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worriedtodeath

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Looking for any insight and support for myself and my Husband, as my Husband has had lung issues the entire year and then last week he was told after a CT Scan that his right lung has a mass that is about 2.5 inches and 1.8 inches in size. He has had bad COPD for a while and pneumonia putting him into the hospital. We have no normal insurance, he is a VET and they sort of stink for healthcare. So I was told to look into a support group.  My Husband is home right now, Monday I take him to a Hospital to see if thry will run another Cat Scan His current Primary Care Doctor feels badly but does not treat fot what is ongoing, and has only made referrals to a Pulimnary and Carido to see him. No one has contacted us yet. I am worried as I am at a loss, how something can just appear this fast and this big? We are praying it will not be Cancer, but how to cope with it if it is? What would they do? Remove the lung? I love my Husband so very much, I will pray the lord to keep him next to me as long as possible.  Thank you!

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Hi there, and welcome. Sorry about your husband's situation. Are you sure that tumor size isn't cm, rather than inches? That's the more typical measurement.

From what I hear, the VA isn't bad when it comes to lung cancer treatments. There is a sub-forum for veterans here: https://forums.lungevity.org/forum/64-us-veterans/

I'm not sure what you expect from a second CT scan, if he's already had one. Is he seeing a pulmonologist? The next step should be a biopsy, if possible. The pulmonologist can arrange for that. From there, assuming it is cancer, you will find an oncologist who specializes in lung cancer. There is a lot of testing that happens in the course of getting an accurate diagnosis--it's frustrating to wait, but very important to nail that diagnosis down with accuracy before starting treatments.

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

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Please check out the link that Lexie posted for you.  It may prove helpful.  Also, we understand how all of this can seem so overwhelming.  For this reason I usually recommend you take a look at "10 Steps to Surviving Lung Cancer; by a Survivor" it has a lot of helpful information that can help you along the way and it can be found here.  If you are using a VA Hospital, they do have Patient Advocates who can also provide some support in cutting through the red tape of an institution.

Please let us know how you are doing and any other questions you may have.

Lou

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Worried,

I answered your post on the Veterans forum first and now read details about your husband's diagnostic process that answers a lot of my questions.

If you have no medical insurance, the best thing to do is to quickly transition to a VA treatment facility. Has you husband ever received VA health care? If he has, then go to the nearest VA hospital and take the diagnostic tests and records with you. 

If he's not had VA health care or not registered with the VA and been assigned a VA health priority group, then we've got some bureaucratic hurdles to climb. Fortunately, your state, North Carolina, has Veterans Services Officers in each county. They will be able to help you navigate the complicated VA registration process. Look online for your county government and in particular for the County Veterans Services Officer. Give the officer a call. They generally see folks pretty quickly. Also look in your husband's files for his DD Form 214. He'll need to show this to the County Veterans Services Officer. If you can't find the DD Form 214, then the County Veterans Services Officer will be able to help generate a duplicate record.

Here is a link from the Veterans Administration that defines eligibility for VA provided health care. As you can see, things get pretty complicated. Read the information at the top of the page highlighted in the gray box that answers the question: "Am I eligible for VA Health Care Benefits." If your husband meets this eligibility requirement, the North Carolina county Veterans Services Officer will be able to quickly get your husband's VA priority group assigned. Here is a link showing where the VA treatment facilities are located along with telephone numbers.

Stay the course.

Tom

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On 10/28/2021 at 8:06 PM, LexieCat said:

Hi there, and welcome. Sorry about your husband's situation. Are you sure that tumor size isn't cm, rather than inches? That's the more typical measurement.

From what I hear, the VA isn't bad when it comes to lung cancer treatments. There is a sub-forum for veterans here: https://forums.lungevity.org/forum/64-us-veterans/

I'm not sure what you expect from a second CT scan, if he's already had one. Is he seeing a pulmonologist? The next step should be a biopsy, if possible. The pulmonologist can arrange for that. From there, assuming it is cancer, you will find an oncologist who specializes in lung cancer. There is a lot of testing that happens in the course of getting an accurate diagnosis--it's frustrating to wait, but very important to nail that diagnosis down with accuracy before starting treatments.

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

His mass is 7.2 cm X 1.8 cm, so i convert it to inches. We are trying to get a pet scan done ASAP.then his Primary Care doctor can refer him to pulmonary doctor. How fast this mass came on and it's size just a nightmare right now, I cannot find anything good news for those two factors, and are praying that the mass could be anything other than cancer. Thank you so much for your kinds words.

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On 10/28/2021 at 10:11 PM, LouT said:

Please check out the link that Lexie posted for you.  It may prove helpful.  Also, we understand how all of this can seem so overwhelming.  For this reason I usually recommend you take a look at "10 Steps to Surviving Lung Cancer; by a Survivor" it has a lot of helpful information that can help you along the way and it can be found here.  If you are using a VA Hospital, they do have Patient Advocates who can also provide some support in cutting through the red tape of an institution.

Please let us know how you are doing and any other questions you may have.

Lou

Hello and thank you. My Husband's patient advocate is a professional avoider, he slips through not doing anything for anyone. Worthless. Contacted him about all the billing issues not paid and he got all defensive saying he does not work in the billing department, we replied, neither do we! He then hung up on us. Worthless!

 

I will look at the links, thank you!

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Perhaps Tom's suggestion about getting your husband to a VA Hospital it sounds as if the place he is getting care presently is not up to the task.  If not, then you need to get to an executive administrator from the hospital and see if you can get some support there.  Again, I understand that you are overwhelmed, but perhaps you can a family member to pitch in and get some help for you both.

Lou

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Worried,

Here is an answer I posted on the Veterans Forum with suggestions on how to obtain transportation to the Veterans Hospital.

"Ok. Understand your husband's current state. If he's used "community care" program, he is eligible for VA medical care. First and biggest hurdle taken care of. I don't know why I thought you lived in North Catalina, but no matter.

First problem--getting to a VA hospital with car trouble. I'd ask the nearest American Legion Post or VFW Post to help with transport. Go on line to find the posts and contact points. Most legion and VFW posts have a VSO (Veteran Services Officer) and special funds established to help in circumstances like you are experiencing. They will help even if your husband is not a member. I don't know if your husband has lung cancer or some other problem but the large mass appearing in 2 weeks time is of concern and coupled with COPD and pneumonia, he is sure to need sophisticated and long term care, so get him to a VA hospital. If the legion or VFW can't help, then ask a religious congregation for transport.

I'd try and make contact with a local legion or VFW today and tomorrow such that you can present at a VA hospital on Monday. I'd camp out at the hospital till you are seen and he'll likely be admitted. Bring all his records and test reports along with his VA ID card and DD Form 214.

I hope this helps.

Stay the course."

Tom

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