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Hi, 

I am Chris and just found out last week I have lung cancer, adenocarcinoma. We found out today it is stage 4. We are waiting on pathology to determine if I have any mutations. Next week will do a PET scan and find out about mutations, if I have a mutation they will know what kind of treatment I should begin. 
 I am 56 have always been healthy and active. No symptoms except fatigue and a cough and shortness of breath when climbing stairs. I had a thoracentesis  to remove fluid from lung then a cardiocentesis to remove fluid around heart. I also have a small lesion in my brain. I am hoping to start treatment next week. 
Today I am feeling quite lost or numb not knowing what to think. My husband and kids are scared. I have always been the healthy one. 
I am ready to kick some cancer butt and shrink this cancer or at least keep it at bay. 
I am hoping to find someone who has had a similar diagnosis with some good stories to share. 
in the meantime I am being gentle with myself as I try and process what this all means. 
 

Hope and health to all,

Chris 

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Chris

Numb is a perfect word that all here have experienced.  Let's see what the docs plans are before panicking.

It was almost exactly a year ago today that I got the "call". On a Friday, late, and had days of waiting and confusion. I felt much better once we had a plan.

Your young, sound healthy and are ready to fight. It is an ordeal, but not as bad as you fear.  I'm still here and don't think I am going away any time soon.

It may sound stupid, but embrace this disease. Ignoring it will not help.

Wishing you the best and keep us informed. You have stumbled on an awesome forum. Not sure how I would have made it this last year without it.

Peace

Tom

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Hi Chris and welcome,

IMy experience is  different from yours in that my adenocarcinoma was stage 1. If anybody with lung cancer can be considered lucky, I'm one of the lucky ones whose cancer was discovered early (before any symptons) in a CT scan for something else. Nevertheless, we are all in this together qne you'll find that people on this forum are supportive and ready to answer questions about almost anything. 

I'm sure you'll hear from others who have or have had stage 4, who can share experiences and hope with you. It sounds like you're moving along a good path for diagnosis and treatment planning. And I like your attitude: be gentle on yourself and tough on cancer.

Its normal that you feel lost and your family is scared. Once you have a treatment plan things will probably start to be a little clearer and easier to cope with. Hang in there and keep posting.

Bridget O

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Hi Chris: Welcome among us. Sorry to hear about your diagnoses but so far it seems that you are on the right path. You are young and have the right approach and that's a good start. Your Molecular (or biomarker) test will determine your treatment and chances are many of us are already on that path. We are here willing and ready to help you along the way so please visit often and ask as many questions as you have. Chances are you will find your answer. 

When/If you have time, visit the Lungevity home page where you will find a lot of educational material. My favorite section is Cancer 101. I wish you the best.

GaryG.

 

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Hi Chris, 

I was 51 when I received the call from a pulmonologist telling me I had adenocarcinoma, lung primary type in September of 2018.  Like you I was a healthy and the diagnosis came as a complete shock.  I had struggled through the entire summer with a worsening cough.  The initial panel of biomarkers only included a limited panel which came up with nothing.  I started emergency chemo while waiting for a broader test called Next Generation Sequencing to come in three weeks later.   

It's very important to ask before starting the treatment plan what type of biomarker testing is being done, at the time I didn't understand there's more sensitive tests available and I was actually ALK Positive.  The treatment plan changed to  targeted therapy (pills) and my symptoms resolved almost immediately.  

My husband was a wreck, in the nearly thirty years together, I've never seen him completely collapse.  It was a very unsettling time but as the treatment began to work, we felt better each day.  There was lots of ups and downs in the uncertainty of the early days and frequency of appointments.   When we could see the changes in my scans, at that point we felt like we could do this over the long term.  Today I am No Evidence of Disease (new way of saying remission). 

You've got the right attitude going into this.  Give yourself permission to mourn, know that brighter days are coming.   My social worker recommended an excellent book by long term Stage IV lung cancer survivor Greg Anderson called Cancer: 50 Essential Things to do.  In this book, it provides a road map on how to put together your wellness plan.    We also recommend to stay away from Dr. Google.  There has been more scientific advances in the last three years than in the last fifty years so there are many long term Stage IV survivors.  Diagnosis is not prognosis.  

We're here for you, let us know what you need so we can support you.  There's a lot of knowledge here so there's no need to do this on your own. 

Michelle 

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Hi, Chris,

I'm Stage IV now, too (started off as Stage Ib three years ago), so I'm now doing chemo and immunotherapy. I had a terrific response to the first four rounds and am now on "maintenance" therapy to keep everything at bay. I got all the testing and have no "actionable" mutations (which means nothing they can target with a specific drug). But I haven't had too rough a time with chemo/immunotherapy. Some fatigue, some brain fog. Some people do have a rougher go of it, but they have all kinds of tricks and medications to manage the side effects. 

You've gotten great advice here already--this is a terrific group that has supported me from the beginning.

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Hi Chris, 

I got that call about 7 months ago. I am stage IV, 61 years old at the time. No brain mets, but it is in my right shoulder blade. I am "lucky" in that I have a mutation that can be targeted. EGFR. I have always been the strong one and the healthy one in my marriage as well as the primary bread winner for the last 5 years. I have 3 adult daughters who were ( are ) in shock. 

I'm still trying to figure things out. I think I was in shock for the first 3 months. My next scans are in February. 

This forum was the best thing I found. Lots of knowledge, experience and support to be found here. 

Keep us all informed. 

Jenny

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My goodness! Thank you 😊 all for your sharing! Yesterday was rough. Today is a new day and you made it even brighter! 
I will continue to research, but not Dr. Google snd check out the resources on this site. 
Thank you! 
Happy New year to all! 
Peace,

Chris 

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Chris,

Welcome here.

You've received a lot of great information and insight from forum members. I can only add that I am nearing 17 years surviving a lung cancer diagnosis, many recurrences, and extensive treatments. My bottom line is if I can live, so can you. Here are some suggestions for you going forward.

Stay the course.

Tom

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