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stage 3b non small cell/ my story

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I was diagnosed on april 15th. Since then I've been thru chemo and radiation. I am feeling great right now which i am so very thankful for. My next scan is coming up this month and I'm so nervous!!

I am the mother of 3 adult children and the nana to 15 grand babies, plus i have adopted two children that are now 3 and 1.

The doctors tell me they can't do surgery and that i only have a 20% chance of surviving 5 years. I need someone who's been there that has a success story! I need some positive feedback!

Very scared but very determined!

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Welcome here.


Excepting motherhood, I've been exactly where you are now.  At diagnosis, my surgeon told me I was not a surgical candidate.  But my oncologist figured out a way to shrink the tumor to allow surgery.  I had a years worth of post surgical complications from removing my right lung and during that period, the cancer migrated to my left lung.  I was then right where you are - on the 20% five-year survival curve.  Come February 4th, good Lord willing, I will have survived 12 years from non small cell, squamous cell, lung cancer.


It took all kinds of treatment, most of that was unsuccessful.  I had lots of nervous time anticipating and waiting for scans, so much so, I coined a term for the special anxiety we lung cancer patients experience - "Scanziety"!  I was absolutely afraid, then depressed, then afraid and depressed.  But I believed I'd be one of the 20% and if I could live one year, why not five?  When I got to five, why not ten?


After you digest this, I've got some information on understanding survival statistics that you may find comforting.  But for right now, I'll keep it simple.  You've got to want to survive to survive.  You've got to believe you will live to live.  I believe attitude is of ultimate importance in arresting your disease.  And, you can influence your attitude about survival, treatment and life.  You are in charge of your feelings and beliefs.  They are about the only thing you can control during lung cancer treatment, so grab the control and believe you are going to make that 20%.  Believe you are going to make the 1% or the 1/2% who go on to have lengthy lives after treatment.


Show up to treatment armed with this positive attitude and unshakable belief in life and tell the doctors to "bring it on"!  


Stay the course.



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  • 3 months later...

Hi there 

I am a two year survivor having been diagnose stage IIIB in July 2013.

Chemo and radiation - no surgery - had positive response but it came back in January 2015.

I am now taking Xalkori, which, fingers crossed, is working.

In fact my last scan, a month ago, showed a complete response ie no evidence of disease at all!!!!!!


Hang in there - there are so many treatment options available now, and the targeted therapies are so positive, with more and more being approved each year.


The statistics are just that. 20% means some people live for 20 years some for 10 years a few (very few) do not live more than 5 years. Don't get hung up on those numbers, live and love what you have, your grandchildren and children.

AND - read up on it - those numbers are mostly 10 years old......


lots of love


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When a doctor tells you how much time you have do not listen to him.. he is not god and only god knows when er are leaving this earth....if you get a chance , take a look in the good news and the Inspiration forums for some upbeat stories of survival... there are many written in there and lots to grow from...I am not a survivor but consider myself a survivor caregiver so..

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  • 3 weeks later...

When I found out that i had LC, I stayed away from the internet. That didn't last too long. When I saw the chances of survival I was very upset. My Oncologist said to ignore what you read. He never mentioned the odds at all. Everyone is different. I go to a cancer support group once a month. You would be amazed at the number of people that I have talked to who were told that they had a very poor chance of survival. Yet here they are years later and still surviving. They told me to stay positive and I have taken their advice.


Stay Strong!!!

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Hi washashore,


Yes, I agree with the doctor about not reading the statistics. I know a lot of people personally who make those statistics seem silly. There is a lot of support here, but I am glad that you are going to a support group as well. If you ever want me to mail you some brochures &/or bracelets to share please let me know. 


How are you feeling? 

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