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Hello. I am a 56 year-old single mom and was just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I am a former smoker who quit 23 years ago and have no symptoms, so this was quite a surprise. The tumor in my lung is small (8 mm) but has spread to my lymph nodes. Currently I am awaiting a PET scan and MRI (next week), and mutation analysis to determine treatment. I am looking forward to kicking this out of my body and living a long time!

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IrisI,

Welcome to our forums.  I'm sorry you have to be here, but glad you found us.  I already like your attitude ("kicking this thing out").  Lung cancer is no longer the automatic death sentence it once was and that is the product of an amazing number of advancements in the treatment over the last 25 years....We have people here who were diagnosed at stages 3 and 4 and, years later, are still alive to share their stories and I'm certain you'll be hearing from them soon.  My personal LC (lung cancer) journey started with an incidental finding of a small nodule during a CT Scan and, after the diagnostic process, evolved into a lower-right lobectomy.  In my case it was caught early, so the prognosis is good and I have been NED (No Evidence of Disease) since May 2019.  You'll find many more and varied stories as others begin to respond to your post.  
I'd like to give you a few tips to get you going here:

  1. Don't look to Dr. Google for stats on survival.  There are a host of reasons why the stats are not accurate. least of which is that they are five-year averages that don't properly weigh the impact of newer treatments or the individual patients.  
  2. There is a treatise titled "10 Steps to Surviving Lung Cancer; by a Survivor" by Tom Galli and it can be found here.
  3. The PET Scan and MRI are fine diagnostic tools, but eventually you will need to receive the final critical information from a biopsy.  Not only will the biopsy sample let your medical team know if the nodule is malignant or benign, but it can also be tested for biomarkers and genetics, both of which are helpful in constructing an effective treatment plan.
  4. As you are updated from your medical team please share as much of the information as you are comfortable with our members.  Whatever is found there will be someone here with the same condition who can help you understand what they went through and give great advice and tips on everything regarding treatment protocols.

This is a good start for you so please share anything you feel comfortable sharing and I'm sure that you'll be hearing from more folks soon.

Lou

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Thank you Lou.

I agree with your comment about googling life expectancy statistics. They are usually outdated and don't take into consideration the advances made in treatments. A biopsy was done on one of the swollen lymph nodes in my neck this week and it came back positive for lung cancer.  I did read "10 Steps to Surviving Cancer" yesterday and found it helpful. I do like my oncologist, but a colleague also referred me to another oncologist at the same practice who specializes in lung cancer. I will be meeting with her as well, just to get another perspective. I am looking forward to sharing and learning from the group.

Iris

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IrisI,

You'll find that as you go through your journey others that have been on the same (or very similar) journey will be able to offer their experience and ideas about navigating it more effectively.  Please keep coming back and keep us informed.

Lou

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Irisl,

So glad you are seeing a lung cancer specialist! Several folks in my lung cancer group have found that has made a significant difference in their treatment. 

I had lymph nodes, too. A bronchoscopy gave them access to the area and they were able to collect what they needed to get the genomic testing done. That, too, has made a significant difference in my treatment. 

Stupid lung cancer. Glad you found your way here.

Karen

 

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