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HickoryC

Just Stopping By

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My Warmest Greetings To You!

So often the question is, "Why did this have to happen to ....". Many who have led exemplary lives seem to have been poorly treated here on Earth. Perhaps the reward is in the afterlife. I have not led a life that anyone should imitate, yet my LC was a brief interlude, no followup radiation or any other post-op.

Three and a half years ago a dirty rotten critter took up residence and grew in my non-smoker's lung. Discovered 6 weeks before the surgery, I worked full time until the day before the surgery and returned to work full time 6 weeks after the surgery.

A member of this forum asked me visit this site. I didn't want to and I prefer to forget most of what occurred to me. However, during that time, I encountered some really loving, caring people. I don't know that I could ever be of any assistance to any of you going through this today, but I will try. My best advice is to pray. My next best advice is to pray often.

I give thanks to my wife, my surgeon, and Morphine, Yeah!

A couple of times during the first 3-4 days following the surgery, I thought I was gonna die, but things improved rapidly.

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Hickory,

Here's the cool thing about people like you stopping by: It gives people like me (1+year survivor) a lot of hope and the feeling that we too can have some realistic optimism about our chances.

We look for people with positive stories and outcomes all the time, and I for one love to see people with a good story come here and tell it!

Thank you and keep up the good reports.

Cindy

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Dear Cindy & Beth,

Thank you both for your kind words.

On the RV site, Karen sent me a private message. She said to be sure and mention that her handle on this forum is "David C", which is her husband's name. David has the terrible small cell. Anyway, Karen inferred that you are probably already familiar with this family that includes a toddler. Now you two are also in my thoughts, and will be in my prayers.

Through being led to this forum, where I did not wish to go, I have had to re-live the reality of how fragile life seemed during that time...and it was. The result has been a re-awakening for me that lately I have not been really paying attention. So you see Cindy & Beth, and Karen especially, if you happen to read this, while I may have very little to offer, what I have received is far greater.

It is indeed heartening to read that you have succeeded so well in your journey thus far. May God Bless you.

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Hickory,

Lung cancer as a "brief interlude" - wow, if only.... Think we're well past the "brief" part since it has been running our life for the last year. But thinking of the possibility that it could really be an interlude is so encouraging. I also want to thank you for sharing your story and giving us all more hope. Welcome to the family :)

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Hey, Hickory,

Brief interlude? Well, mine has turned into a long term affair. :wink:

I think you're exactly the kind of person we need around here. The fact that you had the surgery and have been able to go on with your life is a good lesson for all of us, survivors and loved ones alike.

We all come from different places and points in the Lung Cancer Experience. No one person or place is more valid than another. We contribute to the whole. You have a lot to offer, you just don't know it yet.

At any rate it's a pleasure to meet another survivor, though I am sorry you have that handle.

Best Wishes,

Fay A.

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HickoryC:

David and Karen and their beautiful daughter Faith? They're part of the big family here and we care about them all very, very much.....please stay with us for a while, like I said before, I love to see people who have such good outcomes posting here--it makes me feel so much better.

Cindy

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Hickory,

I want to say hello and welcome! I am glad you stopped by. I need survivors like you. I am still in my stuggle and every survivor on here gives me much needed hope that I will win this war. So stop in any time we love having you.

Blessings

Betty

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Thanks for all the kindness!

I'm now 62. My employer's main function is the operation of a medical school, although I am not in the health-care field, just a business manager.

On the Friday before the surgery, I was fortunate enough to be able to have a world renowed physician and surgeon provide a 2nd opinion. On that day, the PET scan had been cancelled for the 2nd time. My insurance was through a regionally highly respected hospital/clinic, Ochsner. The 2nd opinion was provided by LSU docs. Well, after review, the LSU doc strongly advised me to not walk, but run, regardless of the outcome of the PET scan (which did take place the following Monday). With this advice, I was able to get my surgery moved up from that Thursday to Wednesday.

According to my most gifted surgeon, the modus-operendi of this particular type of tumor is to form first in the liver, with no symptoms, then spread via lympth nodes to the lung. In my case, the tumor originated in the lower right lobe and the surgery occurred soon enough that it did not have time to spread. Its happenstance in the lung had nothing to do with anything I ever inhaled. In addition, by never having been a smoker, my lungs were in great shape.

When asked how large of an opening he was going to make, Dr. Chuck replied, "Well, I've got to make it big enough to get both hands and my tools in." I somehow found that humorous. He also added that he usually breaks a couple of ribs in the process (mine flexed).

Since the biopsy attempts had been inconclusive, I made sure that two different labs examined it. Both concluded that it was not benign.

Two to three weeks after the surgery, as an office procedure, the surgeon extracted excess fluid that had built up in the cavity. If he made a mistake, this is where it happened. As he inserted the huge needle, he commented that for some reason, it is not recomended that more than two quarts be removed at any one time. Having said that, he proceeded to remove 3 quarts. That is when he and I understood why 2 qts is the limit. I was in a position slightly bent over the exam table, standing. The discomfort (my doc never calls it pain) was so intense that I could not flex from that position for two solid hours. It put me down for a week. If you have fluid drained from a cavity, remember this.

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Hickory-

Thanks for your story! It helps to hear what everyone else went through and how far they have come! I start my new treatment on Tuesday...I'm going to try to think about all the success stories while I'm there!

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HickoryC, wow, quite a story. You may have no idea what an inspiration your story will be to others here but it is success stories like yours that people here need to to keep thier/our minds in the fighting attiude needed to beat this. As for myself I have no doubt that I am going to beat it and hearing your story only strengthens my resolve . I can understand why you may not have wanted to be reminded of this chapter in you life but thank you so much for sharing and please visit here as much as you can. It is a good bunch of folks here and we try to support each other the best we can. Karen mentioned something about corresponding with you, maybe we can hook up on the road sometime.

David C

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Hi David, Karen, and Faith,

Wouldn't that be wonderful! We'll just have to make it happen. We have been to Sevierville-Pigeon Forge (Dollywood/Smoky Mtn) three times in the last 5 years. My geography is not good, but Eastern Tennessee can't be that far from you.

What a beautiful child you have! Looks like ya'll are about ready to go camping.

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Hi Hickory and WELCOME! You know, I've read what everybody else has written to you, and I've got to say that if it weren't for people like you, and the other survivors on here, this board wouldn't be the spring of hope that it is. It would be the "learning how to cope with the inevitable death" board. Thanks to good people like you and the others on here who, even though they are cured or in a long-term remission continue to post, that we can use words like "fight, NED (no evidence of disease), stable, battle, beat it, try, and even cure". If we didn't have survivors like you to refresh our spirits, we wouldn't have hope. Thanks for posting. Please stick around.

God bless you,

Peggy

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P.S. And to all the lurkers out there, particularly those that are Stage IV NSCLC survivors and extensive SCLC survivors, we sure wish you would come out of lurkdom and tell us your survivor stories. Please register, or if you are already registered, don't be shy - talk to us. We don't ever have to know your real name or who you are, just write to us and give us hope.

Thank you and God bless you all!

Peggy

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Hello Hickory.

You, like I, have inadvertantly found one of the selfish qualities of being an active member of this wonderful message board -- which is how good you feel when you read the responses from people who have truely been helped and inspired by something we may have said. I did think I had something to offer when I joined the board, but hey, I'll be the first to admit that I have received more help from these folks than I ever imagined I needed. I have read all the responses in this thread, and BOY, were you wrong about having anything to offer!! Thanks for checking us out, and for sticking around. Take care.

David P.

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