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Newly Diagnosed- rough time


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   I am new to this forum but as I looked around I liked what I saw.  People offering hope and support which is what I am looking for.  My name is Judy, I am 49 years old, and I was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma R lung- stage 3b on March 21rst (officially with the biopsy).  My cancer is apparently very aggressive.  I was scheduled to see the surgeon on 3/25 but by this time the tumor doubled in size and I was no longer a surgical candidate.  I am being treated at Froedtert in Milwaukee and I will say the team is very fast acting.  The following Monday I had my port, saw my oncologist, and started chemo on Wednesday.  The chemo was rough for me, for some reason I developed some very severe joint pain and an intense cough (which i didn't have previously).  These symptoms landed me in the ER to put a pain plan in place.  The following week I became more short of breath and developed swelling in my arms and legs.  I ended being hospitalized - I did not respond to the first round of chemo and they found I had blood clots in my legs, lungs, and developed a large clot around my port which they contributed the arms swelling ... So as I say the cancer is aggressive and has hit me pretty hard.  I am awaiting the results of my gene mapping (hope to God that I am a candidate) this week. If I am not a candidate I will be doing a second round of chemo this upcoming week.  Hope I am strong enough for this..  

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Wow you've had the hard row and just started!


My most troubling chemo side effect was joint pain.  Unfortunately, other than narcotic pain meds, there was nothing that helped me.  The good thing to look forward to (if there is a good thing in side effect management) is that my pain events were not long lasting.  They started about 2 days after infusion and hung around for 2 days.  If you have more chemo and I hope you can tolerate something to arrest the progress, chart the onset of side effects.  A calendar app on a smartphone is an ideal way to track side effects.  It occurs to me that I recall a lung cancer patient who was hospitalized for observation and side effect management after chemo.  Perhaps that might be an alternative for your treatment team to explore.  


I also had coughing problems in my first line treatment (that is what they call your first series of treatments) but I think conventional radiation caused it.  Not sure of the cause for I had concurrent adjunct chemo.  So other than my cancer being squamous cell, we share similar diagnostic and treatment circumstances.  I was also denied surgery on my initial surgical consult, but my oncologist got creative and tried pre-surgical chemo and radiation.  It did shrink my tumor but led to vast surgical complications.


We can provide hope and support, fortunately.  It is the reason for this forum and my hope I give to you is my 12 years of surviving a stage IIIB diagnosis.  If I can live, so can you.


You'll have many questions.  Hopefully we'll have some answers.  Here is a good resource for reading up on your lung cancer - http://www.lungevity.org/about-lung-cancer/lung-cancer-101  


Knowledge is power so I encourage you and your family support team to read into our disease so you can ask your treatment team what I call TPQs - terribly perceptive questions.


Stay the course.



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