knowledgable in this area.

Joe B

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Welcome Krissie: It looks like you have found a good resource in Joe B.

If it were me, I would want to get rid of the tumors too raher than settle for stable disease, although I know stable disease is just as desirable as no evidence of disease in terms of survival. If your BAC manifests itelf as easy to see tumors rather than diffuse, maybe you can have them zapped with cyberknife. I would ask about it anyway.


Don M

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