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Suzanne Gibb

Introduction

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My name is Suzanne and I have just had my lung biopsy this morning. My family doctor has already told me that I have cancer but the doctor today told me that the biopsy is to find out if I do have cancer. I have already accepted that I do have cancer but apparently I need to wait a week for confirmation. Does the biopsy tell you other things also? I was expecting a needle through the front of my chest but the doctor did it through the back with me lying on my stomach. It was painless except for one time where I thought the need went through to my breast. Weird feeling I must say. Everyone was very warm and caring at the hospital. They even serve a lunch once a patient wakes up. I will write more once I figure out that this is the right place to place my introduction.

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Welcome Suzanne,

This is a good place to put your introduction.Some doctors can tell a a lot  about lung nodules from CT scans and even x-rays. My pulmonologist said that my small nodule had the characteristics of a primary lung cancer. It was discovered in a CT scan that I had regulary to watch for possible metastases from a prior non-lung cancer. The pulmonologist also said that it didn't have the characteristics of a metastasis. Nevertheless, no definite diagnosis could be made  until I had a biopsy. Because of its location, my nodule couldn't be biopsied by needle. I had a lobectomy and  my pulmonologist (and the other docs that looked at the scan) were right, it was a NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer), adenocarcinoma stage 1a.

If they got a good biopsy sample, the pathologist should be able to tell what kind of cancer it is .A sample can also be sent away to a specialized lab for biomarker testing which gives information about what kind of treatment will work  best for the specific cancer. 

If you haven't already seen it, I recommend  Lung Cancer 101 on the main Lungevity site. Here's the link:  https://lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/lung-cancer-101

Please do tell us more about yourself, and let us know what questions you have and how we can support you. That's what we're here for!

Bridget O

 

 

 

 

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Hi, Suzanne, and welcome.  Yeah, as Bridget said, the only way to know for certain that you have cancer is to biopsy it.  Mine, too, was too small to biopsy, so like Bridget, I had surgery based on the strong suspicion.  Most likely you will also have a PET-CT scan to get an idea whether there has been any spread to the lymph nodes or anywhere else.  That, along with the biopsy, will determine what kind of initial treatment is recommended.  

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

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Thank you for your warm welcome and your explanations. Information is always good.  First morning after my biopsy and I am feeling tired but basically fine. I need to call my doctor on Monday for a follow up appointment. He will know when he will get the results so it should be a week from now appointment. I am glad that the doctors are double checking but I guess my tumour was big enough  and in the right spot to biopsy. My family doctor has already talked to me about my oncologist team and where my treatments could take place so I think he is pretty sure of the outcome of the biopsy. He says that he wants to move fast. I have not told my large family yet and I have been feeling guilty but at the same time glad that I am taking a wait and see approach. We lost my second youngest sister to small bowel cancer just three years ago so I want to be sure of my condition before I share it. I am the second oldest of 10 children. We are all in our 50s and 60s and busy with grandchildren and some are still working and not retired like I am. I have never married, am on my own and am an aunt to 21 nieces and nephews and 6 great nieces and nephews-all wonderful of course. I have always had good health, been very active walking and playing sports and being outdoors. I journal every day and purposely looked for a site where I could read what others are going through on their cancer journey. I am inspired by others and am a pretty good listener. I am currently knitting a blanket, and like to listen to the games of my nephew who is a professional hockey coach. I have two very active beagles and take them to our local dog park every day. I do not drive so the walk there and back and around the park tires all of us. It is a beautiful park. I am so lucky to live so close to it. This site is wonderful. I was able to read so much before my biopsy. Thank you to the people who contribute. This site will make my experience so much more endurable. Suzanne

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Remember, the biopsy isn't JUST to "double check" whether you have cancer.  It is extremely helpful to know what kind of cancer it is, because different treatments are recommended for different types.  The more info the docs have going in, the better prepared they will be to make treatment recommendations.  The one bright spot in any of this is that new treatments are being developed all the time--the outlook is much more hopeful now than it was only a few years ago.

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Just a follow up to my initial diagnosis I met with my doctor this afternoon and he gave me the results of my biopsy. I do have small cell carcinoma in the lung and the chest wall although the doctor told me that it has not metastisized? Spelling? I will hear from the oncologist this next week coming and will be able to get more information. Most cancer patients hear from their oncologist within three days. It is a mandate. He told me that he was worried for me but I am going to wait to see what the oncologist says before analyzing that statement. I do have a change in my voice and sharp pangs in my chest  and arm on the right side. I am still walking at least two miles a day with my dogs  but I have definitely noticed a drop in energy and weight. I have been reading other postings and know I have discovered a warm and welcoming place. Is anyone allowed to answer someone else's post? Suzanne

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Yes, anyone can respond to anyone else's post.

Small cell cancer is more challenging to treat than non-small cell.  I'm pretty sure that's what your doctor meant when he said he was worried.  I think your oncologist will be able to give you a much better explanation of what you have going on and how they will attack it.  

We do have a section of the forum specifically on small-cell lung cancer, but there are fewer posts because it is a less common type of lung cancer.  Still, you will most likely be dealing with chemo and/or radiation, and folks here can share their experience and advice about coping with the treatments.

ETA: The small-cell forum is headed "SCLC."

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Suzanne

 I felt the same way prior to my treatment this time last year, And i found very important was to keep my weight up and also my energy level high by walking my dog  still do to this day. I had made point of gaining eight pounds prior to chemo/radiation and this week still four pounds above my normal weight during current Immumotherapy.

Bob

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Suzanne, one question.  Your doctor told you the cancer had not metastasized.  Have you had a PET scan?  That's usually what they do to determine whether it appears there has been any metastasis.  Sometimes there is also an MRI to check for any metastasis to the brain.  If you haven't had any of those tests, you might want to ask your oncologist about it when you meet with him/her.

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Thank you so much for the tips. My doctor ordered a bone scan today. I am not sure if that is a PET scan or MRI. You are all so reassuring that I feel that I can make the best of this. I have written down your suggested questions so that I will not forget to ask when I see the oncologist. I have learned so much from all of you already. Suzanne

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