I’m undergoing chemo and radiation with lung removal upon recovery.

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by JimC Forum Moderator JimC Forum Moderator 1 week ago.

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November 11, 2017 at 2:02 am  #1293482    
denohio
denohio

I’m a 64 year old that stopped smoking 30 years ago. I had no idea I had lung cancer until found by happenstance in lack of a better word. I’m having chemo and radiation treatments at Cleveland Clinic. I’m 3 or so hours from home so I’m staying here in Cleveland. This stay is stressful leaving my home to be here. I’ll hopefully be going home in about 8 days. I have non small cell cancer in my right lung and some issues with lymph nodes around my bronical area. I’m worried about how long it takes to recover from the chemo and radiation to have the lung removed. I assume they will do testing at some point? Surgery is not scheduled yet nor any testing. I know nothing about medical issues as I’ve not ever been sick. I have read several uplifting results on here. I am scared trust me. My biggest fear is after hopefully recovering and having lung removed that the cancer returns. Are the odds highly likely? I am confident I am at top grade facility with good surgeons and medical treatment teams. So guess radiating the problem shrinks the issue after time? The chemo kills cancer in the blood?

November 11, 2017 at 6:33 am  #1293483    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi denohio,

Welcome to GRACE. I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Many of us here have experienced the uncertainty that accompanies a recent diagnosis. You will learn much more as time goes along, and please know that we will try to provide as much information as we can to help you. You are in good hands at the Cleveland Clinic, and in fact long-time GRACE contributor Dr. Nathan Pennell practices thoracic oncology there. He’s not only one of the best in his field, but a great guy as well.

A good place to start is Dr. Weiss’ post An Introduction to Lung Cancer, in which he thoroughly discusses the basics of lung cancer diagnosis, staging and treatment. Perhaps after you read that post you will be able to provide additional information on the staging of your cancer, which will help us to provide relevant answers to your questions.

Radiation can kill cancer cells in the area it targets, resulting in tumor shrinkage or elimination. Chemotherapy, as well as targeted therapies and immunotherapy (collectively referred to as systemic therapy), can kill cancer cells throughout the body, including the lung and lymph nodes, and any which may have reached the bloodstream.

As far as testing, there will be follow-up scans to judge the effect of treatment, and possibly genetic testing to see if at some point you would be a candidate for targeted therapy. You should ask your medical team about their plans.

Good luck with treatment. I hope you can return home soon (I live in Ohio as well).

JimC
Forum moderator


Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
Since then: http://cancergrace.org/blog/jim-and-lisa

November 11, 2017 at 6:50 am  #1293484    
denohio
denohio

Thank you very much. I will read the things you mentioned. I’m more of a math guy than science and never being sick, trying to figure some of this out has been difficult at best. I very appreciate you input. Truthfully scares me a bunch, but I’m sure everyone has this feeling. I do have great faith in Cleveland Clinic and the folks here are very caring and supportive. My thing is mostly I’ve not known what ask as silly as that may seem. It’s not because of the Clinic failure to answer, I just need to ask. I will do a better job of that in the future. Again, thank you.

November 13, 2017 at 12:03 pm  #1293496    

scohn

Hi denohio.

I don’t have anything to add to what Jim has said, but I remember how shocked and scared my wife and I were when we first heard my wife’s diagnosis (her only symptom was a persistent cough), so I just wanted to let you know that there are people thinking about you. For me it has been helpful to know there are other people who know about all these feelings. The people here at GRACE have been wonderful resources, and calming voices, at times when everything around my wife and I just seemed to be spinning (well, at least I was spinning, my wife always seems to be amazingly focused).

And in fact, for me, the site has helped for exactly the purpose you mentioned. GRACE’s resources have helped us to know the right questions to ask, the implications of various options, and have greatly helped in the conversations we have with the oncologists.

May your treatments go well, your recovery be swift, and may they give your cancer the boot!


Wife, lifelong non-smoker, dx 4/24/15 adeno NSCLC stage IV, poorly diff. 2 bone mets, 1 lymph node. HER2 Exon 20 mutation. 6x Carbo/Alimta – >50% reduction in primary tumor, lymph nodes, & bone. Alimta maint. not effective, tumor growth, new liver mets. 11/15 – Opdivo; Not effective-add’l growth. 4/16 – clinical trial drug, large reduction of tumor and mets. 11/16-main tumor growth, liver mets stable. 2/17-All Stable. 8/17- Add’l growth-off trial, 9/17 start Gemzar-large tumor reduction.

November 13, 2017 at 3:41 pm  #1293497    
denohio
denohio

Wow, I actually got to ask some intelligent questions today. I at least got a few answers that I didn’t know was upsetting me. Stage 3 Cancer aka regional I guess. Undergoing 8 more days chemo and radiation treatments and home to recover from treatments. Meet with all the doctors on Dec. 5 to get pet scans and such and set a date for lung removal. These folks at Cleveland Clinic are just an amazing group of of people. Never have I been at a hospital where everyone showers you with kindness, answers and hugs. I feel blessed to be here. They are trying hard to save my life. Oh yeah, I’ve had lots of rough days over the 5 weeks for sure. But hey, I have cancer and giving it all I have. Choices are fix it or die from it.

Hardest on my wife and family but all very supportive. My gosh care takers what in the world can we do to repay them. Thinking of something nice to do for my wife that has not left my side. Nor has she let me fall which I would have several times. She the the best prayer warrior I’ve ever seen. I think I worry more about her then me. Breaks my heart too she her upset and cry. Gosh I’m so sorry!

Thank you very much for caring enough to write. We pray your kicks cancer butt too. Find joy of some kind everyday is our new thing as it should be for all with cancer.

November 14, 2017 at 9:16 am  #1293502    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi denohio,

I’m happy to hear that you are having such a good experience at the Cleveland Clinic, and that we have been able to help. As you say, it helps to know what questions to ask. Some patients don’t want to know every detail, they just want their doctor to treat them in the best way possible. That’s a perfectly reasonable approach for those patients. But more and more patients are becoming partners in their cancer care, and when your doctor can see that you’ve done your research the discussions become more detailed and you can learn quite a bit. That can be very comforting to the actively-involved patient.

Good luck as you complete chemo and radiation. We look forward to your good-news updates.

JimC
Forum moderator


Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
Since then: http://cancergrace.org/blog/jim-and-lisa

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