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The start of my story.......


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Hello All,

I just found this site while doing some extensive cancer research. My mother in law just let us know on Sunday that her doctors found a nodule in her lung and two in her brain. All are very small (1.5 cm is the biggest), and she had a needle biopsy done last week the results of which we are awaiting (we might even get them today). Since mets exist, I know we will be getting a stage IV diagnosis of some sort, but from what my wife's parents told us, the doctors are incredibly positive on her prognosis, telling her it is treatable with radiation only. Does this sound correct? It seems to me that chemo (at least) would be involved, as well as surgery. Of course, the biopsy results will dictate much, and she had not had PET scan or any other tests done to see if there are other mets as well. She smoked for two years (in her 20's), she is 63 now. She also had breast cancer last year (actually DCIS) but had a single mastectomy done as a precaution. As of now, the docs are saying this is completely unrelated to her breast cancer. I know so much of this is preliminary at this point, but I would certainly appreciate any thoughts anyone has so far.

Thanks so much,


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Hi Matt. Yes this all does sound pretty preliminary even that it is lung cancer. I hope it isn't. If it is, it does seem strange re no chemo. Chemo doesn't work on the brain though I am pretty sure, so only radiation and surgery is possible there. If docs are positive about treating though, I sure wouldn't make any assumptions about what you are dealing with just yet. I hope you find out soon though. The waiting at the beginning is very hard. And then once you know what you are dealing with and on to a treatment plan, it does get somewhat easier. Keep us posted. Take care


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Thanks for your thoughts on the situation Sandra, the waiting is definitely difficult (but it also allows time to soak up tons of info). As far as updates go, my MIL went in to get her biopsy results yesterday and decided last minute that she didn't want us there for that. She is very scared, obviously, and I think she wanted to hear the news for the first time without being scared to cry in front of her kids. Anyway, from our perspective, she didn't get a diagnosis (which we would have pressed for had we been there). They confirmed lung cancer mets to brain (but didn't tell her anything beyond that - we don't even know SCLC vs. NSCLC at this point). They told her she will do radiation and chemo and I don't have any more info than that. One bit of bad news: the tumor in her lung is 5cm not 1.5 like she recalled. We also don't know where it is located (although they did the needle biopsy through her back if that is any indication).

From here she will have a PET scan on Friday, then results and another meeting with her oncologist on Monday. We are concerned that the PET scan does not show if cancer has spread other places (bone for instance). Should they be doing other scans/tests to rule out mets to other locations?

SO.....I am in the process of writing down questions to ask the oncologist and looking for help. I have a bunch, but based on the limited info we currently have, they seem to be a lot of things we hoped would be answered yesterday. Anyway, can anyone think of specific things/tests/treatments that we should make sure we discuss? This site is a God-send (and I have to send a special thank you to Janet B who returned my PM with some GREAT info for me - I will be asking about the Deletion 19 test in the biopsy - THANKS), and I appreciate all of your time and caring.

God Bless,


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Hi Matt - welcome to this wonderful, caring group of people. I am sorry that your MIL is going through this, as well as the rest of the family.

Matt, is there a possibility that your MIL would allow the information from her previous appointment to be shared with you, via the doctor. I remember all too well the appointment where we were discussing my cancer for the first time and I missed 80% of what was said - luckily my husband was there, otherwise I would have walked out of that appointment with very little information. It was overwhelming to say the least. Just a thought anyhow.

I am unable to provide any information on chemo, etc., however, I just wanted to welcome you. I hope you get your questions answered soon.

Take care,


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Hi Matt-

Welcome to this site altho I am sorry for your need to be here.

Things hopefully will happend quickly now - once they know if it is small cell or non-small cell they can decide on what chemo to give her. The PET scan will show if there are any other mets involved.

I know this is all so scary right now - but believe me, once a treatment plan is in place, it DOES get easier because you know what you are dealing with and your mother-in-law can get into FIGHT mode. Postivie attitude goes a very long way with this disease.

I take it you or someone else is going with her to her appt. - write down any questions you can think of and please have someone there to take notes of what the doc says. Some people even take a small tape recorder with them - there is so much information to be given you don't want to forget by the time you get home.

Please keep us posted on how she is doing and ask any questions of us you can think of. Someone on this site will have some answers for you.

Hugs to you and your MIL -

Patti B.

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