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feeling a little bummed

Brenda Morelock

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Well it has been awhile since I posted. Nothing has really changed for me. But my cousin has now been diagnosed with lung cancer (I don't know what type). But it has already went to lymph nodes, liver & spine. She has started radiation treatments. My surgery is scheduled as you know for the 31st. My mind is running wild especially after cousin's diagnosis. Is it possible for stage to change after surgery is done? I am concerned about this. I want to mentally prepare myself if this is something I might face. Any replies would be appreciated.

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Brenda, I am sorry to hear that your cousin has been diagnosed with lung cancer, you will be able to support each other and understand. I believe that the stage of your cancer does not change. Staging only means the cancer has metastasized to other areas. You can be in complete remission but your initial staging does not change at least that is what I have been told. I hope that is helpful.

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Thanks for responding. I guess I need to clarify my question. My PET scan showed only the nodule in my lung. No other areas light up. My surgeon is planning on doing some lymph node biopsies at time of surgery. Is it possible that some of these may come back positive even though PET showed nothing?

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I think it's possible for lymph nodes not to light up, but come back positive. My lung nodule didn't light up on the PET, apparently because it was so slow growing and not metabolizing very fast. Because of its location, it couldn't be biopsied without taking it out. So I didn't have a firm diagnosis until after my lobectomy. . My surgeon took out a bunch of lymph nodes also, which thankfully were all negative so I had adenocarcinoma, stage 1a.  

Is your surgery going to be VATs? Mine was, and my recovery was easier and faster than I had anticipated. I was discharged from the hospital the day after surgery, with a drain tube in place. I did have som pain, especially before the drain was removed 10 days later. I  quickly learned how to move to avoid jabs of pain.  I had adequate pain meds. I got off of opiods in a few days and just  used tylenol and Ibuprofen. I spent a lot of time lying around and I needed help changing the bandage around my drain tube, but I was able to be up and walking around the neighborhood right away. I wore an oversized raincoat to cover up the drain tube and bag. 

One thing that was really helpful was a foam wedge pillow. I was told to have my head/chest elevated 45 degrees when lying down or sleeping. I tried to use various combinatins of regular pillows and a sitting-up-in-bed type pillow but ended up with a crink in my neck, so my partner went out and got a 12 inch foam wedge from a medical equipment store and it was great. If you don't have one already, I recommend you get one before your surgery. I think they're well worth the price, which I think was $30 or $40. 

Best of luck to you in your surgery. Keep us informed!


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Anything is possible but we are dealing with degree of probability. I've found surgeons to be reluctant to operate if there is even a moderate probability of the disease spreading.

From my reading ("The Emperor of all Maladies" is a good source), tumors achieve a certain size and shape before metastasizing or casting off cells to spread. That size range is generally described as Stage IIB and smaller. Some Stage IIIA tumors are removed and very rarely Stage IIIB. 

So while possible, I'd say not likely.

Stay the course. 



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