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Hello new here was DX with stage 3a lung cancer on March 1st 2019 was first tested over a year a go but the sample was of no use so in march they did a more invasive surgery and tested positive I will be starting radiation treatment  and chemo sometime in the next 2 weeks waiting for a brain scan first have no idea what to expect 66 male vet been going threw VA in Buffalo NY

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Hi there, and welcome.

Sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but on the other hand, now you know what you're dealing with and can get going with treatment.  What kind of lung cancer do you have?  Adenocarcinoma, squamous cell, etc.?  Do you know whether your tumor was tested for biomarkers?  That can determine whether you would benefit from targeted therapy or immunotherapy.  

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

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Sandbox,

Welcome here. I'm also a vet but received my treatment outside of the VA hospital system. I know many on this site who've received great care for Lung Cancer in the VA system so I'm hoping that applies to you also.

Do I understand you had a second biopsy (surgical biopsy) on March 1 and that resulted in a confirmed lung cancer diagnosis? What was the type of lung cancer revealed by the biopsy? Stage IIIA can sometimes be treated with surgery.  Why did the doctors decide not to pursue surgery?

You stated you will be receiving radiation and chemo starting in the next 2 weeks.  Are you going to have six weeks of daily radiation (M-F) and along with the radiation, one infusion per week of chemo?  Do you know the type of chemo drugs you will be receiving?

Answers to these questions will allow us who've been diagnosed with the same type and stage of lung cancer to provide our experience during and after treatment.  So, if you feel comfortable, let us know more about your diagnosis.

Read in a bit.  You might find this source helpful to learn about lung cancer and its treatment.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Hi Sondbox and welcome.  I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis.  I’m glad you found this site.  It’s provided a lot of help for me.  Good luck with your treatments and thank you for your service!   

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I was Captain of my high school wrestling team non smoker I started in the service if you didn't smoke you policed the area I started smoking lol 1970's Vietnam AFSC-32845 well Quit 6 weeks ago long time  Adenocarcinoma cancer smoking stage IIIA  they removed a sample from lymph node behind left upper lung they called it Vats or something all new to me they want 6 weeks daily radiation treatment off site and weekly chemo at VA but the cancer site wants a brain scan first b4 starting  I'm not a good surgery candidate have muscle jerks and twitches seeing Mr. Galli was in the service he can tell from my MOS what service I was in lol did I fill in all the Blanks?

 

 

 

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Sandbox,

Almost. What kind of chemo will you receive (names of drugs). This is important because we can help you identify side effects and suggest ways of reducing them. 

Branch of service: USAF would be my guess. 

Six weeks of radiation and weekly chemo is the standard of care for treatment of adenocarcoma.  But that could change depending on your biopsy report. Certain types of adenocarcoma can be treated effectively with new Targeted Therapy. So, it sounds like your docs are getting started on treatment while awaiting news of targeted therapy indicators from your biopsy. 

Daily radiation should be a snap till about week three. Then you’ll start to feel your energy levels decrease. This is an expected condition. You also may get some skin reddening (like sunburn) and a sore throat from radiation. Doctors expect these symptoms. I used Solarcaine for my skin burn. Some folks get prescription lotion. For the sore throat, I used Halls Cough drops. 

You chemo during this treatment will play a support role. It will be a weaker dose and you may not even loose hair. I didn’t during my first line standard of care treatment. 

More questions?  Fire away. 

Stay the course. 

Tom 

 

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they are waiting for brain scan b4 starting which will be done on the 3rd of April then they will start radiation on the 10th and chemo also on the  10th so I will not know till then

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Hi Sandbox. Sorry about your dx. I just finished the radiation chemo treatments for 3a. Side effects were minimal, fatigue from radiation but not debilitating.  Chemo made my hair thin out 10 days after last treatment but I was on Abraxane after being allergic to 2 others so you may not even deal with that. I had to get a brain CT before starting-from what I read here, seems pretty standard. Going for first PET scan this week-can’t wait for results and start next part of treatment plan. Stay positive. 

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I just received a MRI of the brain with and with out contrast their was a cancel so I was moved up this may move start earlier will see had a target XRAYS done last week and need another I guess then will see what treatment options are Brain MRI came back normal Tuesday go for second Target then Wednesday the 10th I start treatment will let you know what treatment is being done

 

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I got my first treatment today radiation first left there went to Buffalo VA for bloodwork then Chemo 2 Drugs used PACLITAXFL-Taxol and CARBOPLATINUM  

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Sandbox,

I had lots of Taxol and Carboplatin. Since you are having chemo in combination with radiation, I suspect the chemo is a lower concentration. We call chemo that accompanies radiation adjuvant therapy, and it is often given as a lower dose. So you may not have many side effects at all. 

During my adjuvant chemo, I hardly had any side effects. But I had 12 full strength infusions to fight off several recurrences and did have side effects. 

Let’s hope your side effects are minimal and your treatment is successful. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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Actually this is my third bout with cancer I had bladder cancer in in 2008 then again in 2013 and had a tumor removed from right breast in 2016 but the bladder cancer was burnt out with  lazer both times nothing else was done now this so I guess that makes me 11 year survivor 

 

Edited by Sandbox
update

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Doctors decided against it not being a good candidate I'm a diabetic on insulin have a stent upper right in heart Neurological disorder where they thought would just do more damage then good I use a chair to get around I jerk and have spasms this help lol

 

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What did they decide against ? 

I did the same treatment plan last summer.  Radiation with Chemo cocktail. It shrank the tumor and killed the cancer in my lymph nodes. I was able to have a left upper lobectomy in October to remove what was left after my treatment. 

So far I’m still NED and hoping you can achieve the same results. 

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I don't think surgery is a option due to neurological issues spasmatic and twitch's and jerks Tuesday will end week 2 of therapy but felling nauseous and fatigue and only 2 weeks yuk

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