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Dumb question -any chance dx is wrong?


Gracie

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I know I'm being naive and in denial but I am still holding on to a scrap of hope that the dr. was wrong. I just introduced myself in forum above and explained that my sister was just diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer after fluid was drained from her lung. She's been having tests done all week and we don't know much yet. The pulminary dr. says she has a small tumor in her lung and it's inoperable. There is lots of fluid which I guess they tested. She is going to see a top Dr. in Boston Monday. Am I stupid for holding out hope that this is all a nightmare and she really just has some strange virus? She is a Mom of 4, her son is getting married in two months. She has never smoked in her life and is extremely active. I am terrified and depressed for her. Thanks.

Gracie

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I don't know about her having a virus, but I do know that Lung Cancer can be beat. I am a Stage IIIB and soon to be a 13 year lung cancer survivor. :wink: There really are a LOT of us late stage Lung Cancer Survivors running around and living normal lives. Some of them smoked and some of them didn't. Lung Cancer is not just a smokers disease.

Best wishes to your sister.

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Hello again. Remember that inoperable does not mean not curable. They have cancer clinics and oncologists to help people beat this disease and people do survive it.

I would pursue the inoperable thing a bit further though. It does seem that in the US, surgery is an option more often than it is in Canada for Stage 3. At a minimum make sure you guys really understand why it isn't and then you can move on from that. I wish I had explored earlier.

Be sure to ask "tons" of questions re treatment options when you go to see medical oncologist. And ask re "all" treatment options, not just the one they might be recommending. Good luck with all that.

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Hi Gracie,

I'm sorry to hear what you are going through.

I was in your shoes about a month ago when my guy Hank was diagnosed. I know exactly how you are feeling, I was totally panicked, depressed, did'nt know how I was going to able to move forward.

When I found this site, I found many terrific people who are living with and surviving with lung cancer at all stages. They are willing to share and help in any way they can.

One of the most helpful things that I was told when I first arrived here, was that Nothing bad is happening right now. At this point you don't know what you are dealing with, and until you find out exactly what the situation is with your sister, and how it's going to be treated, you are just beating yourself up with stress and worry. Nothing bad is happening RIGHT NOW. Try to realize that and relax.

Be positive, have hope.

Gail

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Gracie, I received a diagnosis much like your sister's over 18 months ago and I'm in better condition now than I was back then. Don't let the "inoperable" part cause you a lot of distress, or even "incurable" if that word is ever used. Being told that something is incurable doesn't make it so. In cancer, it's considered proper to use the word "cured" when someone has been cancer-free (no evidence of disease, the "other NED" I'm hoping to meet some day) for 5 consecutive years. We have a number of members who were declared incurable at one time who today meet that standard, and even if they don't choose to describe themselves as cured for one reason or another, they essentially are.

Regardless of whether a person ever qualifies for the "cured" label, we're getting to the point where lung cancer can often be managed as a chronic disease on a long-term basis or even indefinitely. Aloha,

Ned

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Gracie--My mom went through some significant denial when she was first diagnosed. First she told herself that they didn't know the primary site of her cancer. Then her radiologist showed her the tumor in her lung and then she believed there was something in her lung but thought it could be benign (they did the biopsy on the mets in her spine), then she came to grips with that and a few weeks later saw a note on a chart identifying her as Stage IV. So she absorbed her Dx in very small bits and pieces and if that is the way you or anyone else needs to do it, that is fine.

Interestingly, my mom told me that the first time she felt hope after her Dx was when her oncologist told her he couldn't cure her cancer, but he thought he could control it. She told me later that that was the first time she felt like she wasn't under a death sentence. She responded very well to her radiation and chemo and has been stable and off all treatment since May 2 of 2007. She is doing better now than she was this time last year. Focus on the word "treatable" instead of "curable."

Susan

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Thank you all so much. What a blessing to have found this website. Everything you read online is so depressing, it's great to have a place to come and talk to REAL people who've lived through this. I have forwarded this site along to my nephew, who is struggling as well. I hope he posts here too.

Thank you so much.

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