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PET SCAN RESULTS Now a mediastinoscopy & node biopsy -he


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This has drug on for so long now, it's like a downward spiraling nightmare again. I started taking antidepressants a few days ago - Lexapro this time - as I know I cannot handle any more bad news.

Saw surgeon last week. He showed me scans. There are a few lymphnodes in center of chest that lit up - he says it might be nothing - maybe just bronchitis, etc. that inflamed them - but that this is where it spreads to lymphnodes in center of chest area - I asked how likely it was for those to be cancerous and not in lung, no tumors elsewhere and he shook his head yes,..., "it happens"...

There is also lymphnode right above my collarbone at base of my neck - it lit up too. Said it COULD be from infected tooth - I seem to have an abcessed tooth about every 3 or 4 months or so - take antibiotics ..good for a few months again...repeat this until dentist insists on root canal or extraction -i.e. I have very very bad teeth , always have -

Says if nodes in chest are really cancer then now stage 3. If node in neck is cancer then now stage 4. CRAP.

I hope for the best - bad tooth, bronchitis - but what are the odds. My friend here locally tells me the pet scan is 90 to 95% accurate.

Nothing else lit up anywhere.

Surgeon said if it was, we would treat it aggressively. Excuse me, but at stage 4 WHY? I can't see it, I really can't.

They are doing procedures tomorrow - leave before daylight - how will I feel afterwards? Much pain? Scarring? They will do the center of chest nodes (mediastinoscopy) and then another biopsy on node in neck. He said something about maybe having to do some chamberlain thing...required an extra day's stay - what is that?

He said there were lots of nerves, vessels, etc. in center chest - could cause oozing, complications sometimes, etc. - WHAT?

Experiences with this procedure?

They aren't radiating my neck. no no no. I want my voice, I want to be able to eat and drink until my last days, anyway -

Everyone is acting like YEP this is it - it's back, it's late, you're dead. How depressing. Today at work it was all I could do to keep from vomiting every time I got to thinking about it.

Praying for bad teeth and bronchitis. LOL.

help. stage 1 was okay. stage 4 not okay.

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I will be praying for you. I don't think I've ever prayed before for someone to have bronchitis and bad teeth, but you will be my first.

I can feel that you are scared and feeling hopeless. Please know that there is still hope no matter what the stage. My husband was diagnosed stage IV from the start. He has lymph nodes throughout the chest cavity bronchi esophagus and mediastinum. He also has a quite large mass under the clavical on his right shoulder. Top it off with mets to the liver.

Chemo can work well on all these areas. Do not give up yet, and know that there is still remission after stage 4.

Keith has finished 13 rounds of radiation on his neck three weeks ago. Because of the position of it, the fact that it wasn't pressed against his vocal cords and trachea they were able to target the mass without effecting his voice or swallowing capability. He did get some blisters and something like sunburn on his shoulder but that was the extent of his side effects. The radiation has shrunk that lymph node considerably.

I know being restaged after all you've been through is the last thing you want to have happen. I am praying so hard that this isn't the case and that the doctor is right about the alternatives.

I hope the lexapro helps you alleviate some of this anxiety. I take that as well, and it helps.

God Bless you


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Janet---I had this done in Novemeber of last year as my nodes were also enlarged, and ligting up scans---also had a bronchiscope---was knocked out for both, went home the next a.m.---

all were negative for cancer, just an infection of some sort---however, my surgeon wanted to make sure ----

It is not uncomfortable compared to a lobectomy---they just make a small incision in your lower neck---it just feels a little uncomfortable for about 4 days, like something is pulling---I did not take any pain pills other than tylenol non prescription

yes I have a small scar, (less than an inch) however, I do not cover it as I would always have to wear scarves---it is fading, but honestly, I do not care about scars if it saves my life---I am at the point of my life, that I do not care if someone looks at it, it is no big deal to me

good luck to you and hoping for good results

regards Eileen

nsclc lobectomy 6/00

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I have a 2 1/2 inch scar at the base of my neck from the two mediastinoscopies. I call it my "Sub Chin Grin" because it curves like a smile. I don't care about scarring all that much either, but this is very tiny. If I'm that worried about it I wear a necklace that covers it.

I've had a right anterior thoracoscopy. (I think the same procedure done on the left side is called a Chamberlain Procedure.) They make a small incision (mine is about 4 inches long) into the chest just above the breast, and using a scope are able to view areas they cannot access with Mediastinoscopy.

None of those procedures was particularly painful for me. Just make certain that if you have sutures that need to be removed the one doing so cleans the area well before doing so. The Resident who took out the stitches for the second Mediastinoscopy and the Thoracoscopy didn't, and I ended up with a hospital acquired Pseudomonas infection in both sites that brought me all kinds of grief.

Just hang in there... and good luck.

Fay A.

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Praying it is nothing. I think if it is "just" a supraclavicular lymph node then it is still stage IIIb not IV. At least no distant mets were detected. Hoping it is nothing

Chamberlain(Anterior Mediastinoscopy)The Chamberlain (anteriormediastinoscopy) is a surgicalprocedure used to diagnose tissuesor growths in the chest area left of themediastinum. The mediastinum is thearea, within the chest cavity, that liesbetween the two lungs. This area hasmany structures including the heart,esophagus, trachea, thymus, lymphnodes, and other tissues and bloodvessels.The Chamberlain procedure is donewhen the area to be biopsied lies tothe left of the mediastinum. A biopsyis when a small piece of tissue istaken that will be examined to helpdiagnose a problem.General anesthesia is used to put youto sleep for the operation. Theincision for this procedure is generally2 - 3 inches long and is madebetween the 2 and 3 ribs on the leftndrdside of the chest. A scope or tube isput into the incision and advanced tothe area that to be needs biopsied. The scope is removed at the end ofthe operation. This incision is closedwith stitches that will dissolve withtime, and a dressing is put over theincision. This procedure may also bedone on the right side of the chest ifneeded.


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Page 2_______________________________________________________________________Usual Care After SurgeryYou will come in the day of surgery and will be admitted to the hospital after leaving therecovery room. The nursing staff will check you closely while in the recovery area andon the nursing unit. Family members may visit you once you are admitted to thenursing unit. Most patients may leave the hospital the day after the operation.CIV FluidsYou will have one IV catheter after surgery. This IV catheter or tube will be put intoa vein in either your arm or hand. IV fluids and medicines are given through the IV. When you are able to eat food and drink fluids, The amount of IV fluid will bedecreased. A cap will be put on the end of the IV tube after several hours and thetube will stay in your vein. Your IV tube will be removed before you leave thehospital.CNutritionAfter surgery, you will be given clear liquids the first time you eat or drink anything. If you are able to take clear liquids without any problems, you will be given moresolid foods until you are on a regular diet.CIncision And Care Of DressingYou will have a small (2 - 3 inch) incision after your surgery. Your incision will becovered by a dressing that can be removed 1 - 2 days after your operation. Youmay have small, white tape strips directly over the incision. These may beremoved about 1 week after surgery. Before leaving the hospital, you will be giveninformation on how to care for your incision. Care of your incision does not usuallyrequire special supplies or equipment.CActivityThe day of your surgery the nurse will help you get out of bed and walk. Manypatients go home the same day of the procedure. Breathing exercises areimportant to your recovery. You will need to do these regularly while you are in thehospital to prevent complications.CPainPain medicine will be given through your IV or in a pill form. Before you go home,you will be given a prescription for pain medicine. Most patients require painmedicine for several days after surgery.COxygenDepending on the type of surgery, you may be on oxygen for a short time while inthe hospital. If you continue to need oxygen after your discharge from the hospital,staff will arrange this for you.


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Page 3_______________________________________________________________________Discharge Planning And Home CareYou will be given detailed written instructions before you leave the hospital. Followingis some general information about your care at home.CYou will need to have someone drive you home from the hospital. You may not feelup to driving for 1 - 2 days after the surgery.CYou will be allowed to walk and to go up and down the stairs.CYou can return to work several days after the surgery.CYou can resume sexual activity when you feel ready.CYou may have swelling in the area of the incision. This is normal unless it causesproblems with your breathing or is due to an infection. You will be giveninstructions when you leave the hospital about what signs and symptoms need tobe reported to your doctor.CMost patients do not need a home health nurse or special equipment after thisoperation. However, if you need this help, arrangements will be made before youleave the hospital.CBased on the results from the biopsy, you may have a treatment and follow up planof care before you leave the hospital.© Copyright, Department of Thoracic SurgeryThe Ohio State Medical Center

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My vote goes to bronchitis and bad teeth....

My husband has stage IV and I really don't think it makes any difference whether it is stage I or stage IV in our minds. It all suckssssssss, - - but we must fight that ugly devil whatever stage and fight with everything we have to rid the body of it so one can see the sun rise again another day....God willing......

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Sounds like you are suffering from a BAAAAAD case of "What If". Try to convince yourself that the lymph node in your neck is JUST a bad tooth (other symptoms of an abscess like pain in the jaw, etc.?). Prone to bronchitis, as well? Just bad timing on two fronts, nothing more than "the usual"...

I just LOVE how this disease makes as all hypochondriacs - my headaches had me in for a CT of the brain where for a "normal" patient my doctor would describe OTC medication for a while and possibly a prescription if the OTC didn't work.... Have to admit, was on pins and needles until I got the results back. Definitely not throwing stones when saying "stay calm", been there, done that.

Try to be positive, it's always "good" until the results are back. (Kinda like buying an instant lottery ticket - they're all "worth" what ya pay for 'em until you scratch 'em off!) I'm sure you'll be fine, NEVER give up hope! (Should that be a commandment on this board? "Thou shalt never give up hope")

Keep your chin up, don't worry about scars, they are BADGES - of courage! It's not something you received falling off a bike at age 10, it's a reminder of what you are fighting and proof that you're a survivor! :!:

Hang on, and keep the faith!


aka Snowflake

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