How did you handle “getting the news”?

Posted by detroitmom23 @detroitmom23, Jan 15 1:14pm

I’ve gone through my Cat scan, Pet scan, brain MRI and tomorrow is biopsy. I’ll know the results this week. Have mass on my lung that’s all I know right now. How do you handle the stress of getting the results? I’m terrified.

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I may be unusual, but I couldn't wait to hear the results. Once we knew that it was definitely cancer, my doctors and I could develop a plan, including more tests to see if and what chemo, radiation and immunology was recommended.

Until I got the results, I was helpless. So were my doctors.

Every blood test, every biopsy, every scan, and every treatment I receive brings me a step closer to dealing with this, whether final results are good or bad.

I feel that I, working with my doctors, am in control. Not helpless, and this gives me peace of mind.

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I was diagnosed five years ago in April. My faith in God has given me the strength and peace to cope. I have a devoted husband and a top notch medical team for which I am very grateful.

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After the PET scan I knew like 95% sure the mass in my lung and the lymph nodes were cancer since they "lit up". Then the biopsy does the final confirmation and determines the exact type of cancer. Each step of the way from first lung x-ray to CT scan to PET scan to biopsy tells you more and more that it is cancer and helps prepare you for the next step and I had very good doctors that helped too. They had a lot of experience with cancer and seemed to be able to know the best way to inform the patient. For me that was a direct approach – just tell me. It doesn't help anything to not know about it and I don't do denial. Now I finished chemo and radiation and am 10 months into immunotherapy. I have great support from my son and a friend which helps a lot. I know I will probably die from this – but not today! So I will live today.

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@nonobaddog

After the PET scan I knew like 95% sure the mass in my lung and the lymph nodes were cancer since they "lit up". Then the biopsy does the final confirmation and determines the exact type of cancer. Each step of the way from first lung x-ray to CT scan to PET scan to biopsy tells you more and more that it is cancer and helps prepare you for the next step and I had very good doctors that helped too. They had a lot of experience with cancer and seemed to be able to know the best way to inform the patient. For me that was a direct approach – just tell me. It doesn't help anything to not know about it and I don't do denial. Now I finished chemo and radiation and am 10 months into immunotherapy. I have great support from my son and a friend which helps a lot. I know I will probably die from this – but not today! So I will live today.

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I actually do feel a slight sense of relief getting the tests done. It’s been 6 weeks since initial cat scan that found the mass, Now the results and what I’ll be dealing with.
Did you get sick from the chemo? Lose your hair? I just keep praying to God to stay with me through this..

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@detroitmom23

I actually do feel a slight sense of relief getting the tests done. It’s been 6 weeks since initial cat scan that found the mass, Now the results and what I’ll be dealing with.
Did you get sick from the chemo? Lose your hair? I just keep praying to God to stay with me through this..

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That relief feeling is good. I know my imagination tends to be worse than the reality of it.
There are many, many different chemo drugs and protocols. My chemo was every Monday for six weeks while my radiation was 5 days a week for the same six weeks. My chemo was intended to make the radiation work better. They gave me Paclitaxel followed by Carboplatin each time – this is a pretty common combination. I had a real bad reaction the first time – they had to stop the infusion. But they gave me some other drugs to help me tolerate the chemo and then it went well. They gave me common stuff like benadryl, pepcid, some steroid and maybe some other stuff but it worked. From then on they would start with that stuff before the chemo.
I did not lose my hair, at least not much of it. I was getting a little thin in spots before and I really can't tell if it is thinning faster or not – maybe. I did get a little sick from the chemo but honestly it wasn't as bad as I was imagining it would be. Starting with week 3 I would get a fever of about 103 in the middle of the night after chemo day and had to go to the ER following their instructions. They say to go in if you get a fever over 100.4 degrees. No good reason found for the fever, no infections or anything, and it would go down after a few hours with ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Just the way my body reacted and it was mostly just inconvenient for that night. I didn't really feel "normal" during those weeks but very hard to describe.
I had fairly minor issues with the radiation as well. I would talk to other patients while waiting for treatment and I gathered I got by fairly easy. Little sore throat, some chest pains and some minor skin burn.
Overall I was very thankful to get those treatments from some very nice people in those areas.

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