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Vanitha

Stage 2B Adenocarcinoma

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Hi, I was recently diagnosed with Stage 2B Adenocarcinoma. As a non-smoker and thinking that I lead a fairly risk free lifestyle, the last couple months have been shocking and terrifying. I was fortunate to have a suspicious xray to get diagnosed early. I had been complaining of inflammation and pain throughout my body for a couple of years. I've had a left upper lobectomy and recovered well from the surgery. I'm currently on chemo (Alimta/Cisplatin) for 4 cycles. The first infusion was rough for about 10 days. I'm now trying to mentally prepare for the second round. I have 2 teenagers who are my pride and joy. I have a wonderfully supportive family with everyone equally stunned at the diagnosis and pitching into help. I am really fearful of planning more than a few months out.

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Hi Vanitha and welcome. As all of us on these forums have found out, anybody who has lungs (and maybe bad luck)  can get  lung cancer.  Lifestyle choices can reduce risk,, but never eliminate it. And we understand about being stunned by the diagnosis. I really understand being fearful of planning ahead. My lung cancer was Adenocarcinoma stage 1a. It was found in a CT scan that I had to watch for possible metastases from a priior non-lung cancer that was stage 3 and had a "dismal prognosis"--my doctor's words. With the earlier cancer, I really thought I wasn't going to live long, or else I was going to be sick from treatment forever. So I tried to live one day at a time and not think too far ahead. But, as my routine CT scans kept turning up negative, I began to believe in the possibility of long term survival. When my lung nodule turned out to be lung cancer and not a metastasis, I was actually relieved! Probably one of the few people you'll meet who was relieved by a lung cancer diagnosis. So today I'm NED (no evidence of disease) on 3 primary cancers: 2 years out on lung cancer, 8 years out on the stage 3 one, and 11 years on a stage 1 breast cancer.  My quality of life is good.  

You're really fortunate to have a helpful and supportive family. Asking for and accepting support is an important part of this journey.

Whatever you're going through medically or emotionally, probably somebody on here, if not a lot of somebodies, has gone through something similar. Let us know what questions you may have and how we can support you. That's what we're here for!

Bridget O

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Hi, Vanitha, and welcome.

My diagnosis and treatment was similar to Bridget's.  I had surgery but no chemo or radiation.  We have quite a few long-term survivors here, though, with advanced cancers who are doing great after many years.  There have been so many amazing advances in treatment in just the past few years, and more are being discovered every day.  

Glad you found us--this is a great place for information and support.

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Vanitha-

I understand the trepidation about planning more than a few months in advance.  I'm a planner, my mom is a planner (she is the lung cancer patient).  We did put some stuff on hold while she was in active treatment of chemo + immunotherapy because she didn't feel well enough to do much.  But when that was done, the weight was kind of lifted and planning for stuff resumed.  I think what you are going through is completely normal, especially for someone who is surprised by a lung cancer diagnosis (my mom was not surprised by her diagnosis and had a feeling it was coming). I think most people have similar feelings as you about the future, at least for awhile.  But it usually subsides a bit.  The change we have made in response to an unknown future (which is really the case for everyone, lung cancer just puts it into perspective for us) is to make sure to get trip insurance and/or pay a bit extra for refundable tickets/reservations.  My mom and I attend a lot of concerts and I now just add "insurance" for piece of mind.  But I can say that we have probably gone to 7 concerts since her diagnosis and she hasn't missed one yet, even while on treatment. 

You will get through this.  As LexieCat said, there are many long term survivors here to support you through all of this.  We are here for you.

Take Care,

Steff

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Vanitha,

Welcome here!

As Steff suggests, planning for stuff is vital.  I didn't and fumed and fretted away life during my nearly 4 years of treatment.  Now, I realize the purpose of seeking lung cancer treatment is to extend life and the extension should be enjoyed.  Extend your planning horizon. Plan years out instead of months out.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Hello Venitha and welcome.

I was Stage 3B.  I started with chemo and radiation, got a good response so was able to have surgery and as planned more chemo after.

As you see below I was diagnosed in December 1997.  As said above some of us are long term survivors.  For me it is over 21 years.  

Keep us posted on how  you are doing, feel free to ask questions. So glad you have a sportive family.  Hope you always take someone to 

your appointments as a second set of ears, and take notes of what the doctors and nurses tell you to review later.

Praying for the best for you.

Donna G

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Welcome Venitha. My husband was diagnosed Nov. 14th with lung cancer. Rocked our world and the ride continued to move so very fast...He had a pneumonectomy of his left lung Dec 10th and started chemo last Friday, Jan 25th. His was located in the main bronchus (hence total left lung removal) and every single time, we here “terrible location.” He is also stage 2B NSC poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma. Chemo was well tolerated (he’s set for 4 also) however, 5 days in- terrible nausea and fatigue. All of this being said, I always say to him “this is our new normal and it’s ok. We are just going to adjust our sails and keep moving”. Yes, some things on hold. Our kids are 21 and 23 and it’s hard to see their father like this. Many worries. We all do.  However, right now, while going thru chemo, things will be different and that’s ok. I’m a big believer of “one day at a time”. Tomorrow will be a new day however,  i will make plans for little outings here and there (while in treatment) and think about what we should all do as a family for a summer trip. Something to look forward to :) Our lives may be different but I’m not going to let this stop us ... stay well. Ask questions. This group has been amazing in the short time I’ve been a member and sending lots of love and healing prayers! XX 

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Dear moonbeam, donna, tom, steff, lexicat and bridgett, thanks much for your replies! You guys are an amazing group! Thank you for sharing the longterm survivor stories! I'm really encouraged by the stories. I feel like I will beat this for sure but the stats tell a different story, and I don't want to be out of touch with reality and then I get scared... but staying positive and planning is ok and good is what I'm hearing from you and that sounds good to me. I love the idea of getting trip insurance, that will keep my internal negative nelly (realist) notions satisfied. I really like the idea of planning for the life that I want to live and then changing plans as necessary. 

I'm 45 and my son and daughter are 16 and 14. My cancer diagnosis came on Dec 3 after a needle biopsy. I had the lobectomy on Dec 11 as part of an exploratory surgery to see if a lymph node was cancerous. I got the staging information of Stage 2B T3N0M0 on Dec 19 and started chemo Jan 18. I'm feeling much more secure now than I have felt in weeks. Thank you for sharing your stories, I am in the same boat as your husband in terms of timing and staging, moonbeam! thank you for connecting, i feel so much better knowing others are going thru this too. My experience of chemo so far is that the fatigue kicked in right away, I couldn't keep my eyes open for longer than a few mins during the infusion. The nausea/fatigue got really bad on days 3-5 and it took almost 10 days to get to a point where I am out of bed for a normal amount of time. My doctor said that fatigue is from the meds for the side-effects and that she'll adjust the meds for the next cycle. 

I'm really aching to go to a beach. Somehow thats what I've wanted to do since this whole thing began. I need to go to the oceanside to get internal peace and be ok with God/Universe for what I'm going thru. I'm going to go ahead and make plans to go see the ocean once I'm finished with chemo. I can go to FL where it will be warm in Apr. 

I'm returning the love, support and wishes to each of you. I'll tell my husband and kids about all the great things you have shared. XXX

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Two things about statistics:  First, they are based on large groups and they don't tell you what will happen with any individual. Here's a  link to a video of Steven Jay Gould on that issue. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH6XuiOBbkc . Second, cancer stats are generally based on  5 year survival and recurrence rates. This means that relate to people who were diagnosed over 5 years ago, and maybe much longer ago, depending on when the study was done. And new treatments for lung cancer are being developed ,  new ones  have been approved  regularly and a lot more are in the pipeline. So besides the stats being inherently off (per Gould), they're out of date.  I'd like to mention my father-in-law. He was diagnosed 20 years ago with a form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and "given" 6 months to live. He got into a clinical trial. It worked. He died last month at the age of 89-- of a heart attack. So my point is, don't get to hung up on or alarmed by statistics. You are a case of one! 

 

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Vanitha - your story sounds very similar as I said to my husbands. He’s T2aN1. His was small in the left main bronchus but found out much to everyone’s surprise (all doctors), node involvement. Hence, chemo. He had no other choice but to have his left lung removed. I think everyone hear can agree, hearing a lung cancer diagnosis rocks everyone’s world. Fears, anxiety, depression are all such common feelings from the very start of diagnosis. I have found, as has my husband (who btw didn’t like to talk about it at first bc he’d break down) therapy and for me, this forum, helps tremendously. I read to him everything that everyone writes - It gives him even greater strength knowing he’s not alone. Hoping he writes in one day :) I’m so very sorry what you are going thru and I know you are scared. All feelings are completely normal.

This morning is a new day. Step outside, breathe in the fresh air and find your strength because you will beat this. Let out all those feelings. You got this, Vanitha!  I make sure my husband does this :) and I do also! sending lots of love to you today. XX 

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Hi Vanitha

I was fortunate that my lung cancer was found early by accident as well. I had an upper left lobectomy and was staged 1B. I followed that with 4 rounds of a Vinerolbine/Cisplatin combination. Be careful of the Cisplatin that has a side effect of ringing in the ears. No one told me about it and after 3 rounds I mentioned it to the Oncologist who told me of the side effect and they switched it to Carboplatin. By that time it was too late and the hearing damage is permanent. The good news is that was 11 1/2 years ago so hang in there even though and you can get through the chemo.

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