Carla Posted February 18, 2004 Share Posted February 18, 2004 Well I have been reading messages on this site for about a week now and figured I better sign up. About 2 weeks ago my mom called to tell me that my dad (76) had been coughing some blood and that his doctor was sending him for an MRI. Turns out she meant CT scan and that there had been something suspicious on an x ray. The day after the CT scan was done, he went back to his doctor, who told him he had lung cancer. This was a major shock to everyone -- excellent health, quit smoking when I was a baby (45 years ago), etc., etc. We were going to go over just to visit for the weekend (had moved to Florida from Ga. about a year before to be closer to family, thank God; they are now only 2 hours away instead of eight) and then we got another call that his doctor wanted him to check in to the hospital to start tests. I figured, ok, the sooner the better. This was Friday. What was actually going on was that the CT scan showed another tumor on the 3rd thoracic vertebrae that seemed to be putting pressure on the spinal cord. They did some more scans at teh hospital and a neurosurgeon came up to ask questions and said that after looking at the MRI/CT Scan the pressure was so bad he was amazed he was functioning and that they needed to do surgery to relieve the pressure or he could be paralyzed from teh waist down; he wanted to do it the next day. Didn't seem to be much of a choice, so they did the surgery. They removed the tumor, or, as I've learned, what they could see of it, and did a spinal fusion. It had eaten away a good deal of that one vertebrae. Pathology showed that the spine tumor originated in the lung, which was not good but not a real surprise, as I guess that is how it usually goes. Anyway, it is one of the forms of NSCLC. The oncologist wants to do a PET scan to see if it has spread anywhere else and if it hasn't she is talking surgery, which, from what I've read here and elsewhere, is optimistic. They haven't done staging yet. The lung tumor is just over 3 cm. They can't do it (PET) until any inflammation from teh surgery goes down so we are talking maybe another 2 weeks. Meanwhile of course he has to recover from major surgery, which is no small thing, but he is in otherwise good shape and, if you can beat this thing with a positive attitude, then he is the one to do it. He always focuses on the positive -- for instance, when the doctor told him the bad news about the spine tumor (there had been some small chance it was something else besides lung cancer) he focused on her telling him that now they have drugs to make chemo tolerable, and after she left, he said, Oh, I forgot to ask when I could go back to work (he is retired but does volunteer work full time), and when she said he'd be able to work thru the chemo once the surgeon said it was ok, he said taht was the best news yet. Anyway, reading all the messages here, there are things taht are encouraging and things that are scary and this seems like a good place. WE are all kind up up and down -- it all happened so fast and the surgery stuff was so drastic that we all had to deal with that first and leave thinking about the long term stuff for later. I can't help thinking that it has to be a good thing that they managed to catch the spine thing in time so there must be a reason for that. I am hoping that that won't be the only good thing. Well, this has been a pretty long message so I'll sign off for now, but I think I'll be back often. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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