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Isunique

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Hi all

I would like to introduce myself and tell you a bit about myself. I am 54 years young, cancer survivor.

My history is this:

1992 gallbladder attack, gallbladder surgery. Path report, cancer. Another surgery, targeting clips just in case. No other treatment needed. Monitered like forever.

Fast forward...

2008, Feb 2 Knit Michigan, knit for a cure, raise cash for cancer and make chemo caps.

Took Feb 4th off to take Mom home after event. Mom cancelled out, go to the docs instead, need to get a RX renewed anyway. Doc is old fashioned, chest x-rays on smokers, and I hadn't had one in about a year. Plus, it was time for my yearly bloodwork (leftover testing from the Gallbladder cancer). Okay, that done, ga boack about my buisiness of the normal day to day life.

Doc called, there was a spot on the X-ray, wants me to get a Catscan with contrast. Okay, set it up go the next week. Not good, pretty good chance it's cancer. Okay, next step is.... Go to see a pulmonary doc, breathing function test, Pet scan, and a FNA, what fun I'm having. Breathing test, not fun if you are a smoker, but dealable. Pet scan, not bad got to get some sleep in while waiting to glow. FNA, what a mess. I had a partial lung collapse (5%), pain, and the embarassment of being transported around the hospital with my butt greeting all has we went.

Okay, done, back at work in a couple of days.

Go back to pulmonary doc, not good. They believe that the cancer they found in my lung is a secondary cancer. They think there is more in my abdomen somewhere because of the way the cells look. Okay, thime for a second opinion. Go to the oncologist I went to for the gallbladder cancer. He is a good doc, lousy bedside manner, but will tell me like it is and not what I want to hear, but what I need to hear. He says just lung cancer, plain and simple, easy for him to say. Still, I am concerned about the other finding, let's make sure before I go any further. Third opinion, big university hospital, major cancer and thoracic center. See two docs, first one watned me to have a repeat of all the tests I jjust had. The thoracic surgeon said BS, this is the only test you will need. So a week later I am having a colonscopy and it comes back clean.

Okay, surgery is scheduled, need to use the spirometer and walk 3 miles per day.

April 8th, removed my upper left lobe and numerous lymph nodes. Staged at 1B, T2 N0 M0. See another oncolgist there. Well, it appears that I am straddling the fence in treatment options. I have a 50/50 chance. If I decide to go with Chemo it would increase my chances by 5%, mayber that is if it worked and a rogue cell didn't wander off. Okay, send out an e-mail to family and friends, heck even a few folks I wasn't crazy about. Bottom line, they will support me in whatever I decide to go with.

Well, I decide to opt out of the chemo. Try to keep my healthy cells heathly for as long has I can. After reading quite a few posts onthe subject, it still looks like I could have gone either way. Well, that is my story so far. I still am getting over the surgery, I am back to work and the gym trying to get my lung capicity a little bit better. Dealing with the SOB and problem sleeping, but other than that I feel great and try to live for the moment.

Sarah

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Hi, Sarah.

Very sorry about your reason for being here, but the folks here are absolutely great--helpful, knowledgeable and caring.

Note to all: Sorry. This is a duplicate posting as I accidentally replied to Sarah's Saga in "My Story" instead of here in "Introduce Yourself!"

Carole

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.--the late, great George Carlin

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Hi Sarah

Glad you found this site. You will find the members here supportive and has a lot of experience with L/C issues. I also had my upper left lobe removed. I was staged 1B as well and was given similar information as you on the preventative chemo. My first Oncologist recommended it but the surgeon, pathologist, and internal organs specialist recommended to not have it. I did alot of research online on studies that were done. I asked members here who recommended the chemo. I asked for a second opinion from Oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton. He sent it to his 5 colleagues for their opinion. 2 said not to have it, and 3 said to leave it up to the patient but if I decided to have chemo, they would include that studies did not support my decision. I had 4 rounds of chemo, Cisplatin/Vinerolbine, which I finished in April.

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Hi, Sarah, welcome to the group! You seem to have a very good grasp of the facts, and if you've decided to not have chemo, there's no one who can say you're wrong. For stage Ib, it could go either way, as you said. Bruce made a different decision, and I clearly recall the time when he was soliciting our comments on his own situation.

If you haven't already, I suggest you visit cancergrace.org (the previous onctalk.com has been folded into GRACE, Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education). There's a wealth of information there, especially on lung cancer, constantly updated by a Seattle oncologist who is an internationally-recognized expert on lung cancer and who gives high priority to promptly answering questions from people like you and me. A lot of us have "dual citizenship" so to speak, and have the same usernames there as here.

Aloha,

Ned

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Hi Sarah,

Five years ago, I was in a similar situation as you are today. Previous cancer, during a follow-up visit for that dr recommended chest x-ray. Led to CT scan, PET, and eventual surgery for a stage 1B cancer in my upper left lung.

Also had the spirometer thing and walking as an assigment to re-develop my pulmonary function. It worked, slowly but surely.

My point is, this was all FIVE years ago! I hope you can enjoy the good fortune I've had.

Cindy

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Thanks to of you for making me feel very welcome. It feels good/bad to have someone that has walked in my shoes and can help me with those awkward steps. When I had the gallbladder cancer, these type of groups were not yet out there, or at least I couldn't find any. Besides the fact that at the time not much research was out there about it, even the oncologist had to do a bunch of studying on it. I sometimes think that I worry too much about it coming back. I am a extremely logical person (one of my heroes is Mr. Spock), when I step back and try to look at the whole picture I realize that there is a chance that it may come back. It is truly out of my hands. I have read about smokers/non-smokers getting LC. Going through chemo/not having chemo and having cancers return. That is the one thing that I try to remember, there is NO LOGIC in cancer. So, I thank you again and reading all of the stories make me feel like I know all of you. When we are faced with this detour in life we have to learn/re-learn a lot of things.

Sarah

PS I love all of the "Mutt" pics, we have two Weims (our Mutts), Stryder and Katie.

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Hi Sarah,

I thought I responded to your post yesterday, but since I can't find it, I'll do so now. My lung cancer was also 1B and I decided to do chemo. There really is no good answer to the question of whether or not to followup surgery with chemo. I hope this decision is the right one for you. You'll never really know tho. - that's what is so frustrating.

Sorry you were dx with lung cancer, but your attitude sounds good. Keep us posted.

Muriel

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HI Sarah and welcome. I'm sorry you have to be here, but these are the best folks around! Come here for support and friendship. I look forward to getting to know you.

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I really want to thank all of you. Everyone has made me feel at home and very welcomed. It is a "B" to have this disease, but it does help knowing that there is a support system out there. Every post I read helps me one way or the other. You don't always want to talk with your husband or friends, family and co-workers, but coming here I feel I can really say what is on my mind without feeling that I am hurting or getting on their nerves by talking about it.

Thanks to everyone and I would like to give a major group hug.

Sarah

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