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Hi, I was diagnosed with lung adenocarcinoma last June (2008). Surgeon removed the lower lobe of my right lung, and I did four infusions of chemo from August through October. They gave me taxol and carboplatin.

I was fortunate to be staged 2A. What brought me to diagnosis was caughing up a small bit of bloody tissue following by brief mild bleeding late last May. Long history of heavy cigaret smoking. I'd been experiencing worsening shortness of breath that spring, and had increasing chest tightness and discomfort for about 3 years prior. I had been planning on seeing a pulmonologist for the first time right before all this happened. When I look back now, I wonder if I should have seen a pulmonologist sooner.

No evidence of further cancer in any of my prechemo scans, clear chest CT in November. I turned 55 that month, and had my first year, again, off cigarets. I was able to return to my teaching job Dec. 1, but have had to take days off here and there to rest more. Still have much pain due to peripheral neuroropathy, and some shortness of breath, but otherwise doing well.

I've been pretty positive through all this, and I think my most difficult time has been resuming "normal" life. I was, am, very fortunate to have a job, good health insurance, and a disability policy to help cover expenses while I was off work 4 months. My surgery went well though was horribly painful at first, chemo went well except for the anemia at the end. My prognosis is better than I expected when I first learned i had lung cancer. Still, I spent 6 months last year devoted to treatment, and trying to get back on track is overwhelming sometimes!

I'm not very happy in my job as a teacher, and I wonder if it's even good for me. I just got sick with a horrible cold that's put me in bed for 4 days. I hope my immunity will improve with time....but am seriously considering a career change. Lot to consider....

I keep forgetting to vist the chat on Tuesdays, but will try to show up. I think it would be great to get to know others who are dealing with this disease.

Thanks for reading!

Trayce

UPdate: thoracic ct 4-09, clear

insurance denied the pet scan my doc wanted me to have : (

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Hi, Trayce. I'm honored to be the first one to welcome you to our family. I'm glad things seem to be going well for you. I hear you about teaching. I work at a school, although I'm not a teacher. I still catch whatever our "grubby little urchins" have. LOL We have another member here who recently retired from teaching. Germs were an issue for her, too.

Anyway, I'm sure you will hear from lots of folks soon. I'm a "caregiver survivor", so I haven't dealt with what you are going through, but I supported my husband during his battle.

Please keep posting and ask any questions you may have. We are here for support, venting, etc. Whatever you need.

Lynn

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Hi, Trayce, welcome to the group.

Are you taking anything for the peripheral neuropathy? I had a fairly severe bout of it which came on suddenly after my 6th infusion of Taxol, but Neurontin (gabapentin) was quite helpful. The tingling and stabbing pains resolved within a few days, though the numbness hung around for several months.

It's good that you caught this early. Stage IIa has a much more favorable prognosis than the III or IV where most of us start, but even then, your "new normal" may never be what your "old normal" was. Aloha,

Ned

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Welcome, Trayce. My story is similar: Stage II, surgery followed by chemo, and I also live in Texas. I was also lucky enough to receive my full salary from my employer during the month of work I missed. I've been cancer free for just over a year now. Here's wishing the best for you, too. Keep us up to date!

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Welcome Trayce,

Its great to meet you. I am a 5 year stage III/IV survivor with adenocarcinoma. Its great to hear that you have been able to return to you job, just make sure that you take time for yourself everyday to rest. It is sometimes easy to forget how toxic the chemo drugs are that we take to save our life.

Wendy

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Hi Tracye, welcome aboard. I spent a year of my life last year traveling back and forth to MD Anderson in Orlando (8 hr 1-way from Key West). I retired 10 months before I was dx'd so "normal life" is way far back for me. I'm just getting over wanting to tell people I meet that I have lung cancer. It's sort of like I want to say I look o.k. but I'm really not. I can understand not wanting to be exposed to all the colds and germs in your job. We lung cancer survivors are a little paranoid about that. And I talk a lot about fatigue and gather it will be some time if ever that we feel "normal" in that regard.

I'll look forward to meeting you in chat.

Judy in Key West

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Lynn, Ned, Bud, Wendy,Christine, Donna G., jztdzy, Patti B, Katie, and Judy in Key West,

Thanks so much for your posts, you've made me feel welcome here. I can't wait to read more of your stories. Your messages are inspiring.

Katie, I and others (?) are hosting a new (first?) lung cancer survivors group meeting in the DFW area this Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009. I look forward to meeting Katie and others and hope our group grows. You know what I mean, I hope more and more with lung cancer will survive and come to the meeting for encouragement, info, etc.

I still tend to forget Tuesday chat night but remembered tonight. I enjoyed meeting a caretaker who lost his mom to SCLC ten months ago. It was great chatting with him.

I saw my oncologist and will have a pet in late April; I expect good news. I'm looking forward to a year since diagnosis at the end of May. My pn pain remains, but is quite manageable with minimal medication daily. I hope it gets better, but I've got to start exercising some, walking at least, and see how that goes. I still have to dismiss thoughts that every ache and pain is cancer, this disease can sure make a hypochondriac out of a person! I already had those tendencies.

Work has been going well, but I tend to miss about 1/5 days due to just getting tired. Thankfully, they are understanding about this. I'm actually enjoying work, though. I was a little sour about it back in December, but after almost three months back, I realize this year is much better than the previous three. My school has made some changes that have had a positive effect on my little corner of things. That's a great blessing for me, my job used to leave me feeling pretty bad and desperately looking for something else.

I'm applying to grad school (talk about optimistic) so I can change careers in about two years, but stay in the public school and same retirement system. It would be an excellent move for me. The courses ares all on the internet, so I'll see how it goes this summer. I'm hoping to get a tuition scholarship, wish me luck!

I agree that life will never be quite the same, but it never is anyway. Lung cancer is another chapter, and I'm hoping not the final one. But, if it is, I will have to accept that and make the best of it....and lean on you guys and others to help me as long as possible. I hope I can do the same for others. I seem to be in a place now, spiritually, where I'm able to enjoy life as much as possible every day, and appreciate things more. That's not always been easy for me, so maybe it's a gift cancer has given me.

Well, I must figure out how to update my progress, I'm probably writing this in the wrong place :? .

Warm Regards,

Trayce

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Trayce - sorry for my tardy welcome. I am so happy that you were an early catch; however, I have found that my life will never be quite the same since diagnosis. I appreciate things much more, but I also worry with every little ache and pain just like you - we can be hypochondriac's together!!! As others have said it is "the new normal".

How wonderful that your job situation has improved so much - they must really value you at the school to find ways to make you happier. Good luck with the tuition scholarship!

It's been nice "meeting" you and look forward to hearing from you again.

Take care,

Linda

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Well, I must figure out how to update my progress, I'm probably writing this in the wrong place.

No, what you wrote was fine right here. But in addition, you might consider writing a detailed chronological post for the My Story forum and then placing a link to that in a signature/profile that will automatically attach to every message you send (like below). Then you can respond to others' messages without needing to do a lot of repetitive typing.

Also, if you have a new question for the group, it's best to start a "new topic" in whatever forum seems appropriate, rather than adding it to an existing topic. That will ensure that more people see your question, since someone who previously responded to a particular topic thread may not open it back up to check for new messages.

Aloha,

Ned

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  • 1 month later...

I am really a late bloomer on a welcome. Personally I am on the site very little. But inspired everytime I do get on. Like yourself this is my firt year, and having sprituatlly truly helpl. I noticed my first 6 moths went so well, all was clicking. And i was helping that. Then I stated going off the track, started comsuming not so good foods, lots of sugar, less water, and noticed the difference, then I found that my trial drug was not working so I was guit taking it not long ago, then I was taken off Avastin because my tumor had stated to grow, so I am now on my second dose of Alimta. I have treatment and already have some questions, THere are so many teatment options, for an individual, same desiase but many differnet paths of treatment and outcomes. In this respect I have found nothing to be same from individual to individual. I didn't loose my hair, nor did I get sick, I had other side effects but not these two. I feel very fortunate, and blessed that I have not had to deal with many of the effects. I hope the best for you and all others. Turn to berries, tomatotes, greens, fruit skins, water, much less surgar...these simple changes eating in quanity helped me alot. Lots of water as it will fluch the toxin's out of the body. Let me not ramble on. You stated it well, I am here, if you or any have a question or concern ask, if I don't have an answer I do have a good insight. I wish you well. And yes I have traveled my rear end off this past year.

Regards,

Sheila

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