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Hello, I've been newly diagnosed with stage IV adenocarcinom


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Hello, I'm just starting to learn how to use this site and am looking forward to getting information and encouragement from this internet community. I am eighty years young and am in general good health. My only symptoms of lung cancer is a mucousy cough especially in the morning. I have been recently dx with stage IV adenocarcinoma since I have a moderate sized tumor in my left lung and several small spots in my left and right lungs. So far the cancer is contained to just my lungs. I am getting some second and third opinions in the next 2 weeks and need to decide whether I should take chemo or not. My MD says chemo is my only option and that there's only a 35% chance that my tumor would even respond to the chemo. Since I have such a good quality of life now, I do not know what I should do. Looking forward to seeing if any of you have any ideas, suggestions, or opinions concerning whether I should take chemo or not.


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I'm cheating here a bit. The following is the text of a message (with some minor editing) I sent to someone else facing that same question. I apologize for taking the "easy way out" but I figured I'd just say the same thing anyway, so:

Man oh man ... You don't know how much I realy, REALY wish you weren't faced with those choices. All of us here with late stage NSLC or extensive stage SCLC have had to stare that particular demon in the eye. There is no way I can give you any answers, but there are some things that I did that may help you reach your own decision.

Firstly .... I threw those doctor's predicitons right in the ol' porcilan fixture. There are people here who've lived MUCH longer than what they were told they would. I personaly know of one brain cancer patient who was told he had not months, but WEEKS to live. He died ten YEARS later.

Next I started to research my disease. I talked to more doctors than I EVER want to see again. I got on the web and went everywhere I could think of to find real information. A good startng point is the National Cancer Institue website at http://www.nci.nih.gov/. And when I'd learned all I could about my illness ... I went out and learned more.

So much for the easy part. From here on out it got hard.

My next step was to talk openly and honestly with my family and friends. I listened to what was important to them about my situation. A lot of tears were shed and a lot of anger came out. It was NOT easy, but we got it done.

Finally I took about a week to be quiet and listen to my heart. I went deep inside myself. Below all the fear. Below all the masks I'd worn and rolls I'd played for so long I'd come to forget they were but parts I was playing in this thing they call life. I went to that place where the REAL Dean Shaffer lives. It just might have been the most terrifieing journey of my life, but it was there I found my answer.

What answer *I* came up with isn't the important part here. The process of finding it IS important. By allowing myself to be open TO myself I not only found an answer to a crisis, I found a well of strength I didn't know I even had.

Here's hoping you can find the answer YOU are right with.

As for what I finaly decided ... it's in my sig below.


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Hi Jick

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but glad you are feeling so well. My mother is in basically the same boat. She was diagnosed 6 months ago, but still feels fine!

I think the choice about treatment is so individual. My mum (67 years)has just completed her second cycle of chemo and tolerated it very well - has had hardly any side effects at all. So for her, it is worthwhile giving the treatment a chance (we find out tomorrow if it is doing any good!). Other people, particularly if they are already debilitated when they get their diagnosis, may not relish the prospect of treatment which may make them feel even worse.

Your question is a very difficult one, and I can only speak from our experience which is to give it a shot if you are feeling well enough. If you find the chemo has undesirable side-effects, you can always stop, and if you peruse previous posts and the web in general, you will find loads of advice about things you can do to help lessen the unpleasant side-effects.

Ultimately though, only you know the decision that is right for you.

Hope this ambiguous response has helped (!), and wishing you all the best.



Mother diagnosed with stage IV in August 2003

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I do believe the ultimate decision is the lung cancer victim but first I hope that they are well informed. Many people especially older people remember horror stories from years ago when people took chemo. Most people really do tolerate chemo and like Karen said you can always decide to stop also. Donna G

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I don't have anything much to add except to say welcome to our family. When my husband was getting chemo there were a lot of individuals your age there that seemed to be doing well on chemo. Good luck in making a treatment plan that's right for you.


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Hi Jick,

Sorry to hear about your diagnoses and welcome aboard. I had great success with (see my signature) chemo. Even my doctor was surprised. I will only speak for myself and I would do whatever it takes to battle my disease. They have come a long way with chemo and medications to off set side effects. Everyone reacts differently to the treatment. One does not know until one tries and can always stop. I had few problems with chemo in terms of side (2 platelet transfusion and I think I missed one treatment due to low platelet counts) effects and did not lose my hair or appetite at all. I am fatigued and tired all the time. Take medication and that helps. Limited to what I can do. Do have to make life style changes for sure. As for the stats that’s all they are. A ballpark figure to go by. Did not influence my decision one bit. I would rather know where I stand. Also I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching so I knew what to expect as I go along and that helps tremendously. Of course it is a personal choice and a hard decision to make about treatments and that should be respected by others. Well hope this helps and stay with us. Wonderful people here with lots of information and caring and love. Peace, take care and God Bless.


[The Power Of People Helping People / The Power Of Knowledge / The Power Of God / The Power Of Believing / The Power Of Positive Thinking / The Power Of Never Taking No For An Answer / The Power Of Laughter / United We Stand, Divided We Fall / That’s The Key]

https://cissecure.nci.nih.gov/ncipubs (NCI Publications Locator)

http://www.rfalung.com (Radio Frequency Ablation Of Lung Cancer)

http://www.lungcancercoalition.org (Global Lung Cancer Coalition)

http://www.plwc.org/plwc/MainConstructo ... 008,00.asp (PLWC Feature: Financial Support Resources)

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/healt ... hqcanc.htm (Best Hospitals)

https://www.alcase.org/advocacy/sign_the_petition.html (Advocacy /Sign the Petition)

http://www.cancersymptoms.org (Oncology Nursing Society)

http://www.plwc.org/plwc/MainConstructo ... 08,00.html (Questions to Ask the Doctor)

http://www.alcase.org/education/publica ... reath.html (With Every Breath A Lung Cancer Guidebook / From ALCASE / A Wealth Of Information / Free)

http://www.cancersurvivaltoolbox.org (The Cancer Survival Toolbox / Free / From NCCS)

http://www.centerwatch.com (Clinical Trails Listing Service / Center Watch)

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&editi ... ung+cancer (Lung Cancer In The News)

http://www.thewellnesscommunity.org/pro ... /guide.asp (The Wellness Community / National Cancer Support, Education And Support / Free)

http://www.drugs.com (Drug Information Online)

http://www.alcase.org (ALCASE / Alliance For Lung Cancer Advocacy, Support, Education)

http://www.nlm.nih.gov (Unites States / National Library Of Medicine)

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/encyclopedia.html (Health Information / Medical Encyclopedia)

http://www.google.com (Great Search Engine)

http://blochcancer.org (R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, Inc. / Please read: A Letter to all newly diagnosed cancer patients)

http://www.cancer.org (American Cancer Society)

http://www.cancer.gov (Cancer Information Service / NCI)

http://www.cancerresearchcenter.org (Cancer Research Center)

http://www.aicr.org (American Institute for Cancer Research; Nutrition Hotline / AICR)

http://www.cancerhopenetwork.org (Cancer Hope Network)

http://www.acor.org (Association of Cancer Online Resources / Free Online Lifeline For Everyone Affected By Cancer & Related Disorders)

http://www.meds.com/lung/lunginfo.html (Lung Cancer Information Library)

http://www.lungusa.org (American Lung Association)

http://www.ama-assn.org (American Medical Association)

http://www.docguide.com/news/content.ns ... g%20Cancer (Doctor’s Guide / Lung Cancer)

http://www.healthfinder.gov/Scripts/Sea ... ?topic=506 (Healthfinder)

http://www.medicinenet.com/Lung_Cancer/article.htm (Medicine Net)

http://www.cancerindex.org/clinks2l.htm (Cancer Index / Lung Cancer Resources Directory)

http://www.nfcr.org/site/PageServer?pag ... ncers_lung (National Foundation For Cancer Research)

http://www.patientadvocate.org (Patient Advocate Foundation)

http://www.lungcanceronline.org/effects ... fects.html (Lung Cancer Online / Hematologic (Blood) Effects)

http://www.cancerlinks.org/lung.html (Lung Cancer Links)

http://www.cancer-free.com (Cancer Free Connections)

http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/C ... ung_cancer (Health Insite)

http://www.lungcancerclaims.com (Lung Cancer / Lung Cancer Information Page)

http://www.cancerlifecenter.com/engine. ... =dictionar (Cancer Life Center/ Cancer Dictionary)

http://www.canceryellowpages.com/Resour ... G%20CANCER (Cancer yellow Pages)

http://icare.org (ICARE / The International Cancer Alliance)

http://www.vh.org/index.html (Virtual Hospital)

http://www.lungcanceronline.org/support/financial.html (Lung Cancer Online / Financial, Legal & Insurance Issues)

http://cancernews.healthology.com/focus ... cancernews (Cancer News)

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There are so many options.... many of the chemos are easier to take than others. Not every person has a hard time with side affects. If you want to fight - then survey your weapons and find the one that suits you best. We will be here on the front lines with you -- not matter what you choose.

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Hi Jick,

Just wanted to welcome you to our wonderful family here, and let you know you will be in my thoughts and prayers. So sorry for your dx but glad you found us. More than anything else you will find SURVIVORS here, battling this beast one day at a time !!!

my best to ya, God bless and be well :)

Bobmc- NSCLC- stageIIB- left pneumonectomy- 5/2/01

MRI's taken 12/18/03 - 2 brain mets found- named em Frick & Frack

PET taken 1/5 - hot spot in mediastinum May be cancer??

"Absolutely insist on enjoying life today!"

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