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Guest LittleMissCB

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Guest LittleMissCB

My husband was diagnosed on August 23,2006, with NSCLC (squamous cell). We were told the tumor was "about" an inch. Originally the plan was to go in and do a lung resection or maybe even remove the whole lung. He was scheduled for surgery Sept.12th, after a PET scan showed it hasn't spread and is confined to that one area in his lung. BUT, they weren't able to do the surgery. The surgeon said "it" was about ___ that much TOO close to an artery and the risk was just too great.

So now, they're going to do Radiation and Chemo. He's had 4 Radiation treatments (Tuesday-Friday of last week and seems to be doing good. They said he'd get 15 treatments and do another scan to see if they need to go in from another angle.

His starts the Chemo today. They've prescribed Emend to prevent nausea. Does this work well? The Chemo being used is Etoposide and Cisplatin and he's scheduled for 2 "cycles". I haven't learned what a cycle is yet!

Does this sound right? I've tried researching and all I manage to do is scare myself. Is there hope that this WILL work.

I've read that it can be cured..and I've also read it can't! :cry:

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The way it was explained to us at our second opinion (regarding surgery) was that if they do not get a clean field around the cancer it can make it worse and spread it. Your doctor is trying to make sure he can get it all. Doing the chemo and radiation will hopefully shrink the tumor enough to have surgery. Make sure the radiation staff know he may be a surgical candidate in the future-- if he receives too many rads surgery will not be possible.

Welcome to the board.


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My husband had a different type of lung cancer, so surgery was never an option, so not much advice I can add there. I have heard from numberous people about the treatment plan of doing chemo and radiation to reduce the tumor to the point of surgery. And surgery is always the best choice for the chance of a complete cure. But, there are plenty of cases where there are long term survivors and NED without surgery. Many of those people are here too and will hopefully talk with you soon.

What I can offer is my husband's experience with Etoposide and Cisplatin as well as Emend. Keith took that same combination, and tolerated it fairly well. He had fatigue and aching, and some nausea, but he said the Emend worked wonderfully. In fact, over the years, and all the different anti-nausea medications he was perscribed he always preferred Emend because he said it worked the best. He really did not feel too terrible with that, and was able to continue to work full time, do stuff around the house, go out with friends and live a fairly normal lifestyle. About day 2-3 of the cycle he would generally have to rest a bit more, as he was pretty worn out, but that wasn't so bad. Day 3 was the day he felt the most tired.

A cycle can very depending on the chemo, but if I remember correctly with Etoposide and Cisplatin, a cycle was once a week for 3 weeks and the fourth week off of treatment.

The only bit of advice I can give that may aid in this is that your husband should take the Emend first thing in the day as scheduled, whether he feels ill or not. All the anti-nausea drugs available right now do a pretty good job at keeping nausea from starting. But they are not as effective at getting rid of it once it's already there. Another good trick to keep in mind is to not let his stomach be completely empty, as for some reason that adds to the nausea. Maybe something to do wtih stomach acid production with out food to process. We found that if Keith ate a little bit every couple of hours instead of eating 3 big meals a day, he felt much better throughout the day. Plus it was a good excuse for me to keep him getting lots of calories in and keeping his weight up. I did not want him losing weight and being weak and frail so that he couldn't tolerate treatment. Plus all that cooking helped me as a caregiver to feel like I was actively helping and doing something proactive and fighting in some way.

I hope your husband tolerates the treatment well, and that following this treatment the tumor shrinks enough to make the surgery possible.

God Bless

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Many people are told that opening someone up or putting air to the cancer spreads it -- yes that is a myth. What I mean is it is necessary for the surgeon to get into good tissue around the tumor to have a good result from surgery. For my husband his cancer was too close to his vena cava so it was not possible to get a clean field and surgery would have made it worse. He had chemo and radiation which did not shrink it enough for surgery.

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