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KleenTeeth

Stage 3b

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My sister has been diagnosed with Poorly differatiated (hope I spelled that right) adenocarioma and is stage 3b. What does all this mean besides the fact she has lung cancer? She has started chemo and at this point only needs 4 rounds of it. Has anyone else had this? Are there survivors out there that have stage 3b? How do I get her spirits up? Tons of questions and not sure where to start getting answers for her. I know she is asking questions of her MDs. Not sure she is sharing all the info with us here. She lives out of state. Help!

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Suzy Stage 3B is survivable. We have many here who are Stage 4 survivors for years. Think positive for your sister. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type Of Cancer. It is also the most researched for treatment options

If the non-small cell cancer can not be removed, radiotherapy can be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy. Current drugs of choice are paclitaxel plus either carboplatin or cisplatin; cisplatin plus vinorelbine; gemcitabine plus cisplatin; carboplatin or cisplatin plus docetaxel. The overall results are disappointing and none of the standard regimens for non-small cell lung carcinoma is clearly superior to the others.

If you know the name of your sisters Oncologist, You may want to Give them a call and tell tehm the situation. THey could put you on a list of people who can discuss condition with Her oncologist.

Check out The Good news Forum for some great stories to help inspire her. There are a lot here beyond stage 3b that are doing great right now, all things considering.

Keep us posted Suzy on what is going on and ask away whenever you want.

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What I don't understand is the "B" part of the stage. I found information on the internet on the stage 3 part, but not the "B". Diana gets her 3rd chemo today. She lives out of town and I wish I could be with her. I will check out the survivors section of this message board. Thank you everyone that has contacted me!

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Jackie,

I certainly hope my sister has better results than some of the sites I go to researching this stage. This scares me so! She never smoked! She is getting her 3rd chemo today and I want to be with her so bad! She lives out of state. Right now I am sure she is asking the samething I am: "why?"

Suzy,

you found the right place to

ask questions.

Many people are around after

many different treatments.

try this for 3B it may answer

your question.

http://www.oncologychannel.com/lungcanc ... ages.shtml

Jackie

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Suzy- My husband has the same diagnosis. I copied this explanation from a post of john's--

Stage IIIB contains a few different categories.

There are the following based on TNM staging.

T is basically the size of the primary tumor and N is the ammount of lymph node involvement.

1) IIIB (T1-4 N3)

2) IIIB (T4 N2)

3) IIIB (T4 N0-1)

Case number 1 is considered not operable because of the distant lymph node involvement and there was a study - Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) 8805 study.

Case number 2 is not likely be benefit from resection because of the nodal involvement. Sometimes surgery can be done based on individual cases.

Case number 3 is the most amendable to resection.

If the N2 nodes are clear after chemo-radiation then maybe resection can happen. You might also want to investigate photodynamic thereapy. The pioneers I *think* are at Thomas Jefferson hospital in Philly.

Take care

==================================================

T1 Tumor 3 cm or less in greatest dimension, surrounded by lung or visceral pleura, without bronchoscopic evidence of invasion more proximal than the lobar bronchus (i.e. not in main bronchus)

T2 Tumor with any of the following features of size or extent:

More than 3 cm in greatest dimension

Involves main bronchus, 2 cm or more distal to the carina Invades the visceral pleura

Associated with atelectasis or obstructive pneumonitis which extends to the hilar region but does not involve the entire lung

T3 Tumor of any size that directly invades any of the following: chest wall (including superior sulcus tumors), diaphragm, mediastinal pleura, parietal pericardium; or tumor in the main bronchus less than 2 cm distal to the carina but without involvement of the carina; or associated atelectasis or obstructive pneumonitis of the entire lung

T4 Tumor of any size that invades any of the following: mediastinum, heart, great vessels, trachea, esophagus, vertebral body, carina; or tumor with a malignant pleural effusion

Lymph node involvement

N0 No regional lymph node metastasis

N1 Metastasis in ipsilateral peribronchial and/or ipsilateral hilar lymph nodes, including direct extension

N2 Metastasis in ipsilateral mediastinal and/or subcarinal lymph node(s)

N3 Metastasis in contralateral mediastinal, contralateral hilar, ipsilateral or contralateral scalene or supraclavicular lymph node(s)

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WOW! You all are wonderful!!! :D Thank you all so much! I have talked to a few of my patients (I am a dental hygienist) and some have had friends, family with lung cancer. One patient scared me and I ended up with a "weepy" day yesterday. Diana (my sister) has beautiful long, thick hair. My patient told me his wife has stage IV lung cancer for the last 4 years and has defied her MDs more than once. But his comment about her hair was the disturbing part. He said after his wife received her 3rd chemo treatment, she lost her hair. I can't bear the thought of Diana loosing her hair! :cry: I know that is the least of her worries, but her hair is so beautiful! I know it is petty of me. As I am the "big" sister, I feel so compelled to "do something" to "make it better" and I can't. I feel so helpless. Diana is receiving Taxol and Carboplatin. Her MD thinks she will need 4 treatments, but won't know until the lab reports come back to know how the cancer is responding. I am sorry to ramble. Thanks for listening.

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Hi Suzy,

I'm so sorry that your sister and your family have to go through this, but you've come to a great place.

I am a stage IIIb/IV, have been for almost a year now. This IS survivable, there are many people here on this board that are living with this awful disease. It is not always easy, and with the chemo your sister is on there is a good chance she will lose her hair. I know that it is such an insult with all she has to go through, but keep your eye on the prize. The chemo can work, and hair does grow back.

I did the same chemo back in the fall, along with another drug, Avastin, which your sister should look into. I had a good bit of success, my cancer shrunk a lot. There's no guarantee that it won't grow back, but if it does my doc says we'll just hit it again.

Please keep us posted on your sister, and come here any time when you need anything at all.

Good luck,

Tracy

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I am sorry that you and your family have to go through this. I am sure it is hard to see your sis go through this. I am also DX with 3b. I have had now 10 chemos with 2 left and have done 30 radiations. The hair loss was not to bad. My mom had a hard time with mine also but I asked her to help me shave it and I think that helped her. Stay strong and positve for your sister.

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Thanks Heather,

I think your bio said that you were an ex-smoker. Diana never smoked. You and she are on the same chemo treatment. Nothing has been said (at this point) about radiation. I knew about hair loss during chemo, but didn't realize there was a loss of eyebrows and lashes :cry: Guess I am truly native. I have a patient who had ovarian cancer and was staged at 3c and she told me about the eye lashes and eye brows. I am just sickened by this :( My poor sister. My poor parents when I have to tell them. I offered to knit her some caps. I am thinking soft baby yarn would be good. This way she would have things from us around her. My mom has dementia and doesn't understand much and dad has it in his head this just isn't going to happen. I can't believe how helpless I feel. I know none of this makes sense....just thinking and typing. Thanks for getting back to me.

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:33 pm Post subject:

I am sorry that you and your family have to go through this. I am sure it is hard to see your sis go through this. I am also DX with 3b. I have had now 10 chemos with 2 left and have done 30 radiations. The hair loss was not to bad. My mom had a hard time with mine also but I asked her to help me shave it and I think that helped her. Stay strong and positve for your sister.

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Your sister may not lose all her eyebrows and eyelashes. I have not lost all of my hair anywhere on my body only about 3/4 of it. I have just now stared to lose my eyebrows and lashes after 10 treatments. My first 8 chemos were at lower dosages because of radiation. I also cut my hair from the middle of my back to my ears thought it might be easier when it started to fall out.

I know this sucks for you and your family and I think it sucks more for people that don't smoke, atleast I have something to blame it on. By the way you can ramble all you want here we love to listen. :D

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Heather,

I hope she doesn't loose them. And yes, you are right, this sucks. I wish I could offer more support to everyone here. All I have been doing is cry. I am dealing with elderly parents (84/81) who just don't understand any of this. Mom has dementia and pretends to understand. Dad is trying to take care of mom. My poor husband is trying to console me. Does it ever get easier? Does the anger go away? I wish I lived closer to my sister-she lives in Montana-I would go with her to her treatments. Are you going to take Avastin? I have read about that med and have passed the info on to Diana. Does anything fall in place? I feel so helpless.

Suzy

Your sister may not lose all her eyebrows and eyelashes. I have not lost all of my hair anywhere on my body only about 3/4 of it. I have just now stared to lose my eyebrows and lashes after 10 treatments. My first 8 chemos were at lower dosages because of radiation. I also cut my hair from the middle of my back to my ears thought it might be easier when it started to fall out.

I know this sucks for you and your family and I think it sucks more for people that don't smoke, atleast I have something to blame it on. By the way you can ramble all you want here we love to listen.

_________________

Heather_T

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Suzy,

You have every right to be upset and cry. I try not to stay down because I feel that everyone looks at me for support. I have to be strong for my hubby, mom and 2 daughters. I am very fortunate that my mother comes in during the week to help me out when hubby is gone.

I hope I do not have to have Avastin. Our plan is for the tumor to shrink off my main artery and do surgrey. Fingers crossed!!!! Hey maybe it will all be gone. I will find out more on Feb. 15. I am getting my 1st CT scan since DX. Anyways I would do Avastin if it helped and it has done great things.

I think I am rambling now. I don't know if it gets easier or you just learn to deal with it for now. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

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Heather,

Thanks for getting back to me. It does help to talk to someone who is dealing with this. Your daughters look cute. :) I have 3 children (31/27/21)with various issues of their own. They are doing better with everything than I am. I am meeting with a patient of mine after work today who has survived ovarian cancer (3C)to talk. She is very Charismatic. At this point I am not sure if I believe in anything. Kathleen was the one that told me about the eyebrows and eye lashes. I guess I am more native than I thought. You think being a healthcare worker I would know these things! I would like to go out to Montana to help my sister. I am thinking of going out in July. Diana asked me to wait to see how she feels before I come out.

I hope that everything works out for you! I will keep my fingers crossed for you too! Please let me know how things turn out for you on 2/15....hey just thought, that is David (Diana's husband's b'day...so that is a good day!!!) Diana is a medical technologist and is receiving chemo at the hospital she works at. She tells me her MD is doing testing at each chemo treatment and after her 2nd treatment the tumor hasn't grown, but it hasn't shrunk either. So I guess we can take that as good news.

When Diana received her first treatment, she told me that cancer survivors came around to talk to her. Two men told her about drinking Mangosteen juice and Promogrante juice. They claimed between the treatments and the juices it helped. Some of the MDs agree. Have you heard of this? When Diana came home, we pumped her full of these juices! Poor kid! She was so tired of just going to the bathroom! :lol: Her MD said she needs to drink 64 oz of fluid/day of anything. She now has been told to drink a lot of green tea.

Thanks again! Have a great day!

Suzy

_________________

Heather_T

31 yr. old married 2 daughters ages 2 and 4

Ex-Smoker

NSCLC Stage 3b Squamous cell

10/03/06 - Went to Primary Care Doctor because could not get rid of cough and had constant pain in left shoulder for 2 months. Told me to go get CT scan could not tell on x-ray what was wrong.

10/04/06 - Had CT Scan Doc told me to go to ER. (Had no insurance) Looks like fluid or partial collapse of lung.

10/06/06 - Went to ER and was checked into the hospital. Given antibiotics and breathing treatments could not find out what was wrong.

10/09/06 - Had Brochoscopy could not complete due to constant cough during procedure.

10/11/06 - Still in hospital had PET showed cancer.

10/12/06 - Went under for biopsy .

10/13/06 - Had to go back under to remove blood clot. Had problems with the tube.

10/16/06 - Finally released from hospital!!! YEAH

10/23/06 - 1st visit with ONC

10/27/06 - 1st chemo Taxol/Carbo 1 once a week for 8 weeks with radiation daily for 30 days. Chemo was not bad for me. Radiation kicked my butt since it was over esophagus. Could not eat for a week.

12/14/06 - Last day of Chemo until New Year and Last day of Radiation.

01/04/06 - Start new Chemo Taxol/Carbo every 3 weeks

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Suzy,

I can not drink the juices yet they burn going down. I have not heard on the Mangosteen(does not mean anything) the promogrant juice I have heard is great. I also drink green tea which is also supposed to be good for the cancer). Who knows I just try and stay positive and I hope everything will work out in the end.

I hope talking to Kathleenhelps you. I know it helps to talk about it to people that have been through cancer. I am the same way. You will find out that everybody deals with it in there own way. My younger brothers don't come around much because they do not like to see me this way. I accept that and know that is there way of dealing with it. They check in with my to see how thing are going. My dad is the same way. It is like if they don't have to see me everyday that everything will be okay. I don't know anyways I am rambling again. If you need to talk or ask a question I am here for you.

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Received an email from Diana Wednesday morning. She received her 3rd chemo Tuesday and by Wednesday morning she wasn't doing so well; she had to take some meds to calm her stomach. Diana tells me her hair is coming out "big time". As I said earlier, it upsets me so that she has to loose her beautiful hair. Diana said that she received lab results after her 2nd treatment and the tumor has not grown, nor has it shrunk. I am taking that as good news. She also told me that she has been told to drink quite a bit of green tea. She will receive her 4th treatment this coming Tuesday.

I pray that the 4th treatment isn't as upsetting to her as the 3rd. I did meet with a friend that had 3c uterine cancer and she said one treatment would be better than another. I am hoping to call Diana tomorrow during the day to get another update. I am sending her a wrap that I knitted for her. If there are any knitters out there who have directions for caps I can make for her, I would appreciate the directions. I used to knit years ago, and I do remember how to do most of the stitches, but it does take me a bit.

Thank you all for your responses! I am beginning to feel a little better about this.

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hi there. I can't help with the medical questions, and I am not here as much as I used to be, but I really wanted to tell you that my mom is a stage IIIb survivor! six years with lung cancer and 18 months since her last surgery, she is cancer-free, working full time, and doing just great. so keep the faith, it is absolutely survivable!!

xo

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If she only needs 4 Tx of Chemo she is doing good, I had 5 1 x a week along with Radiation 5 x wkly.

what is her focus, please do not try to focus on the what ifs, it would be all neagtive she may need others to be up lifted in order to be uplifted herself is the family down emotionally,I found that not to be helpful for me,continue to discuss any plans that you may have had and Prayer works.

Terry

doing well, working and having fun

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Well, Diana received her 4th treatment of taxol and carboplatin. She said the only thing that concerned her at this point was one of her liver enzymes has gone up. The "fill in doc" as she called him, didn't know why, so she needs to talk to her doc this coming Tuesday. The FID told her to stop drinking the mangosteen juice as he thought that had something to do with it. Diana is a med tech; she said she didn't feel the juice had anything to do with anything, but will do as she is told. Diana also said that the CEA marker has stayed the same which she said means the cancer isn't spreading, but it is't decreasing either. She also told me she has lost her hair :x BUT, I knitted her a chemo cap that looks like her hair and she was thrilled to receive it; so I am off to knit some more for her! She has not lost her eyebrows or lashes at this point. She also has no mouth sores. For that, as a hygienist, I am happy for. I am taking all of this as good news and try to tell her that.

Thank you all for being there for me! You all, with your responses, have made this sister not feel so helpless!

Suzy

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