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New to this world, starting my cancer journey


BHG

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Hello,

I'm 58 year old, female and I live in the great state of Maine. I have 2 adult sons. I was diagnosed with NSCL Cancer on 12/15/21. I have not started treatment yet.

I have been referred for medical oncology and I'm waiting on genetic and molecular testing to determine best course of treatment. 

I have also been referred to the Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston for treatment recommendations. 

I'm struggling with acceptance of this dx. I know that's a pretty normal response. 

Thank you for being here and providing support and hope!

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BHG,

Welcome to our forums.  You've come to a great place for support.  We have a community (in my view a family) of survivors here and our experiences are as diverse as our diagnosis.  As we learn more about your case and what questions you have, we will be able to share our experiences with you in order to help you to navigate this journey.  Getting this diagnosis is not like anything we experience before it.  It's a hard time, but please try and stay focused on hearing what your medical team is telling you so you can use this information going forward.  In the meantime I want to share a very useful blog from Tom Galli called "10 Steps to Surviving Lung Cancer; by a Survivor" and it can be found here.  We have a lot we can share from tips and tricks to sound advice about managing the treatment protocols.  Ask any questions you have and if you ever want to rant, then come here and do it.  We understand what you are going through.

Lou

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Welcome BHG,

An acceptance struggle with a lung cancer diagnosis is indeed normal, but it was not easy for me! 

I assume you’ve had a biopsy because you mention molecular testing. I also assume you have a late stage diagnosis, say Stage IIIB or IV because you didn’t mention surgery. But the docs at Dana Farber are superstars. One suggestion, arrange a consultation with a radiation oncologist while at Dana. This discipline has some unique treatment methods that could prove very beneficial.

I was diagnosed in February 2004 and good Lord willing, I’ll celebrate 18 years of life after lung cancer.  I had nearly 4 years of continuous treatment. In fact, I’ve had every type of treatment save for immunotherapy. It was not yet discovered in my treatment era, but it is on the table now and making a vast difference in outcomes. For those with adenocarcinoma, Targeted Therapy is also a big new deal. 

This is a great place to tee up questions. I hope your forthcoming consultation goes well and the weather cooperates for your journey.

Stay the course.

Tom

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BHG, Dana Farber is an excellent place for treatment, especially if your biomarker testing shows a gene mutation. I know you'll have to travel a bit. Keep in mind that the American Cancer Society may provide financial support for any hotel stays. It's worth looking into. 

It will take you some time to adjust to your new reality. Your diagnosis really is life-changing. One minute you're fine and the next you're facing this. When I was diagnosed at Stage IIIB in October 2019, I didn't think I'd last very long. I've had chemo, radiation and am now on a targeted therapy for an EGFR mutation and have had No Evidence of Disease (NED) since April 2021, which means I'm healthy again. So try not to despair. You'll be getting your treatment from the experts on lung cancer. 

For information, this site is great, as well as GO2 Foundation, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society and CancerGRACE. They are all more up to date than what you find from Dr. Google. 

Please keep us posted on your biomarker test results and treatment plan. Safe travels. 

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