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Claudia

Diagnosed 1 week ago squamous cell

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Hi Everyone

I was just diagnosed with Squamous cell cancer. I have a 4 CM mass in my left lung and it has spread to lymph nodes in my left groin. I am 67 years old yoga teacher and had no symptoms at all. I was scheduled for shoulder replacement surgery and had a chest xray which showed the cancer. I had a pet scan, ct scan and a biopsy and went to my first oncology visit last friday. I am not a candidate for surgery and the oncologist has said that a mix of Keytruda and chemo will be my treatment. I am absolutely petrified. I am hoping to find people who have the same or similar diagnoses who may offer some hopeful words as I feel as if I am falling into the darkest hole there is. 

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Claudia,

I understand petrified and falling into a dark hole.  I think everyone on this forum understands also.  Lung cancer is a surprise; like your diagnosis there are often no symptoms and then a devastating reveal.

If you follow up your diagnosis by consulting "doctor google's survival statistics", the hole gets darker. So, here are some helpful words.  Stay away from survival statistics on the web.  Here is why.  Your treatment, immunotherapy combined with conventional chemotherapy, the new first line standard of care, is a new thing.  It is also effective. So you have more to rely on than hopeful words, much more.  

This may help you get ready for infused chemotherapy and here are some ideas on how to survive a lung cancer diagnosis.

Full disclosure: treatment is not a walk in the park.  I've been through 18 infusions of conventional chemotherapy and side effects were not pleasant.  But, in total, they represented 3 bad days in an otherwise near normal 21 day cycle of treatment and if I was diligent in charting the onset of side effects, prescribed medication taken shortly before onset  really helped.  Yes hair loss is a pain, but I can tell from experience that it grows back.

This is a good place to ask questions about treatment and ways of mitigating side effects.  You are most welcome here.  

Stay the course.

Tom

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Hi, Claudia, and welcome.

Lung cancer is always a nasty surprise.  Tom's cancer was squamous cell, too.  I had adenocarcinoma, which is a different form of non-small-cell lung cancer.  

If there's a bright spot in any of this, it's that the treatments have vastly improved and they are continuing to develop new ones all the time.  Lung cancer is often not curable, but it can remain treatable.  

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

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Tom and LexieCat,

Thank you for your kind word of hope. It's what I need right now. I'm happy I found this forum because some of the others are just scary and negative. I'm searching for hope and you have both given me that. Maybe now I can stop crying for a little while. Thank you both.

Claudia

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Hi Claudia-

You found the right place.  I was diagnosed with Stage IV ALK Positive NSCLC in September last year at the age of 51.  I felt absolutely numb & the tears didn’t seem to stop when I was diagnosed.  I didn’t find this forum until a month after my initial diagnosis.  Even though it doesn’t feel like it right now,  the shock of this will pass & the good days will eventually outnumber the bad days.  Today my disease is stable on treatment after 5 months. Since this diagnosis, I’ve learned to take much better care of myself. I’ve taken up acupuncture, Gi Gong/Tai Chi & restorative yoga.  

You will find a tremendous sense of support here from survivors.  There is hope as lung cancer treatment has seen more advances in the last two years than in the last 30. 

We’re here for you.  Glad you found us. 

Michelle

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Hi Michelle,

Thank you for your uplifting words. I'm so happy that you are stable. It gives me hope and that's what I need now. I'm glad I found you all here.

Claudia

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Claudia welcome, I just wanted to let you know I had almost the same diagnosis last February and am now NED. It’s still fresh how crazy last year was but but thanks to this place I held it together. 

Take Care and ask if you have questions. Oh and believe me we all were petrified. Cancer sucks. 

Paula

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Hi Paula,

So happy for you. I hope my journey is like yours. Thank you for letting me know that it is possible to get this awful diagnosis and make it through it alive and well. Much appreciation for your success story..

Claudia

 

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49 minutes ago, Claudia said:

Hi Paula,

So happy for you. I hope my journey is like yours. Thank you for letting me know that it is possible to get this awful diagnosis and make it through it alive and well. Much appreciation for your success story..

Claudia

 

Praying it will be. Hugs

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