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janicew

Just numb !!!!!

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Hello all,

I am new here and this is my first post. Last week I had a CT done and was told they discovered a 1 cm. nodule in my upper left lung but the lymph nodes look good.  According to the family doctor and the radiologist it is suggestive of lung cancer. Immediately I was scheduled an appointment with a thoracic surgeon on Sept. 10 th and I have read peoples experiences with him and he is supposed to be wonderful. I don't even have words to explain how scared I am, I can't get out of my head that I am going to die from this. I am only 53 and I can't be heading down that road or can I ? I don't know if I should be terrified or hopeful or what ? I have cried for days and feel as though this is the end for me. I know that sounds crazy but I just don't know how to feel or think. I could really use some help from all of you in helping me get my head wrapped around this and how I should approach this. I'm sorry if this isn't the most positive post all I can say is I am terrified. Any and all responses would be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance.

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Janice -

It's completely understandable to be terrified, just about everyone on here has been at some point. I assume that there will be probably a PET scan as well as a biopsy done as I would doubt that they would perform any surgery or treatments without confirmation. They'll also want to know what type of cancer it is such as small cell or non-small cell as that is factored into the treatments. I certainly don't mean to minimize your situation but honestly in many cases a single 1 cm nodule and no lymph node involvement or spread anywhere else would be a godsend to many of us here. My suggestion is to read as many posts on here as possible, but recognize that virtually everyone is different. Although it can be difficult, it is very important to keep a positive attitude in your upcoming journey. I was diagnosed with stage 3A NSCLC about 16 months ago, and I'm still here. After over a year of tests and treatments, while I am still classified as a 3A, all but one of the tumors appear to be gone now with the exception of one SOB location. There are many people here with very positive outcomes to their treatments, so absolutely do not give up hope. There are so many great people on this forum that are willing to share their experiences and offer advice on what they found to be helpful in just about every imaginable situation. We all lean on each other so feel free to ask away.

-Ron

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Hi Janice,

Welcome to the group that no one wants to join. The early days are sheer terror with an emotional roller coaster of epic proportions. We’ve all been there and we are here for each other.   It sounds like you’ve got an early catch as Ron points out, hopefully surgery is the only intervention you will ever need. Some days it will be taking life one hour at a time.  That’s okay. As you complete the diagnostic process the treatment plan will be personalized, you will then feel a much greater sense of control.  Each day will get a little easier with a little help from all your new friends here. We laugh, cry, and celebrate as a family.  

There’s been more advances lung cancer treatment advances in the last five years than in the last 50.  As we speak the world’s leading experts are gathered in Spain for the Internal conference.  The science is emerging so rapidity  the doctors can’t keep up.  

Give yourself permission and time to adjust to a new normal.  Even though it’s hard to image, you will be able to bounce back.  Brighter days are coming. 

Let us know how we can help.  

Michelle

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Hi, Janice. The first few days and weeks are scary and overwhelming. I was absolutely in shock. Then came the anger and the crying and the screaming. Then I had to settle down so I could focus on next steps. I have tried so hard to keep a positive attitude through all of this. Some days are easier than others. That said, I was diagnosed with stage IV in February 2016, have had 2 recurrences and I'm still here. I recently celebrated my 50th birthday - a milestone I wasn't sure I'd make.

You will likely have lots of questions as you start meeting with doctors so I suggest you get a notebook and start jotting those questions down so you don't forget them. Don't be afraid to ask questions and keep asking until you get answers. Don't be shy about getting a second opinion if you want one. You have to be your own best advocate.

We are all here for you. Please let us know how we can help.

 

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Janice.......Looking back at my diagnosis and journey, I wish I had reached out for support earlier like you are doing now. 

Reach out and share your fears, worries, concerns and questions....we have all been there. My reaction to my diagnosis was so severe that my whole body responded with paresthesia ( needles and pins sensation ) and it lasted for weeks. This happened because my emotions, my anxiety level and fear and shock at what I might have to contend with was so out of control. Before being told of my diagnosis, I've never experienced anxiety or emotional lability of any kind. 

It sounds like your 1cm nodule needs to go thru the process of identification and diagnosis before any treatment can commence.

During the identification stage, your doctor will be ordering tests to confirm what your 1cm nodule is. Once confirmed, your doctor will discuss treatment options, if any are needed.

You will get thru this, though right now is a very scary time because YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH. Trust in your doctors, ask questions if you don't understand. Why are you ordering that test? What is that test going to reveal? Understand what is being done and why. Knowledge is the antithesis of fear.

I'm sorry you have to contend with all of this but know that we are here to support you. Reach out and let us know how we can help, reach out and let us know how you are coming along.

Take Care, DFK

 

 

was diagnosed one year ago with Stage 3B NSCLC.

 

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Janice 

Sorry you need to be here, but happy you came. Like you, I had a nodule picked up by a CT Scan and my fear was palpable. But you need to let the diagnostic process take its course because, most nodules (60%) are benign. But let's assume that the nodule is cancerous... If that were to be confirmed, then they would work to develop a treatment plan. If so, it could be surgery and in my case it was removal of my lower right lobe (the right lung has three lobes). I had the surgery on May 2nd and have recovered to where I now do 5 miles/day and weights everyday. I'm feeling very good and had scans that show NED (no evidence of disease). I'll be checked every six months during my first two years and annually after that. 

Since (like you) I was diagnosed early and there was no spread outside the lung my prognosis is very high (80%+) and it will increase every year I remain NED. 

If this is cancer you are one of the people lucky enough to have been diagnosed very early and that is a key to long term survival. 

Please try and stay calm by focusing on the process, ask all the questions you can whenever you have them, don't "catastrophize", smile whenever possible and stay away from google. Once you get your diagnosis you'll be in a better position to participate in your treatment plan and recovery. 

If this is cancer you have a better chance of survival than ever before. Come here whenever you need to as this is the greatest group of people that I have ever gotten to know and they helped me through all that you are going through. Takes walks, talk to friends, laugh and know that you won't be going through this alone. 

Lou

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Janice,

I was 54 when diagnosed with Stage IIIB, non small cell, squamous cell, lung cancer. That was nearly 16 years ago. Most importantly, even in the dark ages of lung cancer treatment, I survived and I'm still here. 

You reported a suspicious nodule and in fact, there are many reasons lung nodules form and most are not cancer.  Here is my Cleveland Clinic go-to-resource explaining the various types and causes of lung nodules. Hopefully, your nodule is not cancer. Your surgeon may schedule you for a biopsy or may want you to wait about 6 months for a repeat scan because your nodule is a small one. If he recommends waiting for a second scan, you may worry about the tumor growing out of control. You shouldn't. Here is an interesting article by an oncologist on how fast tumors grow. If your cancer turns out to be adenocarcinoma, it might take up to a year to grow from a 1 cm nodule to a 2 cm nodule.  So, a wait, rescan and watch approach may be appropriate. It may also be unnerving! If it turns out to be lung cancer, you should be comforted by the fact that it is an early find and these have a smooth path to effective treatment and no evidence of disease outcomes.

That said, I completely understand your fear. Lung cancer is a frightening disease. But, let's strike a positive chord at this juncture because there is a strong probability that your nodule may turn out to be benign.  Assuming your surgeon feels a biopsy is necessary, there are several methods used to secure a tissue sample for pathology examination. Here is information you may find useful about lung biopsies.

How do you approach this offending nodule? Read the links I've suggested, make notes, and consult with your surgeon and oncologist to decide on one of two courses of action: wait, and rescan or biopsy. Either of these alternatives is a reasonable approach.  More questions? Fire away, this is the place and we are glad you found us.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Hi Janice and welcome,  Others have given you a lot of good info and I don't have much to add. I had a single nodule with no lymph node involvement. It was removed in November 2016 and I didn't need any other treatment. No evidence of disease today (NED, the cancer survivor's best friend). Hang in there! It does get easier.

Bridget O

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Hi Janice.  Sorry you’re with us.  It is terrifying to hear you have a “spot” on your lung.  Please know that 1CM is REALLY small and the majority of nodules are NOT cancer.  You should definitely  keep watching it.  It’s kind of like a suspicious mole but on the inside.  No reason for panic but plenty of reason to stay diligent.  I would also see a pulmonologist.  Thoracic surgeons see things that need to be cut out, pulmonologist see things from a different perspective.  It’s good to have both.  

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Janice I wanted to reach out because I was you in December 2018, 52 had ct  and a 9mm nodule  was found and I was terrified, my anxiety was so high my dr. Had to put me on meds.   I literally thought my life was over and I found this forum and it changed everything. First thing I did was get a pulmonologist who set up a pet scan, the nodule did not light up so my pulm doc had me have another scan 4 months later and the nodule was the same, so just a couple weeks ago had another one and it was the same.    My pulmonologist and radiologists says it’s stable and we will just keep scanning every 6 months  for a couple of years. I like how Curt said it’s like a mole you have to keep an eye on. Breath it will get better I promise you.  Love and light ❤️

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Hi Janice, 

I’m new to the forum and just saw your post. I am about 7 weeks post op. I had a very small nodule in my left lung, had 3/4 of my lobe removed. All lymph nodes that were removed were clean. No further treatment is needed. It was non small cell stage 1a adenocarcinoma and thank God the prognosis looks good. It sounds like you found your nodule early and you should be ok! I’m slowly recovering and getting better each day! Please remain positive! By the way, never smoked!

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