ChristineT Posted September 16, 2007 Share Posted September 16, 2007 After lurking for about 3 weeks I have finally decided to post my story. My dad (father-in-law) was diagnosed with NSCLC about a month ago. I decided to be his healthcare advocate for many reasons. I have been to almost every appt with him so far. He actually is taking the news pretty good and is ready to fight the fight. He has a very positive attitude. But as I lurk and read, and read, and read on this board and others, I am worried about how long his positive attitude will actually last. Here is his story: 70 years old. He quit smoking 34 years ago and worked in a machine shop all his life. He had bladder cancer 10 years ago and they actually removed his bladder and fabricated a new one out of part of his intestine. He has had a history of either bronchitis or pneumonia once a year for the past 5 years or so. Once again, he seemed to come down with bronchitis in early summer. He let the cough go for a while (about a month) like he usually does until he finally went to the dr. Dr. confirmed bronchitis and prescribed antibiotics. His cough did not go away though. He then went back to dr (a pulmonary specialist) and the dr. requested a chest xray. The xray showed “prominence in the hilar regions” which the report indicated may be within normal range unless he reviews them against prior chest xrays. After a review of prior xrays from 2003 “the left hilum is significantly more prominent”. This prompted the Dr. to order a CT scan with contrast. The CT scan showed a mass in his left lower lobe measuring 3cm x 1.9cm. They also found some enlarged lymph nodes surrounding the mass. A needle biopsy was done to determine if the mass was cancerous. It was and they determined it was NSCLC. Next, PET scan was ordered. Again, this showed activity in the lymph nodes surrounding his left lung, in the middle of his chest, and a couple of suspicious lymph nodes on the right side with low level activity. No other spots showed up. He then has a brain MRI which came back clear. We also had a surgical consult. The surgeon performed a bronchoscopy and a mediatstinoscopy and determined that surgery would most likely never be an option. Mainly because of where the tumor is he would need the entire lung removed and at his age and considering some other health problems he would not tolerate life with one only one lung. The good news is that the he did biopsy a few of the suspicious lymph nodes and they came back negative. The Dr.s are staging it at 3a/3b. I guess it is difficult to really know if the cancer is in the lymph nodes and which ones it is in. His oncologist decided to do 6-7 weeks of low does chemo once a week for 2-3 hours. And radiation every day, M-F. He claims a high dose of chemo probably wouldn’t yield any better results and would put his body through hell in the meantime. He also stated that radiation works better when chemo is also given. I need to find out what his chemo drugs will be. He starts his treatments this week. So, if you got this far, I have some questions! Does it sound like they are staging his cancer correctly? What would a first line defense chemo treatment be for someone in my dad’s stage? Is the dr. correct in stating that a higher chemo dose probably won’t make much of a difference? I know I have a ton more but can't think of them now. THANKS for reading if you got this far! I have been reading all of your stories and my heart just breaks for each and every one of you. What a horrible, horrible disease this is. Lots of prayers to all of you and your loved ones! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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