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Stage 3A lung cancer


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My dad was was told in March that there was a spot on his right lung that seemed suspicious. They operated and removed half of his right lung and discovered that is had spread to his lymph nodes in the chest cavity. Stage 3A lung cancer was the diagonsis. He started radiation today and chemo on Friday. A combonation of Taxol and Carboplatin. Has anyone on the board gone through a similar experience?? Thank you in advance for any advise.

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Ali, sorry about your dad. My wife did not have the surgery because the main tumor moved to her upper spine. She has bone mets (5 discovered so far). But she did have radiation on three of the mets and has taken chemo similar to your dad. It sounds like a good program for your dad. We will know this week if my wife needs more chemo. Best to you and your dad. Don

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Dear Ali,

I was also diagnosed at Stage IIIA 22 months ago. I was always told the tumor was inoperable, but finally was able to have surgery this past January. They removed my tumor and 2 lymph nodes.

I had Taxol/Carboplatin with concurrent radiation in the fall of 2001. I was able to manage the side effects of the treatments.

If you have questions, you can ask them here. It sounds like your Father is on a good treatment course. Let us know how he is doing.


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Guest DaveG

Hi and welcome to Lung Cancer Survivors for Change. In answer to your question as to somebody who has a similar experience to your Dad, I guess I come as close to that as anybody else here.

The first chapter to my story is posted at ABOUT US found on the Home Page of Lung Cancer Survivors for Change.

I have had 2 surgeries for lung cancer, the first in Oct 2001 and the second in Sept 2002. On April 2, 2003, I started "writing" the second chapter to my story. I went in for my routine 6 month surgery follow-up. The surgeon ordered a CT Scan of my Chest as part of the follow-up. From that scan, it was discovered that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes. The surgeon asked that I get with my Oncologist for further evaluation.

My Oncologist is Dr. Joan Schiller, at the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center. On April 8, I went to see her, but because she did not have copies of all my scans, at that time, there was little she could tell me until she had all the scans. In the meantime, she scheduled me for a PET Scan, which was done on April 16. The PET Scan revealed that I had extensive lymph involvement throughout my entire lymphatic system. She ordered an immediate needle biopsy of several of the more prominant lymph nodes in the left side of my neck. After the biopsy was done, Dr. Schiller explained that there were three possibilities, but would have to wait on the results of the biopsy. The three possibilities were (1) a new cancer, such as lymphoma, (2) a massive infection, or (3) metastatic lung cancer (worst case scenario). A return appointment was set for April 18.

The results of the biopsy, on April 18, turned out to be the worst case scenario, metastatic lung cancer to my lymphatic system. Dr. Schiller than told me, that because of the systemic condidtion, I was restaged to Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (adenocarcinoma). Dr. Schiller then had her "chemo talk" with my wife and I. She also informed me that I was a good candidate for a Phase II clinical trial. I had a conference with one of her clinical research assistants, and signed the papers for the clinical trial. I also had a CT Chest, Abdomen, and Head scan and was scheduled for a Bone Scan on April 25. These three scans were required for the clinical trial and confirmed what was found on the PET Scan. Fortunately, the bone scan was within normal limits.

On Monday May 5, I was started on Carboplatin/Pachtaxel (taxel or taxol for short). I am on a 3 week turnaround on the chemo, for 6 cycles. The Phase II clinical trial is a drug that is supposed to diminish blood supply to tumors, and it involves having to give myself a shot twice daily. I started the Clinical Trial on Tuesday May 6.

Wednesday through Sunday were entirely rotten days for me, but I made through those days and am now feeling much better now.

If given the decision again, I would make the same decision, involving the chemo and clinical trial. Being Co-Director of Lung Cancer Survivors for Change has been an education for me. I have found a very big, wonderful, caring, supportive, and very loving group of people, who are like family to me. The hardest part has been having to accept that I am now a Stage IV. Being Co-Director, as a Stage I survivor, meant that I had the best chances for survival and that I, and the other Stage I's, have the responsibilty of being the "torch bearers" and spokespeople for all the others in the later stages. Now the role is reversed, I am the one having to seek support and I HAVE FOUND IT.

You are definitely among friends here. Everyone here, whether they are a survivor/patient, caregiver and/or family member, or just a very interested party, have something very much in common. We share the most devastating disease known to mankind. Not only do we share this disease, we live with it, and it lives with us. We are never able to get away from lung cancer, it is now our life, and the battle of and for our lives. We care, very much, for each and everyone who is dealing with Lung Cancer. We understand because we are there and we are living out this disease. No one knows better than we, as to what we are going through.

I think everyone is getting used to this now, PULL UP YOUR KEYBOARD AND TELL US MORE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR FATHER.

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Hi Ali-

I has stage IIIa with mediastinum and hilar nodes involved. I did taxol/carbo x 7 tand 28 rads. They took out rt lobe upper, 21 nodes and 3 ribs. It still hurts like hell, but I'm here and NED.

You can beat it, but attitude is everything. I decided at the outset that I was going to kick cancer's butt and kick it good.

Good luck. there is plenty of support and information here.


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I am so sorry to hear about your dad. My mom was diagnosed in March with nsclc with lymph node involvement. She is not a candidate for surgery. She is over halfway through her radiation treatments and has had only two chemo treatments of taxol/carboplatin. We took her to get a second opinion and the doctor confirmed she is receiving the best treatment. He told us the majority of lung cancer patients receive the taxol/carbo combo. Each day is a roller coaster of emotions. The support and hope of family and friends helps to deal with all that is involved. I will keep your dad in my prayers. It sounds like he is getting good care.

Andrea B.

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Hi Ali,

Just wanted to welcome you to the board. You will find a lot of support, information and love here.

My husband has a different situation than your father, so I can't relate any experiences. However, there are a few commonalities with all people going through radiation and chemo that you will proabably hear over and over. The advice I can give on that is for you father to listen to his body. When he feels tired, rest. Don't push it. Exhaustion is often a sign of other things. Anemia, or low red blood cell count, dehydration, or simply his body needs rest. Make sure your father continues to eat, even if he is nauseous or lacks appetite, and drink lots and lots of water. Most chemo drugs actually dehydrate the body, so drinking what seems like large quantities of water will do wonders for preventing a lot of potentially painful side effects.

As for what you can do, just be there for your father in whatever capacity he is comfortable with. A lot of people here get involved as advocates. People who get involved with the doctors to field information, be a second set of ears, to research new treatments and other alternatives. However, it is your father's choice in everything here, so talk with him and see what it is he needs.

Also, it is so important that you take care of you. You need to stay healthy, strong, positive so that you can better care for your father. Live each day for today, don't waste precious moments worrying about tomorrow or you will miss true beauty and happy moments today. No one, not the healthiest of us is guaranteed tomorrow. We could all die in car crashes or accidents. Don't look at statistics on the internet. Most of them are generated off of old outdated data. There are so many new findings and treatment results that aren't reflected in those numbers. All they will do is depress you and strip you of hope. Yes, there are people who die from LC, but there are those who live. There are more and more people beating this thing everyday. Come here, and you will witness firsthand a wonderful and uplifting group of LC SURVIVORS!

If you have any questions, we are all happy to help any way we can. If you ever just need to vent or to read truly inspirational stories, please come visit us. We all understand

My prayers are with you, your father, and your family


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