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Small nodules (6mm or less) following surgery


JCM

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Hello my friends and fellow warriors,

I had surgery on July 3 and at the scan 8 weeks later, small nodules 2mm appeared on the right lung where I’d had an upper lobe lobectomy and middle lobe resection. 8 weeks later they’ve grown slightly - no bigger than 6mm. My oncologist is talking possible recurrence but too early to tell so another scan in 8 weeks. On the other hand, my surgeon suggests they might be the result of inflammation and that she has seen these go away.

I’m confused and scared because if it’s a recurrence I am stage IV with no targetable mutations. My oncologist will be recommending a combination of chemo and immunotherapy.

Two guestions:

1. Has anyone had post surgical nodules go away, and

2. Has anyone had a post surgical protocol that combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy?

I am feeling depressed and without hope and will be seeing a psychologist soon. I hope that will help. I think about dying a lot.

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JCM,

To your question about nodules appearing and disappearing, yes I have that experience. After a recurrence to my remaining lung and Taxol and Carboplatin treatment I’ve had that experience. After a series of scans, some were shown to be phantom while others metastatic. 

Has your medical team suggested a PET scan? There may be problems with a PET because nodules are small and scan PET results can be a problem with small nodules. 

I’ve read good things about combination chemo and immunotherapy, perhaps performing better than targeted therapy. So....

Stay the course. 

Tom

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Thanks, Tom. I always feel better when I hear from you! Yes, too small to be seen on PET. I’m having an abdominal/pelvic CT in addition to CT chest the next time around. I forgot to ask why! Are there lymph nodes down there that can’t be seen on CT chest scan? Adrenal glands seem fine. Liver is okay. Any idea what they might be scouting for?

Trying to stay the course and fight the good fight and mostly I can do that but this weekend I just feel like napping and cuddling with my furry companion dog.

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JCM,

My oncologist often switches up my CTs from chest to chest and abdomen. I believe he is just being cautious. So I wouldn’t know what he is scouting for. 

I think a nap is a good idea. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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JCM-

My mom has CT's of the lung and abdomen once per year, it was more while she was on immunotherapy.  We were told it is to monitor the GI/liver/kidneys/etc - looking for inflammation. They obviously were also looking for any metastases too, but we were reassured the CT was standard protocol.  I wouldn't read too much into it, the docs are just trying to get the full picture.   

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Thanks, Steff. It’s so good to be able to ask these questions because someone always has an answer...or two...or three! 😎

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