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Mom just diagnosed


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My mom called this morning to let me know that she has been told she has lung cancer, and because of the location (upper left lung), they're calling it Stage 3. I don't even know what that means - is lung cancer always called stage 3? This is all such a new thing to my family! And, of course, very unexpected since mom is a non-smoker. She lives in Oklahoma, and I live in Colorado, but I was visiting when this whole thing started and was able to go with her to her first appt with the pulmonologist and see her CT scan. We were originaly told the suspicious spot was about 1 inch, but it looked a bit larger than that to us when we saw it.

At any rate, I joined this group primarily for help in knowing how to support my parents. My husband has already told me I can and should go see them as much as I want, with or without the kids. Since I homeschool the kids, I have a lot of flexibility to take them with me or leave them home with their dad. I don't want the only times I see my mom in the next year to be when she is undergoing chemo, but I also don't want to be a stress by visiting too frequently.

I have probably rambled a little too much here, but I think this group understands when you don't really know what to say. It's encouraging to see many survivors here, and since my mother-in-law is a cancer survivor as well, I have a lot of hope.

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http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/conte ... ?sitearea=

Hi there. Above is a link to some information on lung cancer staging. If I have messed it up you can also go to the NSCLC forum on this board and the link is in the 1st post there.

I am so sorry about your mom. The first part of this battle is very tough but once there is a treatment plan in place hopefully all will start to feel a bit better. There are different stages, I was Stage 3b at diagnosis. I can understand how you want to be there for your mom when she needs to. And you are very fortunate to have some flexbility and a supportive husband to do so. Please keep us posted on how you and your mom are doing. Take care


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...I think this group understands when you don't really know what to say.

Yes, we certainly do. Welcome to the best place on the web for lung cancer support and first-hand coping tips. The LCSC has over 5500 registered members, and as a group we've truly seen it all. For more technical medical questions, I recommend 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 are "dual citizens" and have the same usernames there as here.

By now, with the help of Sandra's link and other research, you've probably learned the answers to your initial questions on staging. The I thru !V staging system is used for most, but not all, types of cancer. In lung cancer, it applies to the subtypes within the non-small cell (NSCLC) category, the largest group. The other category, small cell lung cancer (SCLC), uses the terms "limited disease" (LD) and "extensive disease" (ED) instead of stages I thru IV.

As you may have noticed, lung cancer stage III is further divided into IIIa and IIIb, and there are various combinations of factors which put a patient in one or the other. The assigned stage has no relationship to how "sick" a person seems to be upon diagnosis — someone can be feeling really lousy and be designated stage I or II, while another person might be feeling pretty good with no lung symptoms at all yet receive a lung cancer stage III or IV diagnosis as a consequence of being checked for a seemingly unrelated problem. Basically, the stage indicates how likely it is that cancer cells have escaped from the site where they initially grew (the primary tumor), entered the bloodstream, and traveled elsewhere in the body where they might in the future, if they haven't already, become established. Knowing this will help determine the most effective type of treatment (chemo and/or radiation) and whether or not surgery is appropriate.

I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma (a form of NSCLC) stage IIIb exactly 26 months ago today, and you can read my story using the link at the bottom. While there are some clouds on the horizon that may require me to change treatment in a couple or so months, I'm doing much better than I had reason to expect in the summer of 2006. Best wishes and Aloha,


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Hello Karen and welcome to the family.

I am so sorry you had need to find a site such as this but am so glad you have joined us here at LCSC.

THIS site is such an amazing source of information and support as well as HOPE.

Please keep posting and let us know how things are going and know that we will be here to help you and Mom along the way.



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Hi Karen.

Again I say , we do know how stressful this time is. Lots of tests, lots of doctors, finding out what the plan will be, getting started. Yes, many of us end up on anti depressents to get through this. Any plan set up yet?

I had a tumor in my upper right lung , way up in the apex. They call it a Pancoast tumor ( named after a Doctor Pancoast who descibed the symptoms it causes) Several other here have had the same. Read my story below. On 12/3 I will be celebrating 11 years since I was told I had lung cancer !!!!!

Keep us posted.

Donna G

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