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My mom was diagnosed with NSCLC IIIA


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Hi everyone. I have been lurking for a few days and decided to join the message board. My mom, who quit smoking 25 years ago and is now 58 was unexpectedly diagnosed with NSCLC IIIA early 11/03. I cannot believe how scary this all is. My mom was not feeling sick. She had a minor dry cough, I do medical malpractice so I see horror stories, and I told her to get a chest xray never expecting this. The doctor didn't even see a need to do it, he just gave her the xray to "humor" me.

She started chemo, had 1 round of carboplatin/gemzer, another round gemzar, and was off this week.

I guess the next big step is to wait for the scan in another month or so and see if it shrinks. If it shrinks, they said she will get surgery.

I pray for everyone. Cancer is such an epedemic, I never realized. So many people, way too young.

I wish we could all turn back time to life PC (pre-cancer).

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Welcome, Andrea, to our rag-tag band of survivors. Hope your mother becomes a candidate for surgery to get the nasties out. Depending on where the cancer is and what they remove, you can make up different stories for the scar/s left behind...like:

* a botched "boob job"

* shark attack

* biker knife fight

* slipped in the shower...

Sit back, keep your hands in the car, and "enjoy" the ride. It's a terrifying physical AND emotional roller coaster. (People pay big bucks for something like this at amusement parks - a mere two minute ride...think of all the money you are saving!)

Again, welcome.


aka Snowflake

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YOur mom's and my Buddy both had that dry cough that got them to have an x-ray and boom, the sky fell the day of the news. I really think i kind of expected it though. He had never had a dry cough before and never had allergies so that is why I had him get an x-ray.

Hope and pray your mom's treatments work for her and hope she is strong minded. It really takes a strong mind to go through all the ups and downs.

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Welcome, sorry to hear about your mom. It's good news that she may be able to have surgery. Where is your mom being treated. I think Hoag is close to you and from what I hear have a good LC treatment program.

I don't live too far from you, (Corona.) Praying for the chemo to work and a speedy recovery for your mom.

God Bless


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My mom is getting chemo treatments at Hoag, but is being followed by a thoracic surgeon at Cedars Sinai. I was blessed in that my office called around and asked experts who they felt were the best in this area. We work with a lot of doctors.

You are right, Hoag does have a wonderful cancer center. My mom works (well now she is temporarily off) in Corona and lives in Anaheim Hills, very close to you.

Where are you being treated?

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I hope I can raise your spirits. I was diagnosed in September 2001. I was 57, just short of my 58th birthday. I had surgery Oct 8, 2001 and was given a Stage I staging, as all my lymph nodes were negative for cancer. I had surgery, again, on Sept 10, 2002 for what was suspected to be another tumor in the same area as the first. The second surgery proved to a benign tumor. Everything was going along real well until April 2003. I went for a 6 month surgery follow-up, had a CT Scan and they discovered that I had lymphnode involvemnet in my medialsteinal area. I went back to my Oncologist, who repeated the scan and did a PET Scan, which revealed massive lymph node involvement in my neck, groin, and around my hear. I was entered into a clinical trial and also carboplatin/taxol, to be administered every 3 weeks, 6 cycles through an 18 week period. I was scanned every 6 weeks while on chemo and each scan showed that the tumors were shrinking, or remaining stable. The tumors in my neck, groin and around my heart actually disappeared. The scan in September showed that everything was stable and there was no new growth.

I was scanned again on November 4. This scan revealed that I had a new tumor in my liver. I have been entered into a new clinical trial testing the efficacy of a new drug against Iressa. I started taking the pills yesterday.

As you see I am a two year plus survivor. I was Stage I, but have been restaged to Stage IV. I turned 60 in October. I remain very active and if I could play golf in the snow I would be out playing golf today. I have had 3 previous "battles" with lung cancer and have won all of them. I feel great physically and emotionally. Yes, I have had my down times and I am on Celexa to control depression, which is very common for those of us with lung cancer.

I have a daughter who is also 31. She is a Doctor of Audiology at the Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, WI. I started my role with lung cancer at the Marshfield Clinic and had both surgeries there. As I was able to get an appointment with Dr. Joan Schiller of the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center, last December, I took advantage of the opportunity of having one of the top lung cancer specialist in the US as my oncologist. I have continued with Dr. Schiller and am very encouraged by her positive attitude and the compassion she has shown both to my wife and myself.

I cannot stress enough how important the Doctor/Patient relationship must be when you are fighting lung cancer. Dr. Schiller says that she is my employee and I am in charge of my own treatment plan. It is herjob to inform me of my status and the options I have available. I am the final decision maker.

Lung cancer has indeed changed my family life. My wife and I are closer now then we have ever been. We certainly have had our downtimes since being diagnosed. It is good that you are taking a proactive approach in your mother's behalf, but remember, she is the patient and she should have the final say. Also, remember that those of us, in our 50's and 60's, lived through the 1960's and 1970's. We have experienced and have seen quite alot. No one talked to us about lung cancer when we took up smoking. It was socially acccepted and socially encouraged. Your mother, as I did, quit early, thinking that we we were doing our selves a favor. As you have probably found out, smoking is but one of the many possible causes of lung cancer, and the emphasis is on POSSIBLE.

As you have probably discovered, we are not about brow beating each other for past habits. We are about the here and now. We are about the future and greater awareness of lung cancer. We are about more money for research. We are about better survivorship percentages. We are about cutting the death rate, and, we are about supporting each other throughout our journey with this disease.

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