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How common is only symptom to be a cough?


stoydc

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My dad has been recently dx with stage IV lung cancer and we are still kind of in a state of shock. How common is it to only have a cough and be stage IV? My dad feels so good - except for the mucousy cough that occurs mostly in the morning - that it's hard for him to believe he's stage IV. We're so glad he feels so good . . . and we keep telling him that he could feel good for a long time. Any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated as we try to decide whether to have chemo or not. Thank goodness I found this site - everyone here has been so encouraging and it's so nice to know we're all in this together. A quote someone shared with me lately is "persistent prayer is not that God hears us, but that we hear Him." Although I would never wish this experience on anyone, it has helped me see what's important in life. shirley

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Some people with Stage IV Lung Cancer have had no symptoms, not even a cough prior to their diagnosis. I was originally Stage I, restaged to Stage IV because of metstateses to my lymphatic system. When I was first diagnosed, at Stage I, I had no cough. When I was restaged I had no cough.

According to National Cancer Institute, staging is determined by the location and size of the (T)umor, whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body called (M)atstateses, and the number of and location of affected lymph (N)odes. I have given you a very brief definition of how staging is done. Go to the NCI website at http://www.cancer.gov for a complete definitions and examples. Usually if the cancer is in both lungs, it will be a Stage IV.

Overall I am a 2-1/2 year survivor, 9 months as a Stage IV. I have adenocarcinoma as well. I have had 2 surgeries and 2 different mets. The mets to my lymphatic system, which was extensive, was diagnosed on a follow-up CT Scan last April, and further confirmed by PET Scan. I went through Chemo and Clinical Trial. My September CT Scan showed that the tumors had either shrunk, disappeared, or had become stable (no additional growth). I had another follo-up scan the first week of November and a liver tumor was detected. I started on a clinical trial, but because of side effects I was pulled out of the trial. The last three scans, since November have shown no change in the size of the liver tumor, and it may have shrunk some. My oncologist believes that the liver tumor is benign, which may have naturally occurred or the 5 weeks I was on the trial drug, worked.

Nonetheless, I have lived well past the expected life expectancy of someone with lung cancer. You will find many others here who lived 5 years or beyond. I believe in attitude, prayer, and having the right medical team plays a big role in survival. Everyday is a new day.

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Actually, it does happen. Many people are treated for bronchitis or pnemonia before the cancer is found-or should I say-looked for. My dad had no symptoms, not even a cough, when he was Dx in January 2002. The cancer was found when he had an x-ray of his abdomen to see if he had an intestinal blockage (he had food poisioning), the doctors reported-to our relief, that he had no blockage....but....he has a tumor on his spine. Now Daddy did have back pain, but he ALWAYS had back pain (he had severe scoliosis; his spine was curved like a quesiton mark).

Now, here is the good news for your dad-if he feels good now, than advise him to RUN WITH IT. The fact that he does NOT FEEL SICK, is a great advantage to him...he will probably withstand treatment better, and he should also have a better attitude and outlook because of his not feeling sick. I know that this was the case with my dad, and it was a great way to kick off the battle!

So, try not to jump too far ahead, and I hope that your dad can keep his spirits up, FEELING GOOD is definatly a GOOD THING!!!!

take care, and keep us posted, Deb

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HI,

I never had any symptoms until it got to my brain.I had headaches and heard noises and lost movement in my right hand.All in a weeks time just before Christmas.Never had a cough to speak of or any pain at all.I can tell from your post that you are experiencing the exact same emotions that I did when I first got here.I am still a newcomer but I can tell you what helped me a bunch in the very beginning in dealing with this.I was frustrated,unable to sleep and scared to death.I stumbled upon this message board and thank God I did.HE led me here.When I could not sleep I would sign on here and go back through the archives and just read and read and read more.The support and encouragement overwhelmed me.There are sad stories and tears too but most of this is pure love and encouragement.Go back through the archived boards and just find anything you want.The wealth of info here is incredible.Also,don't forget the humor posts.Laughter may be the best medicine after all.And never stop praying.We are all in GOD'S hands now.Keeping our chins up

Whenever possible and asking for HIS help soothes the soul.Keep posting.

My family and I have you in our prayers.TBone :D

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Thank you Dave, Deb and TBone,

Yes I feel so relieved to have found this site. Everyone's stories and experiences have been so encouraging to me and you too are in my prayers and I send good thoughts and wishes to all of you and your families. Wow! with all these good thoughts and prayers. . . something good has to come out of all this . . . even if we don't understand. I was just wondering. . . maybe lots of people are in Stage IV and they don't even know it or haven't even been diagnosed with it yet. . . so the dumb statistics that the MD's give don't mean anything. My dad wants to fight this disease . . . he just doesn't know if chemo is the best way to fight it. Hopefully God will give him the wisdom and peace to know what to do. We are all in God's hands. shirley

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If your dad is feeling good and wants to fight, then by all means, fight! The oncologist should be able to tell you whether chemo or radiation is the most effective to start with. Your dad can always quit treatment if the side effects are too severe.

Just because your dad is a little older than some of the other patients doesn't mean he can't fight and do well.

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Shirley,

Most people that are discovered "early" are by mistake. I was by no means in a high risk group, just happened to have pneumonia and my follow-up X-ray was suspect... Without the pneumonia, wouldn't have even known it was in there until there WERE symptoms...

Becky

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