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My name is Cynthia Gerdes, 48 years old and non-smoker. On Friday, I received my diagnosis - stage 4b lung cancer. It has been a whirlwind. I started having chest discomfort in late May at the apex of my full breath. Doctor diagnosed me with costochondritis. It worsened through the summer and eventually I couldn't run nor play tennis anymore. Nobody even thought of lung cancer with my health being so strong. I'm waiting for the genetic testing to be completed of my tissue sample. Hoping for a driver mutation so I can have targeted therapy. My head is still spinning, still absorbing information and trying to get over the shock of all of this. Looking for and needing support...I have a lot of family and friends, but no one that has been through  this. 

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Hi Cynthia,

Diagnosis with lung cancer is aloway shocking and disorienting, especially for a person like you who's strong and active and a non-smoker. You're in a good place on these forums because we've all been through this, either as a patient or a caregiver or a family member. It's a good place to find hope, information and support. Let us know what questions you have and how we can support you. 

The Lungevity main website , Lung Cancer 101. is a good place to get reliable information about lung cancer. In case you haven't seen it yet, here's the link: https://lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/lung-cancer-101.

Hang in there!

Bridget O

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Hi, Cynthia, and welcome.  I'm sorry you have to join this "club"--but you've come to the right place for knowledge and support.  I was lucky enough to have a very early cancer (found through screening, due to smoking history), and so far the only treatment I've needed is surgery.  But we have a lot of long-term survivors who were diagnosed with advanced stage cancer.  Bridget gave you a good link, and once you get more info from the testing your doctors will be able to figure out a treatment plan that's best for your specific situation.

As scary as the survival statistics sound, there are a few things to keep in mind.  First of all, they represent AVERAGES--including people who have other health problems.  Every cancer and every person is different, and there's no reason to believe you won't be one of the ones who becomes a long-term survivor.  Being young and in good health otherwise will give you an advantage right there. Second, the stats represent the experience of people diagnosed more than five years ago.  New treatments are being developed on a constant basis, and many of the treatments available now weren't around even a few years ago.  

As you get more info and a treatment plan you will no doubt have a lot of questions.  There are lots of folks here with experience in all types of treatment--chemo, radiation, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and they will be happy to share tips and suggestions.

Glad you found us.

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Hi Cynthia,

If you are looking for support from folks who have been through what you are going through, you have come to the right place!  I joined a little over a year ago when my mom was diagnosed with a recurrence of NSCLC.  I really struggled and needed support to get through the emotional time.  This group really helped me.  It's also a great place to get information.  We have folks who have had NED for a long time and those who are currently battling with a full range of first hand knowledge about current treatments.  As the other ladies said, once you figure out a treatment plan, feel free to come to us for questions and support.  We are here for you!

Take Care,

Steff

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