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What a strange summer it's been.


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I went to see my doctor for stomach problems and ended up with a diagnosis of lung cancer.

It started in December, 2022, when I went to my primary care physician because of stomach problems I'd been having for the last month. He ordered an abdominal ultrasound that showed no major problems, so he referred me to a gastroenterologist who brought me in for an upper-endoscopy in May. The endoscopy found a small gastric xanthoma, which is benign in and of itself but could be an indicator of deeper problems. I was then referred to another gastroenterologist with the plan that they'd remove the xanthoma. 

After my initial consultation with the new gastroenterologist at the end of July, she ordered an abdominal CT scan with contrast for Thursday, Aug. 3, to see if there was anything else going on in my abdomen. I had an email waiting for me when I got home from the CT scan telling me my test results ready, so of course I looked. Findings in the GI tract were "unremarkable" (yay!) but right there at the top it said, "LOWER THORAX: Right lower lobe 2 x 1.8 cm pulmonary nodule with lobulated irregular margins and peripheral subsegmental atelectasis"

I'd never heard of a lung nodule before, so I looked it up on Google and of course there it was--lung cancer. "Pshaw--it's always cancer, according to Google." Right?


At this point I didn't really know what to do--this was a little outside my experience with doctors, and I was honestly just spinning in the water at this point. It wasn't until the next day that I messaged the gastroenterologist's office and asked if there was any follow-up on this incidental finding. They got back to me that afternoon and said no, that would be up to my primary care physician. Unfortunately, my PCP's office is closed on Friday afternoons, so I had to wait until Monday morning to make an appointment. He made time to see me on Tuesday afternoon, and told me that lung nodules were very common and that there was probably only a 50% chance of it being cancer. Regardless, he referred me to a pulmonologist, who I was able to get in to see that Friday afternoon.

The pulmonologist upped the chances of the nodule being cancer to 85% and sent me out for a full chest CT with contrast (apparently, the abdominal CT only covered the lower 40% of my lungs), a FDG PET scan, a lung biopsy, and a pulmonary function test. The CT showed no other nodules (yay!), the FDG PET showed the nodule had a peak SUV of 5.3, the biopsy returned findings of adenocarcinoma with an EGFR exon-19 mutation, and the pulmonary function tests was within the normal range. 

At this point my pulmonologist introduced me to a thoracic surgeon who removed the lower lobe of my right lung on Monday morning. I'm home now, trying to be patient and let things heal. I have crepitus in my neck, but as long as I can still breathe and swallow they say there's nothing to worry about. I'll find out next week if there are any micrometastases in the lymph nodes they harvested on Monday, but everyone so far has been optimistic that I won't need any further treatment.

And among all this, my wife went for a walk Monday morning after I was wheeled off for surgery. She tripped on a curb and broke both of her arms.

I tell you, this has been one of the strangest summers of my life. And my stomach is still giving me problems, but that can wait.

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Welcome to our forums.

Wow, you really did have a long, hot summer, didn't you.  Assuming your lymph nodes come back clean it is unlikely that any adjuvant treatment would be given.  I too had a LR Lobectomy in May 2019 and all scans since that time have been NED (No Evidence of Disease).  I pray you have the same results.  I'm also so sorry about your wife's accident.  What a terrible fall it must have been.  Hopefully her healing will be swift (as can be) and complete.


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Sorry to hear about the series of misfortune, sounds familiar. I too was diagnosed when a CT for my head came back clear but with an incidental finding of cancer in an upper lobe. As stunned as I was, it actually was visible on another scan years ago but the radiologists completely missed it giving it the chance to grow into one lymph node. Had lobectomy and adjuvant chemo and now on Tagrisso.

I am hearing Tagrisso is being offered as adjuvant for EGFR exon-19 patients even for early stage, so ask you oncologist and consider second opinion if you do not feel 100% confident of the plan following surgery. Lung cancer very often comes back so adjuvants seem quite important (depending on situation of course).

I hear you too about your wife being injured, what timing! My husband had 2 kind of serious health scares since my diagnosis. Life is very strange sometime, both of us youngish. Welcome to the forum and good luck! 

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@BryJ You and your wife have been through the mill with all the wrong kinds of "adventures."

I'm so glad you pursued the situation with your PCP, and that you ended up with a pulmonologist who moved quickly to get you all the right tests, etc. I sure hope they biopsied the heck out of all that tissue they harvested. You're going to want those biomarkers going forward. 

Welcome here!


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