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beckyg

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My name is Becky. I am 30 years old and have never smoked. I was diagnosed with NSCLC in January after complaining of a cough that would not go away. They orginally thought it was stage II, even after multiple scans, and I was scheduled for a lobectomy on Valentine's Day. When they had me out on the operating table, the biopsied my mediatinal lymph nodes and found cancer there. The plan at this point had been to just sew me up and send me to a medical oncologist. However, there were complcations in the form of uncontrolled bleeding in my chest that caused the surgeon to crack my breastbone and open me up to stop it.

After that I spent 4 weeks recovering and started chemo and radiation concurrently with the hope of controlling the lymph spreading so that I would be a candidate for surgery. I had 34 radiation treatments and two rounds of Cisplatin and Etopicide. The radiation wasn't so bad, but chemo weeks were absolutely miserable. Now I am almost 4 weeks past treatment. My hair is starting to come back in. I just got the results of my CT scan--the tumor hasn't shrunk much, but the oncologist said it looks "beaten up". He is hopeful that the miscroscopic tumors on my lymph nodes took a good beating too. Next week I head to Houston to see what is next. My oncologist here says that it wll be a surgical decision, but he expects that I will be back in surgery before long. Hopefully it will be more successful than the last one!

My family, friends, and employer have been amazing through all of this. My daughter is almost three years old and has handled all this stress better than I ever imagined. For six weeks I couldn't pick her up and when she sat in my lap she had to be very careful not to hurt my chest--she just said, "You can't carry me because of your owies." When my hair fell out, she said, "You got a BIG haircut, Mommy." I had been in a new job for less than six months when the diagnosis hit. I missed a lot of work, but have not missed a paycheck. We had meals delivered by friends 3 or 4 times a week for three months.

It's not exactly true to say tht I am looking forward to surgery--the last one was far from pleasant, but I am definitely ready to get on with the program--the waiting is so hard.

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Becky I am so glad you found us. We have a young person in our support group here in Minnesota, never smoked and also has a little girl. Hers was BAC lung cancer. We are so happy she is doing well. I pray that you also will do well. I had to have chemo before they would operate. I had Cisplatin and VP 16 along with radiation. After surgery they gave me more of the same chemo and so far so good. I have read about a young basketball player from Louisiana who got lung cancer , never smoked. They said hers could be related to the oil fields or production poluting the air. Do you live near any of that? Well whatever, we will try to help in any way we can, we are survivors . Welcome. PS you're little girl sounds very smart, cute!

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Becky,

It's a rough-sounding road you've been traveling and it sounds as if you have a few bumps ahead of you. I'm sorry you have the need to be here, but want you to be welcome and supported. You are fighting the good fight and I'll be praying for you.

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Becky

I'm really sorry you have to go through so much. It's always a roller coaster ride but I think you have a great attitude.

I know what you mean about getting on with the program. You have a lot of living to do so let's push for the surgery again. Your little girl sounds like 3 going on 15.

Good Luck and God Bless

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Hi Becky. I too, am sorry that you had to come here because of lung cancer but you came to the right place. The words you will read here are so encouraging. Your daughter is going to be your guide thru this and you keep that positive attitude that you seem to have. Don't look on the net for lung cancer information it is depressing and innacurate. Keep only positive things in your life and write here anytime you need to vent. You will meet wonderful people that will encourage and inform you. I am newly diagnosed myself with just 2 chemo treatments behind me, I have a 17 year old daughter that absolutely has no doubt that mom won't get thru this and I have no intention of letting her down...just like you for your daughter. You have been added to my prayers, Becky. Cherry45

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Hello Becky, Welcome and sorry you had such a rough time of it!!

Sounds like you got yourself a cuttie for a daughter!!! :D:D ; 3 years old is such a great age.

Like you, I had a mediastinoscopy, except it went well, and no nodes were affected. The surgeon rolled me over and removed my left lung and got it all. I was dx.ed a stage IIB. So , I'll be hoping and praying that they can do the same for you.

You will find much support, good information and most important, SURVIVORS here, again welcome, and you will be in my prayers.

God bless and be well

Bobmc - NSCLC- stage IIB- left pneumonectomy- 5/2/01

" absolutely insist on enjoying life today!"

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beckyg last week I was diagnosed with NSCLC. I am 31 years old and have a son who will turn two in july. This is a great place to come. These people have made me feel so much better already, there are long term survivors here and they are encouraging! Keep coming back

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Guest DaveG

Becky:

As you can see, i am able to relate to you quite well, as I have had 2 surgeries and now have been restaged to Sateg Iv Adeno mests to my lymphatic system. I am not losing hope and pray everyday I will be able to meet the goal my wife has set for me - to be alive in 18 years for our 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Learn to set goals for yourself - to see your daughter graduate from high school, then college, then marriage, then grandchildren. These are good goals and there is certainly every right to have these goals.

I am looking forward to our 4th grandchild arriving this September, the 1st from our daughter, after 6 years of marriage, which includes her earning a Doctorate in Audiology this August. She will hardly get a chance to practice before the baby comes.

But this is what the baord is all about openness with each other. Talking about the things that are near and dear to us. This is how we connect and make everybody feel comfortable.

We are glad you have found us, but sad because of why you have the need to be here. On the other hand, you come to the right place. Please: PULL UP YOUR KEYBOARD AND TELL US MORE ABOUT YOURSELF

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I just wish I had found you all sooner. This is the first place I have been able to find lung cancer stories with happy endings. I had doctors in the first stage of all this who were determined that my tumor couldn't be primary lung cancer because I didn't have risk factors. While I was glad that they did such a thorough job of testing that theory and they found nothing else, it would have helped to have been here to discover that I wasn't in fact the only nonsmoker to get this diagnosis out of the blue.

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Becky, take heart, just cause the tumor hasn't shrunk, that doesn't mean it's alive. It could be dead. They cannot tell if the cells are dead or alive until they do a PET scan. Hopefully you'll have surgery and they'll be taking out a big dead thing. Wishing you all the best. :P

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Hey Becky. There's in fact a large percentage of people with lung cancer who never smoked, or were around second hand smoke either - me being one of them. Sure sounds like you "have it together" and have armed yourself with the right type of attitude to see you through this. I think one's attitude has alot to do with their succsess in treatment. I certainly developed a different way of approaching life after my left lung was removed way back when; they call me "the one lunger with attitude" now.

This message board is indeed a terrific place to be. You said you wished you had found it sooner, and you're only five months into this; it took me 25 years before I would speak to someone affected by lung cancer. My 17 year old daughter interviewed me for a research paper on LC, and kept telling me how lucky I was because the survival rates were so dismal. I believed her because I had never met, or spoken with anyone with lung cancer before. I checked it out and found this wonderful site(and finally spoke with fellow one lungers. It was amazing!). It is FULL of survival stories, experience, wisdom, caring, support, and love. These aren't the best of terms to meet new people on, but welcome to the family, glad you're here. The "BIG haircut" line cracked me up. Keep in touch,

David P.

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Hi Becky,

Welcome to the best LC support group in the world!

Now, if you'll forgive a rant: I think it's absolutely arrogant and positively criminal that doctors who ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO GO CHARGING AHEAD (worse than the bull in the antique shop) operating on patients that they have no clue what is going on. They should refer a suspicious case, such as yours, to an oncologist and let that doctor run the necessary tests and Stage the LC!! It's a sin that you had had to go thru surgery at the wrong time. Hopefully, you are now on the right track!

Your daughter sounds amazing! Please post more of her aphorisms!

Remember: The power of positive thinking can change your life! JudyB

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JudyB, it wasn't as bad as you seem to have interpreted. That is, they didn't go into surgery just to explore. I had had every scan they could think of. The PET scan was unclear about my lymph nodes, and it was the only scan that showed anything there. Before I went into surgery, they told me that I could go to an oncologist under the assumption that the lymph nodes were cancerous, as the PET scan seemed to indicate. Then I would be put on a round of chemo and radiation (as I eventually was). Or I could do the mediastinoscopy to find out for sure, and if they weren't cancerous they could go ahead and remove the lung tumor and it would be over. My husband and I decided that if there was a reasonable chance to do this without chemo and radiation, we wanted that. The only problems I have with the care the surgeon gave me were that

1) he underestimated to me the likelihood that the lymph nodes were cancerous--he said things like "They are going to show up reasctive because the lung tumor is so close. We can't tell if there is cancer there unless we actually biopsy them." All of that is true, but seemed misleading, especially when he told me after surgery that he expected that the lymph nodes would be cancerous, and

2) He just had me sign the standard form you have to sign any time you have any surgery about the risks involved--the one that lists a whole bunch of complications with the last one being death. I wish he had told me about the possibility of the complication that I did have. Instead I woke up in ICU with a tube in my throat and a lot of pain in my chest thinking that I would not hurt so much if the biopsy had been positive. It was four hours later when I learned the bad news.

Anyway, I guess that this is a long way of saying that I have been satisfied with my care for the most part. I think that this doctor might well have given me more information if I had known what to ask, and that is really the problem--in the beginning of something like this, you are too stunned to know the right questions.

Becky

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Becky, I certainly was in a rant mood yesterday! Sorry. :oops:

It just seems a shame you have to have 2 surgeries. I thought the surgery was awful, even tho I demanded to have it! My brother-in-law (actually my husband's) had 3 thoracic surgeries for lung cancer. Wow. I can't imagine having to do it again.

I do hope that the future holds many bright days for you!

Remember: The power of positive thinking can change your life! JudyB

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I just wanted this to pop back up- look at who we have lost all on this one thread. Becky, Lenny, Judy, Sue.

I'm taking today to remember those we have lost here.

:cry:

OK, I'm bringing everyone down tonight. I'm sorry. Getting everything ready for the fundraiser and all of this (statistics, those who lost the battle, the desperate need for funding and awareness and REASEARCH) all IN MY FACE 24/7 is getting to me. Deep breath---AHhew---I'm OK. Sorry Guys-

Will log off now.

Becky, Lenny, Judy, Sue: I miss you guys.

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Katie,

I wonder how many other Beckys, and Lennys, and Judys, and Sues, and Moms to Andreas and Shellys; Fathers to Karens and Katies, Husbands to Normes and Shirleys, Wives to Mainecoons and Mr. Kukawskis will have longer lives as a result of the work you are doing for those with Lung Cancer. And make no mistake, the work you are doing (helping with this site which provides information on HOW to survive Lung Cancer, it's treatments, the side effects, the stress) DOES have a postive impact.

It is sad.....it is bloody heartbreaking. Sign of a true hero is one who faces the horrors and carries on with the necessary work. You and Rick are two of my biggest heroes.

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I am in tears now..........

FAY...cut it out :!:

Having watched my dad fight this disease fiercely- having gotten to "know" you and everyone else here walking this path now-

YOU guys are our inspiration. YOU guys are our heros. YOU guys go on and prove everyone wrong, throw out those statistics and celebrate life and SURVIVE each and every day--and on TOP of THAT come here and support others... that is amazing, not us. Just one insomniac and one tech brain here doing what we can, now with the help of a great team hoping to make a difference.

((HUGS)) everyone for lifting me up when I was so sad.

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Hi Katie.

I whole heartedly agree with Fay and Tiny and you. I was surprised to see a Newcomer post with Becky's name attached, and as I scrolled down it struck me that this was now a sad thread because many in it have passed, then I got to your post. Thanks for everything.

David

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:cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:

I am SO HONORED to call them ALL MY FRIENDS! I miss you ALL!

Your memory will forever be alive with your LCSC Board Friends! We will never forget any of you, and we will do our best to make sure the world doesn't forget you either. In my heart each one of you will stay. :cry::cry: And I wll be PROUD to speak your names!

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Wow. Katie, thanks for posting this. I only "met" Beckyg in January and had never read her first posts, nor any posts from some of the others we've lost to this disease. This is just really, really heartbreaking.

Yes, Katie & Rick are providing a wonderful service through this website -- as are ALL of those here who are fighting cancer, whether as patients, survivors or care-givers. This site is something I never could have imagined. I'm so glad my brother found it. Thank you all.

BeckyCW

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This is so so sad but at the same time so hard to comprehend that a lot of the great people lending support to each other are themselves gone. It brings tears to my eyes.

thanks Katie for the remembrance.

Theresa

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Katie,

I went back to my first post here - many of the people who posted replies are no longer posting...

...and I went through my PMs to clean out the box and found many I had sent to you while you were living your nightmare daily...

I wish it would all just go away. Believe me, I'm not in denial, I deal with this daily, but I wish it would go away...and I love you all but truly wish I never had to find this place.

This Board is an oasis in a desert of despair. Now, where is that cabana boy with my DRINK?? No pineapple, TWO umbrellas, flowers and lots o' that Jamaican rum and strawberries, blended with a touch of lime... I'm feeling a little naughty, blend it with some Breyer's vanilla ice cream and bring me a side of Double Stuf Oreos as chasers.... A toast, to those that have gone before...

Becky

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I'll take her pineapple slices, and please, I'd like my rum with a planter's punch -- no SC, no strawberries, no oreos!. Just ice and an umbrella big enough to sit under.

I propose:

A toast ! to life! and to those gone before....

We miss each and every one of you, and I look forward to seeing you when my journey is through, on the other side.

God bless and keep us all,

XOXOX

MaryAnn

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