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Hello everyeone. 

I just received news I have two masses (3 cm and 4 cm) in both lungs as well as hyper metabolic activity in surrounding lymph nodes. 

They are scheduling me for a stat exam with an oncologist here in Las Vegas. 

I am 43 years old. I do have a history of smoking (smoked as a student and then for about 3 years post studies), quit for 5 years and then again when i consume alcohol. 

Just looking for support. I am scared, shaken and unsure what to do. 

I have a loving wife and 2 young sons (4 and 6 years old). 

VB

 

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Hi VB,

I remember feeling the same way when my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer.  We felt we were walking blindly into a new world where we didn't understand the language and couldn't navigate our way around.  The good news is that it got better.  And it got even better when I found LUNGevity's discussion forums.  I'd like to refer you to LUNGevity's "Lung Cancer 101" webpage, if you haven't seen it already.  You can find it  here.   There is great information ranging from pre-diagnosis, all the way through treatment.  

You mentioned that you are going to be meeting with an oncologist soon.  Have you had a biopsy yet?

 

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Hi, and welcome.  Apparently you've had a PET-CT, since you are seeing metabolic activity?  Who ordered that exam?  Have you seen a pulmonologist?  

Hopefully you can get a biopsy scheduled soon.  That will provide a lot more helpful information in terms of what it is you're dealing with.  

Just wondering--how did these wind up being discovered?  Were you being treated for some other problem?

I know it's hard not to worry, but try not to let yourself get too carried away until you have more information.  

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Lexiecat,

I had some pressure in the side of my left pectoral muscle. Nothing crazy, but it was sorta like a muscle ache that wouldnt go away. 

I had a chest x-ray in April - nothing. 

I had a CT angiogram on  9/19. They said my heart was healthy, but noticed an issue with the lymph nodes. 

They then ordered a full chest CT scan. Because of that CT, they saw a mass in my upper left lung lobe. They said it was 3 cm or so.  They also noticed a possible calicification on my thyroid. 

Because of that, they ordered a neck ultrasound and PET scan. I did that yesterday. I just got the report today. I then found you guys. 

PET scan showed no issue with thyroid, but a mass in each lung and metabolic issues with lymph nodes as well. 

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Yeah, that's kinda how these things tend to go.  The good news is that it seems like everything is moving along reasonably quickly.  The testing and waiting is definitely one of the hardest aspects of dealing with all of this.  Most of us have found that once we KNOW and have a game plan to deal with it, the anxiety level goes down.  Nobody wants to be dealing with lung cancer, but there are new advances every day and available treatments that were unheard of a few years ago.  

Hang in there, and feel free to ask us anything.  We have quite a few long-term survivors who have had advanced cancer and are doing well.

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Thank you to both. 

I have a feeling I will be leaning on this forum for support.

I feel so damn selfish for smoking now. Life changes quickly when you have kids. I never intended on this to happen. I suppose I just have to stay positive and learn from you all as best I can. 

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I smoked for something like 40 years, and though it's PROBABLY the main reason I got lung cancer, I don't KNOW that.  Many people get it who never smoked at all.  Smoking increases the risk, but the only requirement for lung cancer is lungs.  No need for you to beat yourself up.  I'm not.

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Hi VegasBuckeye,

So sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. You mentioned that you had one mass in your upper left lung lobe. Where is the other mass located?

Once they are able to biopsy these masses, I'm sure you will have many options. Don't berate yourself about the smoking. I never smoked and still ended up with lung cancer. The most important thing you can do is gather as much information as you can, ask lots of questions, and then move forward with the game plan. They will most certainly want to check out your pulmonary functioning prior to any surgery/treatment.  Just so you know, I had my lower left lobe removed (VATS procedure) with an 8+ cm mass in 9/017. Then in 10/2017, I had my upper right lobe removed with a 9+ cm mass. That was followed by chemo. I was 61 when this all began. I'm stage IV and moving forward. There's lots of great support on this forum so ask away and know that there are a bunch of us here!!!! 

Ro

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Hi Chris,

I want to reiterate what Roz and LexieCat said: Don't beat yourself up about smoking. You have plenty to deal with without wasting time and energy on self-blame. I never smoked and I got lung cancer. Mostly it's the luck of the draw. Hang in there and do lean on us for support and information. That's what we're here for!

Bridget O

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Chris,

Welcome here.

Tough news about your diagnosis.  A lot of us here know what you are feeling, unfortunately!  I'm glad you found us.  Steff linked Lung Cancer 101 as a good source of information.  Devour it.  Knowledge is power in this disease and you will advance your cause if you are informed enough to ask the terribly perceptive question.

Next up is a biopsy.  It could be a needle biopsy or perhaps a rigid bronchoscopy depending on the proximity of either mass to the closest bronchus.  They will likely only require a sample from one mass.  A local anesthetic is used for the biopsy and light anesthesia for a bronchoscopy.  

It is pretty common to have the biopsy laboratory tested for bio markers that indicate suitability for targeted therapy or immunotherapy.  Ensure you ask for this to make sure it happens.

Let us know what is going on and this is a good place for questions.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Hi welcome to the group diagnosis is hard just try to stay positive and keep doing what you have been doing in life the best advice I can give is to make sure you find a doctor that you can communicate with sending prayers

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Update,

I saw the oncologist today. She was nice. She told me the PET scan issues showed hyper metabolic issues in both lungs, the lymph nodes near lungs, 1-2 lesions on my spine and possibly other places. 

She ordered the Needle biopsy STAT. Just waiting on that now. 

She also ordered a brain MRI to be safe. 

She also ordered a genetic marker/mutation and immunotherapy blood test. 

She said she believes it is either lung cancer, prostate cancer, lymphoma or some genetic mutation (I didnt understand that part). 

She mentioned if it is lung cancer, it is likely stage 4. That was difficult to hear, but it is what it is. 

Trying to stay positive. 

 

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Genetic mutations are important because of some new treatments that will work for people with those specific mutations.  Typically they are mutations in the cancer cells that make them divide way too fast, or not die off when they should.  We all have cells constantly dividing and dying off--with cancer, the balance gets out of whack.  These new drugs target cells with those mutations and sort of "readjust" them so they are no longer out of control.  So depending on how things turn out, you might be looking at chemo, some kind of targeted therapy, or radiation, or some combination thereof.  Once you know more, there are folks here who can give you an idea what to expect in terms of treatment, side effects (which are not always debilitating), etc.

It sounds like you've got a good doctor who is checking all the important stuff to figure out the most promising course of treatment for whatever it turns out to be.  

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Chris,

It is easy to get overwhelmed when everything is moving so fast and there are new tests and terms and on and on.  But take a deep breath and know that you are in good company.  We've already walked that path or support someone who has.  Sounds like your doc is really on the ball with testing so that is fantastic. A couple of random thoughts: first, don't beat yourself up about smoking.  I'm a non-smoker and still managed to get this.  All it takes is lungs.  Second, don't let a potential stage IV impact your judgement.  There are several on here who are long-term late stage survivors.  I've started adding a #ThisIsStageIV tag to my pics on Instagram just to show the world that I'm still out there living it up.

Keep us posted.

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You're right, it is what it is, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. It sounds like your doctor is moving fast and covering all the bases-- a good thing. Hang in there. There are a lot of  new treatments for lung cancer, and other cancers too. A lot of survivors here!

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Update. Based on my PET scan results, they think it is best I get the Needle Biopsy done at a hospital. 

The biopsy is scheduled for Monday 9:00 am. 

I was hoping for today, but I guess it is good that it is scheduled. 

I am so worried about waiting to start treatment. I feel like every day I dont have treatment I am closer and closer to dying. 

This is really hard. 

I am trying to stay strong. 

It is so hard not to cry in front of my sons. 

 

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Hi VegasBuckeye,

I totally remember that feeling. The waiting to get started on treatment seemed to take forever. I was a mess. Felt like the cancer was just gonna go everywhere. What you are feeling is completely normal... But once they do this biopsy Monday they will know alot more and be able to get you a plan together and get moving. They found my tumor in January and it took them until Feb. to schedule my biopsy- and then the end of March to get my treatments started! Your doc is moving really fast on this and that's a good thing!

I had to ask my doc for a mild anxiety medication just to get me through those first months. 

 

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Seconding what Kleo said.  But rest assured, things ARE moving fast, and these few days won't have a make-or-break impact.  It doesn't provide much comfort, I know, but soon you will have a game plan in place to deal with whatever they find.  

Hang in there.   

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Can I just say that one of the hardest things is calling people on the phone and telling them what is going on with me? I am trying to knock out a few each day and it is crushing. These folks have no idea what I am about to say and I feel like I am wrecking their day/week. I know it pales in comparison to what I am going through, but it still hurts. 

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Is there someone else who can help with that?  A close friend or family member who could let those who NEED to know (and remember, not everyone needs to know everything--especially when you have relatively little information right now) what's going on and how they can support you?  

Also, going forward, you might want to consider something like this: https://www.caringbridge.org  My hospital had something similar, and it was a way to keep people updated on what I wanted to share without being bombarded with questions, etc.  

Your focus right now needs to be on your health and your immediate family--not making emotionally draining calls to a large number of people.

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On 10/5/2018 at 3:35 PM, VegasBuckeye said:

Update. Based on my PET scan results, they think it is best I get the Needle Biopsy done at a hospital. 

The biopsy is scheduled for Monday 9:00 am. 

I was hoping for today, but I guess it is good that it is scheduled. 

I am so worried about waiting to start treatment. I feel like every day I dont have treatment I am closer and closer to dying. 

This is really hard. 

I am trying to stay strong. 

It is so hard not to cry in front of my sons. 

 

I remember the waiting game and getting so overwhelmed I’d just start crying. My Primary doctor put me on Zoloft which worked wonders. 

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Guest MichaelDavid

Hello, Every one I am new here and I don't know how this forum works so. please pray for my brother recovery from lung cancer. 

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Hi, Michael,

You just go here: https://forums.lungevity.org/forum/3-introduce-yourself/ and you'll see an orange button at the top right that says "start new topic."  You can post a full intro there and maybe tell us a bit about your brother's cancer and we might be able to provide some information. 

Welcome, glad you found us.

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On ‎10‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 10:32 AM, VegasBuckeye said:

Can I just say that one of the hardest things is calling people on the phone and telling them what is going on with me? I am trying to knock out a few each day and it is crushing. These folks have no idea what I am about to say and I feel like I am wrecking their day/week. I know it pales in comparison to what I am going through, but it still hurts. 

Hi, VegasBuckeye, I know what you mean by it being difficult to inform people of what's going on.  I also felt like I was raining on their parade having to tell people the bad news.  BUT people who love you want to know and you are not wrecking their day.  You know all this, but I wanted to point it out anyway.  I am going to pray for you as well as others.  

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