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Recently, I was deemed to be stable, after undergoing some radiation on my sacrum. Wonderful news, except now I sit, doing nothing. It's not like I don't have any cancer left, but it is stable at this time.

My question is this. Should I be doing something (treatment, cyberknife, etc.) to be going after what is there, but not moving. My doctors opinion is that they do not treat stable mets. I have been stable for 16 months. I just sometimes feel like I'm a sitting duck, just waiting for something to happen. I'm sure this isn't uncommon. On the other hand, I'm so thankful to be stable that part of me says "just be happy and enjoy".

I know I can go for a second, third opinion, etc., but I think I need to have it straight in my own mind firrst.

Don, I think of Lucy and wonder if she's always been on treatment or if only when she needs to fight.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.


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I think that is one of the hardest parts is the waiting, because you think, what is going on....and the "what ifs"....

you may want to ask the dr. is the wait due to the possibility of micrometasies, he/she may think the risk isn't worth it and you are doing well.

I know that with my husbands' type of cancer he will always be on some sort of treatment. But I think it doesn't hurt to talk to your dr. more.


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I think what you are feeling is pretty common. I would suggest you do get the second opinion. If the second opinion comes back the same, it will set your mind at rest. If the opinion is not the same, you will have to either seek a third or be content with one of the ones you have - but you won't wonder later if you should have done more research in the first place.

But I digress...

If you read through the posts of the longer-term members, you will see that unrest while undergoing a break/remission/"cure" and not doing anything to actively fight the cancer. I felt more secure, if you can call it that, when I was going for radiation every day or taking the Iressa - it was when all that stopped that I felt a bit of panic. You are not alone in what you are feeling right now, if that gives you ANY peace (yeah, right...LOL).

It's scary, and to not be doing anything makes it seem that you are allowing yourself to be put back to the "behind the eight ball" position again. I don't know how to make that go away, I still deal with it, 3 1/2 years out.

I do, however, strongly suggest you get a second opinion, just for your own peace of mind when more doubts may assail you. My second opinion offered less hope and treatment options than the original (in fact, there was NO treatment offered). I then felt far more secure with my "local" doctor than the one I traveled so far to see! That is also a positive, I guess.

Hang in there, you're doing just fine.



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Hi, Joan. Lucei has never been clear of the cancer, but we have had periods of "stability". Actually, we have enjoyed those times and we are looking forward to that soon. Lucie just finished her chemo and we are hoping for a stable time again. All the tumors showed shrinkage at midpoint, so we have a real hope of a period of quietude. There is always anxiety about tumor growth but I think we both have come to the place where "breaks" are so nice. Try to enjoy your stable time. Don

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Hi Joan,

I understand your dilemma. I would gladly opt for no treatment during some period of time - if I could be assured that metastisis would not occur. I think at this point, I will not be a victim of the lung, but of the bones and brain. So that makes it scary.

But like you, we are all playing this what's next game. If you feel confident with your onc and you ask the question regarding metastisis, then I would go with him. It must feel great to be "clean" for a while. Enjoy all that you can!


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That is a good question Joanie. I think most oncologists would question treating stable disease. I remember one oncologist remarking that there is no difference in terms of survival between NED and stable disease for stage 4. That may be true, but for me my attitude would be a lot better if I had NED. So, if I had stable disease, I would inquire about cyberknife. An oncologist would tell you that it would not be a cure to wipe it all out with cyberknife, but so what? I would like it to be gone for a while at least. I suppose one would still have the stress of wondering when a new met would pop up.

Don M

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Hey Joannie,

I will be clean 3yrs on 9-15-06 and I still feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop or to build up my strength for another go around. It's always in the back of my mind. Should I be doing something or am I a wait duck also. And I feel like I have to do alot and get alot done with my family. (More so than usual)I guess this is part of being a survivor. I have never know anyone to survive stage III more than four yrs., so that's in the back of my mind also. Oh well I guess I should just thank heavens that I'm here.


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