EthanK Posted January 17, 2018 Share Posted January 17, 2018 I've been lurking here for a few weeks and am now feeling ready to introduce myself and my entry into lung cancer. In mid-November I was one of the happiest, fittest 45 year-olds I knew. All that changed when my brother (age 47) called on Nov. 8 to say that he had just been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Still reeling from the news, I figured that my family history was clearly troubling for lung cancer and decided to get myself checked out. (Our mom died of lung cancer in 1994 at the age of 52.) On Nov. 16, I got the results of an abdominal CT scan: 25 mm lesion in the right lower lobe of my lung. (Why an abdominal rather than a chest CT you ask? I had experienced a GI problem in the previous days and was worried about it. They also did a chest x-ray and, predictably, that didn't show any evidence of anything.) From there, I moved on to Mayo in Rochester for a full battery of tests and scans. MRI of brain and abdomen were clean. Bronchoscopy was also clean. However, a full chest CT revealed the original trouble spot as well and numerous other small lesions -- about 10 total -- ranging from 3 mm to 7 mm. PET scan showed that just the original spot lit up as cancer. The other smaller lesions did not light up on the PET. On Dec. 4, I had a segmentectomy (VATS) to remove the original tumor. Surgery was successful. Margins were good. All lymph nodes checked out clean. I was officially classified at Stage 1, N0M0. The actual tumor turned out to measure 26 mm. So, fast forward to the present. I'm back at work. I'm pretty well healed up from the surgery. I've resumed normal activities. I had my first post-surgery scan on Jan. 2 and it showed no progression of any of the other nodules, which are a mix of sub-solid and true GGO. The largest one is sub-solid and measures 6 mm x 7 mm. My docs at Mayo are of course suspicious that I have multi-focal lung cancer. I'm now in Mayo's CANARY program (Computer Aided Nodule Assessment and Risk Yield). The basic upshot there is that I go in for scans to see if (and if so, how fast) my other nodules are changing. If one (or more) looks like trouble, Mayo seems to think they can operate again. Or, at least, that's the plan. I'm still getting going on the scan interval. I suspect that I'll be monthly at first and eventually stretch out to 3 months in between scans, maybe longer depending on what does (or doesn't) happen. Still have lots of questions. Like anyone new to lung cancer, I feel like my world is turned upside down. Does anyone out there have any experience with multi-focal lung cancer? Or with monitoring multiple pulmonary nodules? Or with multiple VATS or ablations over time? What questions do I need to be asking my doctors? Note: So, my brother. His cancer had mets to lymph nodes and thyroid. He has an EFGR mutation (T790M) and is on osimertinib. Early results are promising and the side effects have been manageable. The question there is how long will the drug stay effective. One of the things that's so hard in all of this is that even as I try to process my own diagnosis there's also his right alongside it. I actually already knew that life isn't fair, but this is all a brutally cruel reminder. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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