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Julie Ann

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Hi Julie Ann, glad you found us.

You are really new to this journey.  I grew up in Boston.  Met a cute sailor from Minnesota.  Followed him every where and ended up here in Minnesota.

I was just 50 years old when I was diagnosed with lung cancer.  It was a huge shock.  I had my husband here but the rest of my family was back east.

I really thought I was nearing the end.  I went through chemo's and radiation,  then they were able to do surgery.  After I had more chemo's. 

I was stage 3B  .   As you can read below I was diagnosed in Dec. 1997.  I am still here.  It is possible.  

What stage are you?  Do you have a treatment plan? Have you started treatment?   Please keep us posted on how you are doing and feel free to ask questions.

 

Donna G

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Hi Julie Ann,

Welcome here. You're probably feeling in shock from being so newly diagnosed. If you hang around this forum you'll find support and hopw, especially from long time survivors like Donna G. 

If you have difficulty talking to family and friends, maybe you can start to be comfortable "talking" to us on this forum. All of us have been impacted by lung cancer, one way or another and some of us have been through something similar to what you're going through, whatever that may be.  

Wnen you feel comfortable, you could share with us something about yourself and your cancer. Maybe you could go a little outside your comfort zone. It's safe here.

Bridget O

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4 hours ago, Donna G said:

Hi Julie Ann, glad you found us.

You are really new to this journey.  I grew up in Boston.  Met a cute sailor from Minnesota.  Followed him every where and ended up here in Minnesota.

I was just 50 years old when I was diagnosed with lung cancer.  It was a huge shock.  I had my husband here but the rest of my family was back east.

I really thought I was nearing the end.  I went through chemo's and radiation,  then they were able to do surgery.  After I had more chemo's. 

I was stage 3B  .   As you can read below I was diagnosed in Dec. 1997.  I am still here.  It is possible.  

What stage are you?  Do you have a treatment plan? Have you started treatment?   Please keep us posted on how you are doing and feel free to ask questions.

 

Donna G

Hi Donna

I had biopsies last week. 2 of 3 are positive, though they were affirmed just by CT. I have not been told what stage. They have ordered a PET. But, I'm thinking about not doing it. Mine is spread throughout my right lung and adjacent to my esophagus. Though m6 lymph biopsy was neg. the docs still consider it mestasis. I am being seen at DHMC. Best of the best.

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Julie Ann, my lung cancer was in my right upper lobe.  It was 3B because it was pressing on the lining of my lung

and also on nerves going down my arm.  It was giving me pain.  That is why they would not do surgery at first.

After I had  chemo drugs and radiation for about 6 weeks they did another CT and it was shrunk so they decided they

they could do surgery but I should have more chemo after surgery.  It was a lot to go through but it was worth it.

I am not real familiar with Dartmouth ( DHMC) but it is a teaching medical center and I know the ones in Boston are great.

My doctor ( Oncologist) was a professor at one here, University of Minnesota ----teaching Oncology .

Hope you do decide to try the treatments,  I am sure in the long run your family also will want you around for them too.

 

Donna G

 

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Julie Ann,

So glad you came here! Believe us when we say we know how you are feeling because we have been there. It is definitely overwhelming and initially difficult to talk about and accept. You are in the middle of one of the most confusing processes...the diagnosis, staging and treatment decisions. Believe it or not, the appointments, tests, information, emotions do become more manageable once there is a plan. There will always be "unknowns", but among people here, your personal support system and your treatment team, you will learn and feel supported and not so isolated and alone. "Information is power". You've courageously taken the first steps toward understanding. I hear you when you say you've heard enough and want to skip the PET scan. How were your biopsies done? If you have had two of those, you have already finished the most invasive tests. The PET and probably a brain MRI COULD result in good news that there are no other metastasis, but they really are necessary to decide on the best treatment. I'm sure your biopsy tissue is being tested for genetic mutations. You are in excellent hands there at Dartmouth. Please share your concerns and ask whatever questions may be causing your hesitation here with those of us who have felt exactly how you're feeling now. 

We get it..."can't talk about it, but can't do nothing."  Being here on this forum is doing something and "talking" about it. MAybe soon you'll be ready to accept our help, support and feedback. You will never be alone.

cindy

 

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Julie Ann,

Trust me when I say that there was a time I couldn't talk about this without tearing up, or giving up.  As others have stated, talk to us.  We're here.  We've walked your path.  We've all weighed the options that you're weighing.  We have quite a few long term survivors and they are awesome at listening and providing a gentle nudge in the right direction.  I have a friend of 35+ years who couldn't/wouldn't talk about it with me because she had been a cancer tumor registrar with  a hospital system in Houston and was familiar with the stats.  Of course, stats mean nothing to me but I digress...

Don't let staging or potential staging make your decisions.   I was diagnosed in February 2016 and I'm stage IV (mets to the thyroid).  There was a short period in August 2016 where I briefly considered giving up, but I adjusted my meds, said the heck with it, and moved on.  It hasn't been all rainbows and sunshine since; I am on the tail end of treating a recurrence.  But I'm here and making plans.  Let us know how we can help you.

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Julie Ann,

I've walked in your shoes. The symptom that caused my diagnosis was coughing up blood.  Still I resisted seeing a doctor.  My wife had to nudge me, several times, and in fact, she just took control and pushed me through the diagnostic process.

I was 53 when diagnosed and was at the top of my game.  I loved my work. A consummate "things" person, engineering was the perfect profession and everyday was a new challenge.  A life-long car guy, my garage was filled with sleek and powerful automobiles that received unbridled love and attention.  I'd just received notice from the United States Patent Office granting my first patent. I came down with a chest cold that ran its course but the coughing didn't stop.  Then blood appeared and I was overwhelmed by fear. I knew something was very wrong but thought ignoring it would improve the situation.

When the emergency room physician told me I likely had lung cancer, I wouldn't believe him.  I thought I knew what lung cancer was then -- a disease someone else got.  Now it had me and my world came crashing down. "Things" people do one thing really, really well.  We control things.  But cancer is not a thing, it was a living beast consuming my body and it refused my efforts to control it.  I won't tell you I found courage to undergo treatment alone.  My wife's courage and conviction led me to treatment.  I won't tell you that treatment was easy.  It was nearly three years of mayhem that was easily the worst experience of my life. I will tell you I continue to enjoy a meaningful and worthwhile life experience now nearing 14 years after diagnosis.

Since diagnosis, I walked my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day, held my granddaughter in my arms, enjoyed countless vacations, received two more patents and even published a book.  An engineer writing and publishing a book, who'd believe that? (People even read it!) There is substantial and meaningful life after a lung cancer diagnosis.  Susan, Cindy, Donna and Bridget have each experienced it.  I've experienced it.  You are being treated by a well respected medical institution.  Lung cancer research is finally yielding new treatment methods. You've got the world to live for --  for example, a future photographic safari on the Serengeti Plain.   

Most importantly, Julie Ann, is one immutable point: if I can live, so can you.

Stay the course.

Tom

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Julie Ann,

I know exactly how you feel.  You can’t just talk about it and you can’t just ignore it but believe me I’m glad i joined this forum because members like Tom, Donna and Bridget are so supportive and encouraging and provide information that will help us make our decisions. Btw, i just joined yesterday. 

It was by accident that a suspicious tumor was found on my left lung in April 2017. I had chest CT in May which confirmed it and had needle biopsy in September. It was adenocarcinoma.  I had surgery on Oct 30 but before that I had PET scan and brain CT to check for any mets.  Luckily there was none  and it’s good thing to know.  So i had lobectomy of lower left lobe and wedge resection of lower right lobe but the pathology report showed that 2 lymph nodes that were also taken out tested positive.  The onc said it’s Stage 3A so i will be starting my chemo on Dec 28.  I know it will not be easy but if others survived it, so can we! 

Keep positive, ask, research and get all the information you need to make your decisions.  

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, Julie Ann,

I wanted to check in and see how you're doing. We're glad to have you as a member of this community. Please let us know if you have any questions about living with lung cancer, whether they're treatment related or about finding emotional and practical support. The moderators of these forums have invaluable first-hand knowledge and experience. And I would be more than happy to give you more information about LUNGevity's support programs and resources.

Please know that we are here for you when you're ready to post an update or ask questions.

With gratitude,

Lauren
--
Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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