NEWLY DIAGNOSED WITH LUNG CANCER

Posted by grandmaR @grandmar, Sep 12, 2020

Hi All!
My name is Ronnie. I am 65 years old and was diagnosed with lung cancer almost 2 weeks ago. Last Monday, I had surgery.

About 7 years ago during a hospital stay (unrelated), nodules were spotted on a chest x-ray. There was one on my left bottom lung that was larger than the others. I was told it was currently nothing but to keep an eye on it. For the next 7 years I had a CAT scan every 6-12 months. Due to circumstances, including (but not limited to) COVID, I was late with my check-up. About 2 months ago, I started with a new pulmonologist. He ordered the CAT scan. The report concluded that additional testing was suggested because of the larger nodule. With my history of early Melanoma 3 years ago, and the death of my mother from lung cancer, my doctor agreed.

After fighting with the insurance company for over 2 weeks, they finally approved the PET Scan. The PET scan agreed with the CAT Scan report about the cancer. I had 2 consults and decided to go with the doctor from a cancer center. I was given 2 treatment choices, radiation for 5 days or surgery. I opted for surgery. The surgery was done robotically. The nodule was removed and so were lymph nodes (I think 5). This coming Wednesday I see the surgeon for the results of the pathology report and for an action plan. If the surgeon was correct in his diagnoses, no other treatment will be needed. I should just have to be checked regularly (to be determined), exercise to keep my lungs healthy, eat right and be cautious.

Now, other than the incision for the chest tube, there are 2 incisions between my ribs. one is to the left of my left breast. I assume that is where he went in for the lymph node. Since surgery, my breast (on the left side) has been very painful and the pain goes around to my back. The intensity chances. Some days I feel pretty good, but days like today, I actually needed a pain pill (which I haven't taken since day 2 after surgery). Have any of you experienced the same sort of thing after surgery?

I pray for each and every one of us to have a positive outcome from our surgeries and treatments.
Bless us all!

GRANDMAr (Ronnie)

@grandmar

Good Morning,
Just wanted share some GREAT news I received.
Yesterday I had my post-op xray and follow-up. The xrays show that I am doing great! I still have a little way to go to get my lungs back to where they belong but the doctor said I am well ahead of the game. He attributes the progress to my exercising daily (30 minutes on the treadmill/2x a day). I have been cleared to swim, so I'll do 30 minutes in the pool and 30 minutes on the treadmill.
The BEST is that the surgery went very well. The doctor was able to get clear margins from where he removed the mass and the 6 lymph nodes he removed were clear. The cancer was Stage 1. The mass was only 1.1cm and VERY slow growing. The name of the cancer is ADENO CARCINOMA. The doctor feels he got all the cancer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No follow up therapies are needed. I'll need to get a CT and check up every 6 months for the next 5 years. I could actually feel a weight being lifted off my shoulders and chest when he gave us the news.
I am BLESSED to have such a wonderful support system and to have the news I got!!!!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful day and I pray we are all blessed!
Ronnie

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@grandmar– Ronnie, I couldn't be happier for you! You are a survivor. Adenocarcinoma can be a slow-growing cancer and is a common type of cancer especially among women. After your wound heals more try adding some light weights and keep up the great work! Doesn't that relief feel just phenomenal?

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@merpreb

@grandmar– Ronnie, I couldn't be happier for you! You are a survivor. Adenocarcinoma can be a slow-growing cancer and is a common type of cancer especially among women. After your wound heals more try adding some light weights and keep up the great work! Doesn't that relief feel just phenomenal?

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Thank you!!
I'd like to think I am a survivor. Some days I wonder. I guess we all have those days when it seems like everything hits you at once and all you want to do is cry!
Yes, this kind of cancer is slow growing. I've had this particular nodules for 7 years that I know of. Could have had it longer. The doctor told me that if this was to grow back, it probably wouldn't be for 15 or 20 years. I'm 65 now.
Good idea about the weights. I used to lOVE weight lifting. I ripped my shoulder twice doing it. Since my cervical surgery less than 3 years ago, I have to be very careful. I baby myself as to not get hurt!
Yes, the relief feels AMAZING, like a ton of bricks were lifted off my shoulder and chest!

Have a wonderful day!
Ronnie

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@alamogal635

Absolutely. Blessings to you and all here on this site.

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Thank you very much!

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@grandmar

Good Morning,
Just wanted share some GREAT news I received.
Yesterday I had my post-op xray and follow-up. The xrays show that I am doing great! I still have a little way to go to get my lungs back to where they belong but the doctor said I am well ahead of the game. He attributes the progress to my exercising daily (30 minutes on the treadmill/2x a day). I have been cleared to swim, so I'll do 30 minutes in the pool and 30 minutes on the treadmill.
The BEST is that the surgery went very well. The doctor was able to get clear margins from where he removed the mass and the 6 lymph nodes he removed were clear. The cancer was Stage 1. The mass was only 1.1cm and VERY slow growing. The name of the cancer is ADENO CARCINOMA. The doctor feels he got all the cancer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No follow up therapies are needed. I'll need to get a CT and check up every 6 months for the next 5 years. I could actually feel a weight being lifted off my shoulders and chest when he gave us the news.
I am BLESSED to have such a wonderful support system and to have the news I got!!!!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful day and I pray we are all blessed!
Ronnie

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I just now read your post from last month and I'm so happy for you, @grandmar! Great work on your part as well as that of your doctor.

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@hopeful33250

I just now read your post from last month and I'm so happy for you, @grandmar! Great work on your part as well as that of your doctor.

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Hello!
Thank you! I am doing very well. Recovery has been about 5 weeks now and each day I feel better. I am continuing with my exercise each and every day. I am trying to keep a very positive attitude for my future. I do slip a little, some days, however. I guess it's just been a whirlwind over the last couple of months. But I know all the cancer is gone and I will do whatever I can to keep myself healthy!
Ronnie

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The similarities are striking although my lung nodule is the least of my problems. Mine metastasized in my lymph nodes where it really created a problem. I start immuno/chemotherapy Thursday. And like you, I had no idea any of this way going on.
It amazes me that you had to fight for a PET scan. Did they give a reason?

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@ta52

The similarities are striking although my lung nodule is the least of my problems. Mine metastasized in my lymph nodes where it really created a problem. I start immuno/chemotherapy Thursday. And like you, I had no idea any of this way going on.
It amazes me that you had to fight for a PET scan. Did they give a reason?

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Hello
First let me say how sorry I am that the cancer spread to your nodules! I believe the surgeon removed so many lymph nodes as a precaution for the future.
I was told that without a biopsy the PET scan would not be approved. It is more expensive than the biopsy. My pulmonologist fought it as well as the advocate from Medicare.
My CT scan suggested the possibility of cancer. It took 2 weeks but it was finally approved. It is standars procedure to do a PET from the brain to just below the lungs. Since I had Melanoma 3 years ago on my toe, the scan went from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.
The best advice I can give you is to find the best cancer hospital you can get to. These have the best resources, updated techniques, research, etc.
I interviewed a doctor from an excellent hospital. He wanted to remove my entire lobe. The surgeon from the cancer hospital said that doing that was not necessary as far as recovery or the cancer coming back.
I wish you all the best!!!
Ronnie

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@ta52

The similarities are striking although my lung nodule is the least of my problems. Mine metastasized in my lymph nodes where it really created a problem. I start immuno/chemotherapy Thursday. And like you, I had no idea any of this way going on.
It amazes me that you had to fight for a PET scan. Did they give a reason?

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@ta52– Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. It is so scary to find out that something has been going on inside of you that you have been totally unaware of. What brought you to the doctor in the first place? Do you have the results of the biopsies and know what type of lung cancer that you have?

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