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Mom recently diagnosed


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On March 26, 2009 a mass was found in my mom's left lung.

Fine needle biopsy on April 8th

April 16th Met with lung surgeon for a consultation of the biopsy results. Results confirmed cancer but because there are enlarged lymph nodes in the center of her chest they couldn't stage the cancer without testing the lymph nodes. In the midst of the consultation, my mom told the doctor that her leg has really been bothering her so he ordered her to get an ultrasound on her leg to rule out anything else. The ultrasound results are that she has a blood clot in her leg. As a result, my mom was admitted to the hospital. Since she was here anyway, the doctor performed the mediastinoscopy now (the test for her lymph nodes) while also getting her on blood thinner to control the blood clot. She had some tests and it appears she has a clot in her right lung too. The mediastinoscopy results found that she has cancerous lymph nodes in the center of her chest. Stage IIIB

I am trying my hardest to remain optimistic ... She had a PET Scan which did not show any other 'hot spots' so we are hopeful the cancer is contained to the left lung and the lymph nodes in the center of the chest. We are seeing an oncologist (cancer doctor) on Tuesday, April 21 at Sloan-Kettering.

Would really help to get in touch with survivors and understand everything we need to do.

I

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Hi Deb. I am sorry to read about your mom and your need to be here. The beginning is so very scary but things will move along and a treatment plan will be put in place. Then the focus can be on that. I was diagnosed at Stage 3B in September 2007. So please know that a lung cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. Do not listen to the statistics. None of us are a statistic and there are many of us here who have beat them. HOPE is the most important thing. It is not an easy ride but it can be done. And with the help of family members such as yourself, the journey can be much more bearable. Please keep us posted on how you and your mom are doing. And ask any and all questions. There are many kind knowledgable people here who have been there done that and are happy to help. Take good care

Sandra

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Hi, Deb, welcome to the group. The fact that there's no evidence of cancer outside of your mom's left lung and chest is encouraging, and if she doesn't have a malignant pleural effusion (you didn't mention fluid between the lung and chest wall, so I assume she doesn't have), that's more good news, and it puts her in a category somewhat more favorable than mine. Even so, I'm 32 months out from my IIIb diagnosis and still in much better condition than I thought possible when this all started in the summer of 2006. You can read the details by following the link in my signature/profile block at the bottom.

When you see the oncologist, be sure to take good notes, and consider using a digital voice recorder to make sure nothing is missed. I've never heard of a competent doctor objecting to that, and many will go out of their way to draw diagrams and provide references for your future research. Let us know how the appointment goes. Best wishes and Aloha,

Ned

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Another IIIB here -still in treatment (see below) but doing very well. It's quite an ordeal ahead, but take it one day at a time. Ask lots of questions, make sure you understand what you need to do to keep things moving.

Not sure what else to tell you now, other than, take care of yourself, as well as your Mom.

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Hi Deb,

Very sorry to hear about your mom. It is a lot to take in at the beginning. Take it one step and one day at a time. Stay positive and focused. Lung Cancer is not a death sentence and one can (seven years @ STAGE IV next month) live with lung cancer for many many years. Research, research and more research-- KNOWLEDGE is the key. Stay with us and keep us posted on how your mom/you are doing. Hope this helps. Prayers for the best.

Rich

PS: Below is a link you might find helpful and also has a section questions to ask the doctor.

http://lungevity.org/l_community/viewto ... 585#163585

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Hi Deb,

Sorry about your Mom. I remember very well when they told me I had small cell lung cancer. Just the shear overwhelming terror of it all. As everybody has already said don't pay any attention to the statistics. This web site is fabulous, I'm so glad I found it. Ask any questions, scream and cry if you need too. You just can't tell with this disease how it's going to play out. So keep your hopes up and your Mom's too.

Dana

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Met with the medical oncologist at Sloan yesterday

He confirmed stage IIIb and said radiation and chemo is the recommended treatment

Referred us to the radiation oncologist.

Took her off coumadin and on lovenox (sp?)

Seeing radiation oncologist on April 30th.

Felt like it was an out of body experience ... didn't get to ask all my questions ...

Any advice on what to do now while we wait?

My mom is not living right now ... she won't go out, she won't go visit my brother (he lives in SC and just had a baby, also has a 3 1/2 year old), won't answer the phone or talk to any friends. Only talking to my dad and me. Any advice???

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Deb, my first thought was that your mom might be depressed. And who wouldn't be, really? Many lung cancer patients take antidepressants. I suggest a talk with the doctor.

Also, she may just need some time to wrap her head around this thing. It's a tough pill to swallow, especially if she has read any of the statistics. (Which she shouldn't, if she hasn't already -- those statistics don't mean anything to an individual person!!)

You might just play this by ear. If she's not progressing into fight mode, some antidepressants may be just the boost she needs.

Prayers for you!!

Lynn

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Deb,

Sorry your Mom is having a hard time dealing with this. But as it's been said it takes a few days/weeks/months to get your mind wrapped around the idea that you have "cancer". Talk to one of the docs about anti depressants and anti anxiety meds. Also you might want to mention to her that her dance card is going to get really full starting next week, so if she wants to go visit now is the time! See if you can get her interested in some of the stories on this site. And as it's been said don't read/pay any attention to the statistics!

Dana

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