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Dilemma solved again

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I was going to have a 2nd lobectomy in the same lung.

My doctor called the evening before surgery and hesitated and apologized saying that after seeing the last MRI he was not sure about my rib problem and surgery as a cure.

We decided that he was going to contact Onc radiologist about doing biopsy and do radiation if metastasis. In the morning I was ready for surgery and waited 3 hours in a bed when he was doing another surgery then he talked to us about needle biopsy being very difficult for radiologists, he could do an open biopsy cutting rib piece but was going to produce lots of chronic pain, so biopsies not recommended and radiation better. I assumed that all the suspicious readings from CT, PET and bone scans plus MRI are interpreted as cancer met in the rib, so the surgery was cancelled. Yesterday I went to see the Onc radiologist and asked directly and got confirmation. So we are going to do strong radiation M-F for 6 weeks. They did a CT scan to map the area and tattooed 3 dots in my chest, I will start in 1 or 2 weeks, the radiation is just 5 minutes, so a couple of hours per day round trip. Side effects fatigue, temporary burnings, etc. Easier than surgery and Dr. West in Onctalk agreed with this, he mentioned that surgery with mets is offered but may not work and radiation is a choice.

He gives excellent support and frank advise. My Onc said is not palliative care, I am strong and "healthy" and is an aggressive treatment to eradicate the tumours. I don't feel any symptoms, If I didn't ask for a PET scan that detected rib problem, I will be operated now and probably will have a cancer site growing in the rib.

Life is a lottery, I feel like with my tumor/s they found the needle in the hay stack, then they burn the hay stack! At least I will keep my old lobe, I am attached to it!

Your comments are welcome. Do you know general average life expectancy 2 years after first upper lobectomy stage 2BN1 and now midle lobe 1.8x1.3 cm tumor and almost sure mets in 4th rib?

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It takes so much, emotionally, to get ready for surgery I'm not sure if, in your place, I would have been relieved or upset when the surgery was cancelled. I'm sure the current treatment plan is the best for you.

We try not to pay much attention to "life expectancy" here because they are just statistics - averages. Half the people live longer than the prediction and half not as long. It's not useful information. So many things affect response to treatment and that makes a big difference. Nobody knows how long someone will live. Even without lung cancer, no one really knows how long you might live. Good luck with the radiation.


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If it is at all encouraging to you, my brother-in-law had thyroid cancer, plus Stage 4 lc, plus mets to liver and kidney. He first had a laryngectomy and thyroidectomy, followed by lobectomy, and then followed up with radiation and chemotherapy. Needless to say, that was a very difficult year of treatments.

The good news ... that was 7 years ago and he feels great, is still working, and most importantly is still enjoying his life. So try not to think about statistics. Think positive, be strong.

I will hope the radiation will go as well for you as it did for him.


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