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SherryZ

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Hi everyone.  My name is Sherry.  I turned 52 Sunday and saw the doctor after my first CT scan yesterday.  So happy birthday to me with the news from my doctor that CT scan shows that I probably have lung cancer.  I have a large mass blocking my airway in the right upper lobe, and some swelling under my right arm around the side of my breast/ribs.  Although nothing has been confirmed, the looks on their faces were far from positive.  They are going to set me up with a bronchoscope/biopsy by the end of the week, fingers crossed.  i don't know what to ask, expect, feel -- other than scared right now.  I see many positive posts and I'm hoping I didn't wait too long.  Thought I had pneumonia a couple weeks ago, which is why I go the x-ray.  I'm a long-time smoker, so quitting that is a priority, and my husband is going to join me in that journey.  I know I'll have lots of questions, but I see that many are already asked/answered.  Until I know what it is, I don't know what to ask.  Thank you for being here. 

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Welcome here sherryz and we have all been in your shoes so understand how you feel and theres a lot of long term survivors on here so when you know what you have and a treatment plan others will chip in and give some advice and support as i got when i joined and im now NED which means no evidence of disease and you can be too ...

Sent from my SM-N920I using Tapatalk

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Hi, Sherry.  Sorry for the circumstances that brought you but glad you found us.  Most of us are diagnosed with lung cancer at its later stages; symptoms mimic other conditions (i.e., asthma, pulled muscles) and we just don't have good proactive screening.  That said, it sounds like your team has a plan to get started with a bronchoscopy and biopsy to confirm that's what it is.  I had a mass in my upper left lung that was biopsied through a bronchoscopy but results came back negative.  I'm still not sure how that happened.  But....it's been 17 months since my stage IV diagnosis and I'm going strong.  You will find so many long term survivors on this forum.  We all understand the concerns, fear, angst, and everything that goes with it.  As  you move through this process, please keep us updated and let us know how we can help you navigate.  

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Hi, Sherry,

I actually DID just have a lobectomy as a result of cancer found during screening.  There are screening protocols, and depending on your husband's age and smoking history he might be eligible.  Screening requires that you be over 55, have at least 30 "pack years" (i.e., one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years etc.), and that you either currently smoke or have quit less than 15 years ago.

I know how scary it is, but there are lots of folks here who have survived for many years--medical advances are happening every day, too.  Try your best to take it a day at a time.  One of the challenges for me was to learn enough to be properly educated without reading ALL of the worst-case scenarios that may be highly unlikely and serve only to freak you out.  

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thank you for the welcome messages.  I had the bronchoscopy on Wednesday and it went well.  The doctor had already let me know that he couldn't tell me anything afterwards, but he did show me some pictures, although I was barely awake from the procedure without my glasses.  I had no idea what I was looking at.   Prior to going to the hospital, the local radiation/oncology satelite unit called to say they have me scheduled for a PET scan on Tuesday morning.  Then Wednesday I have a followup with the pulmonary doc for the results of the bronchoscopy.  Ever since finding out the "possibility" of what's coming, I feel like I'm quickly going down hill.  Is that normal?  My breathing is actually better the last two days, but every ache and pain I've felt for the last 10 years suddenly seems connected.

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I know--it can be overwhelming when things go fast.  For me, from the first suspicious CT scan to my surgery was only about three weeks, and here I sit JUST over a month from that first suspicious CT and I'm almost completely recovered from surgery.  It's actually a good thing when things go fast, though--you don't want to give these things more time to grow/spread, and waiting with nothing happening is actually a lot more stressful.  That said, even though I had no shortness of breath before any of this (and no medical/physiological reason for it), I found myself taking shallow breaths and feeling like I was forcing myself to do that for several days before the surgery.  I never had a bronchoscopy (probably due to the location of my tumor), but I think they will get a lot more information from the PET scan.

Hang in there!!  How is it going with the quitting smoking?  No judgment here--I smoked for decades.

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Wow, that is quick.  my prayers to you, and all here.  Doing very well on quitting.  Started Chantix immediately and have cut down significantly, about a third from normal.  In fact, have plans on putting them down for good later today.  It's been much easier than I expected, and my husband is quitting with me so that helps.  Thank you for the positive.  It seems like Tues and Weds are so far away, though.  I'm trying not to think about it.  Just keeping myself busy at home.  I can't say thank you enough to you and everyone.  So happy I found this site so soon.

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