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(Fark)   Farker has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Share your survival stories and tales of hope. I'm so farking scared   (fark.com) divider line
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129 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 18 Oct 2021 at 2:50 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-10-18 2:21:13 AM  
God Bless friend
 
2021-10-18 2:30:16 AM  
It was a couple of lymph nodes, both positive for lung cancer. I'm a 34 year Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor. I'm terrified and am in a frenzy of emotions.
Please share positive stories with me to help me garner some hope that this isn't immediately terminal and I have some hope of at least a few years to make sure my cats are taken care of and that I can get my shiat sorted out.
So incredibly scared and without any guidance -  this is a crazy thing to come up so suddenly.
 
2021-10-18 2:45:57 AM  
I'm so sorry. Wishing I could give you a hug. Praying you have more time. Time to process, sort things out, get treated, and enjoy life.
 
2021-10-18 3:02:15 AM  
I'm so sorry. Fark cancer.

I've had several family members with lung cancer over the years. They all had very different lung cancer experiences.

Two are still around. They had very good cancer docs at the Fred Hutch.
 
2021-10-18 3:16:49 AM  
My mother took some very mild chemotherapy for a while, but they got to ring the bell for her, signally that she's cancer free.
 
2021-10-18 3:32:53 AM  
Make sure you get a genetic screening.
There are some specific genetic factors that can be the cause of certain types of non small cell lung cancer.
In particular, there are some gene translocations of specific enzymes that do this.

A translocation is when a gene has been moved to a new place on your chromosomes. This can result in the gene being more active. For some genes, being more active can induce cancer.

The good news is that  there are specific enzyme inhibitors that can work on some of these genes provided genetic testing points to them as a likely cause.

I have a friend who used to work on one of these. Then one day when he was picking up one of his kids he thought he pulled a muscle. It didn't get better, eventually saw his doctor, turns out he had stage 4 non small cell lung cancer. Stage 4 is pretty damn scary. 11 years later he's in remission. In some ways, he was saved by the very research he had been involved with.

Best of luck.
 
2021-10-18 4:23:13 AM  
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine, someone I love very deeply, had a stroke. Then a cancer diagnosis. A rare, aggressive uterine cancer. They already had other medical problems. Things were ... grim to say the least.

I moved over a thousand miles within two weeks time... so I could hold their hand in the hospital. Because the idea of losing them... of having never looked them in the eyes to thank them for everything they meant to me scared me so much that the idea of setting my whole life on fire was trivial and meaningless to compare.

We had only known each other a few months by that point, really. But the thought of losing them was the scariest thing I've ever felt, except for the thought of failing them by not being there at their side.

I watched them, full of tubes, a bunch of machines, in a hospital bed... go through all of the things they were going through. Stroke, cancer, sepsis, just... all of it. Two years ago.

I celebrated their birthday, with their husband of 21 years two weeks ago. They lived, they are cancer free. They beat cancer. Stroke. Sepsis. Blood loss that required four bags worth of transfusions. They are lucky, yes... but also there are very skilled and educated doctors who did everything they could to save my best friend's life.

It's okay to be afraid. It'd be crazy not to be. But medical technology has come a long, long way, and what you're going through is something that they know enough about to have entire fields of study dedicated to both the cause and the treatment. They're getting pretty good at it and learning more all the time.

You're still with us. You're not done yet.
 
2021-10-18 4:58:03 AM  
Courage is when you're sh+tting your shorts scared and still show up for treatment every time it's scheduled.

Please take care & get well.
 
2021-10-18 4:58:43 AM  
Oh, and can I have your stuff?

/s
 
2021-10-18 5:22:51 AM  

2wolves: Oh, and can I have your stuff?

/s


Do you like guitars and cats?
 
2021-10-18 5:26:39 AM  

W_Scarlet: A couple of years ago, a friend of mine, someone I love very deeply, had a stroke. Then a cancer diagnosis. A rare, aggressive uterine cancer. They already had other medical problems. Things were ... grim to say the least.

I moved over a thousand miles within two weeks time... so I could hold their hand in the hospital. Because the idea of losing them... of having never looked them in the eyes to thank them for everything they meant to me scared me so much that the idea of setting my whole life on fire was trivial and meaningless to compare.

We had only known each other a few months by that point, really. But the thought of losing them was the scariest thing I've ever felt, except for the thought of failing them by not being there at their side.

I watched them, full of tubes, a bunch of machines, in a hospital bed... go through all of the things they were going through. Stroke, cancer, sepsis, just... all of it. Two years ago.

I celebrated their birthday, with their husband of 21 years two weeks ago. They lived, they are cancer free. They beat cancer. Stroke. Sepsis. Blood loss that required four bags worth of transfusions. They are lucky, yes... but also there are very skilled and educated doctors who did everything they could to save my best friend's life.

It's okay to be afraid. It'd be crazy not to be. But medical technology has come a long, long way, and what you're going through is something that they know enough about to have entire fields of study dedicated to both the cause and the treatment. They're getting pretty good at it and learning more all the time.

You're still with us. You're not done yet.


Goddamn, that's exactly what I needed to read at this moment. I did much of this before, and not scared of the tests and treatments, but more the uncertainty - again, it's been 34 years ago I got MOPP treatment, and I haven't exactly followed the developments in treatments since then. I trust in the science and medicine, but it doesn't take away the scariness, does that make sense? Sorry if I ramble, but the thoughts are a blender of emotions right now
 
2021-10-18 5:46:02 AM  

The_Hound: W_Scarlet: A couple of years ago, a friend of mine, someone I love very deeply, had a stroke. Then a cancer diagnosis. A rare, aggressive uterine cancer. They already had other medical problems. Things were ... grim to say the least.

I moved over a thousand miles within two weeks time... so I could hold their hand in the hospital. Because the idea of losing them... of having never looked them in the eyes to thank them for everything they meant to me scared me so much that the idea of setting my whole life on fire was trivial and meaningless to compare.

We had only known each other a few months by that point, really. But the thought of losing them was the scariest thing I've ever felt, except for the thought of failing them by not being there at their side.

I watched them, full of tubes, a bunch of machines, in a hospital bed... go through all of the things they were going through. Stroke, cancer, sepsis, just... all of it. Two years ago.

I celebrated their birthday, with their husband of 21 years two weeks ago. They lived, they are cancer free. They beat cancer. Stroke. Sepsis. Blood loss that required four bags worth of transfusions. They are lucky, yes... but also there are very skilled and educated doctors who did everything they could to save my best friend's life.

It's okay to be afraid. It'd be crazy not to be. But medical technology has come a long, long way, and what you're going through is something that they know enough about to have entire fields of study dedicated to both the cause and the treatment. They're getting pretty good at it and learning more all the time.

You're still with us. You're not done yet.

Goddamn, that's exactly what I needed to read at this moment. I did much of this before, and not scared of the tests and treatments, but more the uncertainty - again, it's been 34 years ago I got MOPP treatment, and I haven't exactly followed the developments in treatments since then. I trust in the science and medicine, but it doesn't take away the scariness, does that make sense? Sorry if I ramble, but the thoughts are a blender of emotions right now


It makes perfect sense, and please; ramble, friend. You are in good company.

You mentioned guitar. I play, too, and I know you could use something relaxing to pull you out of this moment, if only a little. Here, something I found that I liked, maybe you will like it, too;

Final Fantasy Guitar Collection | Classical Guitar | John Oeth
Youtube 9Q3_fB1LqV0


For right now, take a moment to just... be. To be, and acknowledge that you are still being.

It's ok to be scared, and to feel overwhelmed. You are not alone. You have us, and I hope and believe many others.
 
2021-10-18 6:26:32 AM  

The_Hound: I trust in the science and medicine, but it doesn't take away the scariness, does that make sense? Sorry if I ramble, but the thoughts are a blender of emotions right now


Yes. It makes sense. I went through prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment two years ago. So far, the only treatment has been surgery. I still get quarterly PSA tests and have a ever so slightly detectable number (doc says "five years ago, we wouldn't see that number. So it's essentially zero."). And I've been fortunate, because things mostly work the way they did before surgery. If the numbers rise and they can find an identifiable cancer, then we probably go for radiation. 
I remember the initial shock and fear. Once we had a treatment plan, things settled down. I also know well the sigh of relief that "things are stable."
I heartily recommend the book The Cancer Whisperer by Sophie Sabbage. "I have cancer. Cancer does not have me." I re-engaged with my therapist after the diagnosis and I still talk to her quarterly (now all online), and she put me onto that book.
 
2021-10-18 6:28:52 AM  
My friend was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 ovarian cancer in her early 30s after a long battle with doctors telling her there was nothing wrong. She gave away everything she owned and went into hospice to die.
16 weeks later they sent her home.
We're in our 50s now and she's still alive and fine.
Her oncologist calls her a miracle. If my friend can get a miracle you can too.
I send you all the tentacle hugs and best wishes.
 
2021-10-18 6:48:55 AM  
Sorry to hear this, and I hope for the best
 
2021-10-18 7:05:37 AM  
The_Hound:

1. It's never an easy thing to hear, I'm sorry.

2. Have they done a PET? If it started in lungs and went to axillary (armpit) nodes they can be removed. A PET will get a good idea of how much you are dealing with. If they start talking about systemic chemo that's the last resort for treatment...

3. Attitude is everything. It's a cliche but if you have the mindset of 'I will get over this' it will go so much further than if you're living in constant fear and anxiety over the diagnosis

4. Live your life. As much as the doctors/doctor visits allow. In conjunction with 3, if you put yourself in a good headspace, your body will be better prepared.

I'm not saying it's easy, and I'm sorry to hear this from another fellow Farker, I'm not an oncologist but I work with them and with various patients with cancer, hit me up if you have any questions.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-10-18 7:07:43 AM  
Back in March I was scheduled to have shoulder replacement surgery. About a week before I had a pain in my chest and went to have it checked. Since I'm in this thread it's obvious it was lung cancer. Upper left lobe and quite big. My first couple trips to the cancer center didn't offer much hope. It was mostly just for scans and test.
When I finally spoke to a surgeon, there was hope. I did the rounds of chemo and then went to Mass General for surgery. They removed around 2/3 of my left lung and are confident they got all the cancer.

My point is that it is indeed a very scary thing. But give it time, not all hope is lost.

When all is done and you come out of this clean, consider asking about immunotherapy.

Good luck and do try to keep a positive attitude.
 
2021-10-18 7:14:17 AM  

The_Hound: 2wolves: Oh, and can I have your stuff?

/s

Do you like guitars and cats?


Yes and yes, but you won't be done with either for a good while.
 
2021-10-18 7:48:17 AM  
In 1980 my 22 year old sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  They caught it because her there was a discrepancy between her anticipated pregnancy size and how big she actually was.  Tests found a tumor growing along with the fetus.  Full hysterectomy, chemo, radiation, she survived and is still with us.

Oh, and do I get  to be the first?  F*ck Cancer.
 
2021-10-18 8:09:22 AM  

The_Hound: It was a couple of lymph nodes, both positive for lung cancer. I'm a 34 year Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor. I'm terrified and am in a frenzy of emotions.
Please share positive stories with me to help me garner some hope that this isn't immediately terminal and I have some hope of at least a few years to make sure my cats are taken care of and that I can get my shiat sorted out.
So incredibly scared and without any guidance -  this is a crazy thing to come up so suddenly.


First off... I'm sorry for the fear you have and terror introduced to your life. Hope you have family and friends who are there for you. Second... I can say that the new drugs they have give you a really good chance these days. Like, it's a game-changer since even just a few years ago.

Your oncologist will have a bunch of therapies to choose from and they are really kicking ass. Whereas, you should do all of that planning because nothing is 100% effective... I rally hope that with treatment, you'll be here kicking around listening to my stupid jokes for many more years to come :)

Good luck. We're all counting on you.
 
2021-10-18 8:12:48 AM  
hey my brother or sister.

I was diagnosed stage 4 thymoma in 2015 scared the crap out of me. It's is one of those things that happens to someone else,,,
until it's your turn to be someone else.
it's an interesting journey.
for me it has been do what the doctors say not what the comments section says.
be well !
 
2021-10-18 8:15:46 AM  
strong mind = strong body
 
2021-10-18 8:24:13 AM  
Fark cancer.
 
2021-10-18 8:33:13 AM  
I had an uncle, smoked a lot.
Had lung cancer, diagnosed in the 80's? They removed one lung. He lived a normal life into his eighties before he finally checked out.
Sounds like what you've been diagnosed with is different, but I have faith in modern medicine and doctors.. You'll make it! It will suck getting there, to be sure, but you'll make it.  You will be in my thoughts today.
 
2021-10-18 8:53:20 AM  
My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer about 6 years ago and passed in December.  But it wasn't the lung cancer that killed her.  It was her stubborn refusal to do what the doctors told her to do, and "doing her own research."  They had the cancer under control but the chemo infusions were unpleasant, so she sought other treatments like some vitamin C thing and eventually medical marijuana.

Those things might work for some people, but she abandoned a known working treatment in favor of them.  The cancer returned with a vengeance and spread, but her lungs, even after most of a lifetime smoking, were fine.  She was 74.

You're right to be scared, but there is hope.  Real hope, real treatments that work.  Stick with them.
 
2021-10-18 9:18:05 AM  
My nephew was diagnosed with medulla blastoma (nasty, fast growing brain tumor) at the ripe age of 2. After 2 brain surgeries and numerous rounds of chemo and radiation, he'll be 23 in April. Stay strong. You've got this.
 
2021-10-18 9:18:19 AM  
I work for one of the top-rated cancer treatment centers in the country. All of the oncologists I know are the most passionate, knowledgeable and skilled docs I've ever met. They get into this specialty precisely because they know how difficult it is. They're here because they want to be. Trust your thoracic surgeon and know that you're in good hands. PMA. Positive Mental Attitude
 
2021-10-18 9:42:54 AM  
The gal I live with has been dealing with stage four metastatic breast cancer. She listened to her doctors (with a lot of prodding from me) and she is doing well. She gets infusions of two amazing drugs ( Herceptin and Perjeta) every three weeks but she tolerates them well. We camp, hike, snowboard and generally live an active life. I plan on her being around for another 20 years. Don't lose hope and listen to your doctors.
 
2021-10-18 10:20:04 AM  
Four years with cancer in remission.  Damn prostate.  Wakes you ready to go at 20, gives you a real wake up call at 60.  Anyway, told myself that it's not going to win.  And it hasn't.
It won't, either.  I should ring the bell next summer on this one.
Let me echo, you're still here, you're in the fight.  It's far from over.  There's a lot of cancer up both sides of my family tree.  Everybody who got treatment beat it. The only two who lost gave up the fight early.  Do not give up the fight.
 
2021-10-18 1:00:47 PM  
My BIL, lifelong chain smoker, was told he had lung cancer. We were all convinced he was a goner. He went around saying goodbye.

Had surgery that took out half of one lung. 3 months recovery time. 3 years later he's fine. Zero cancer. He does get a little winded sometimes.
 
2021-10-18 1:02:46 PM  
Also, get this book.

Do not be put off by the hallmark card cover and title.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-10-18 1:29:06 PM  
I might be joining you on Wednesday.  PET CT scan to follow up on my four year fight with Stage 3c melanoma, and to see what those three little dots on my lung are up too.  They first popped up two scans ago and my oncologist said (after long review), he didn't think it was cancer.  A more recent scan showed they are still there.  I told the radiologist what my oncologist said, and he replied, "I'm the radiologist, and it's cancer until I say it's not cancer."  Radiologist does get the last word in this situation.  Wednesday's scan should be the tie breaker.

The key issue with the melanoma is both of my chemo drugs tried to kill me.  Opdivo killed my pancreas and gave me Type 1 diabetes, and Yervoy caused chronic diarrhea and I lost 60 lbs in 26 days, and almost causing my kidneys to fail.  Better now, but need a new and preferably less lethal treatment plan.
 
2021-10-18 1:52:51 PM  
My mom was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer at 81, she was a chain smoker for most of her life and wouldn't quit smoking or even slow down even after her diagnosis. I took her to her treatments and she went into remission. Unfortunately, the next year she fell and had a very bad subdural hematoma that took her five months later.

If my mom, who started smoking even more* during treatment can get to remission I'm hopeful for you and wish you the best of outcomes. They are getting better at fighting it all the time. Fark cancer!

*she got up to three packs a day at one point. :(
 
2021-10-18 2:09:49 PM  
Non-Hodgkin's Burkitt lymphoma survivor here, in remission since 1997.

The only person I know who had lung cancer was my uncle, a lifelong smoker. From diagnosis to death was just a few months, but he had a number of co-morbidities that shortened his lifespan considerably. He was able to get his affairs in order, fortunately, and what I remember most from this time was an anecdote from his wife, my aunt: while they were picking photographs to use in the funeral program, they landed on a nice family vacation photo for the cover. My uncle, my aunt, and my cousin were all smiling on the bluff of a beach.

After studying the photo for a minute or so, my uncle said that the picture was perfect, but that he felt guilty. When my aunt asked why, he replied, "Because the man in this bed is more at peace than the man in that photo."

Reach out to whoever is most important to you, because if sh*t goes south, you don't want to leave anything unsaid. Best of luck to you. Listen to your doctors.
 
2021-10-18 2:11:22 PM  

bighairyguy: I might be joining you on Wednesday.  PET CT scan to follow up on my four year fight with Stage 3c melanoma, and to see what those three little dots on my lung are up too.  They first popped up two scans ago and my oncologist said (after long review), he didn't think it was cancer.  A more recent scan showed they are still there.  I told the radiologist what my oncologist said, and he replied, "I'm the radiologist, and it's cancer until I say it's not cancer."  Radiologist does get the last word in this situation.  Wednesday's scan should be the tie breaker.

The key issue with the melanoma is both of my chemo drugs tried to kill me.  Opdivo killed my pancreas and gave me Type 1 diabetes, and Yervoy caused chronic diarrhea and I lost 60 lbs in 26 days, and almost causing my kidneys to fail.  Better now, but need a new and preferably less lethal treatment plan.


ltdanman44: strong mind = strong body


I'd spent the last couple of years working on the strong body part.  Dropped 100 lbs and muscled up, also walked about 1600 miles in 2020.  When chemo side effects put me in the hospital for two week in July, I lost the muscles and strength, but the key point is I had them to lose.  If I hadn't been in fantastic shape, I might not have survived the ordeal.
 
2021-10-18 3:20:45 PM  
Can't give a personal story as per requirements because most of mine are negative, but more some general encouragement:

Cancer treatment is advancing all the time. Something like seven new drugs for leukaemia have been discovered in the time I've been alive, and I'm not that old. A couple of them helped my mom to have more time with us than she might have otherwise. If things don't go so well for you, make sure your doctor looks at every available clinical trial. Fundamental understanding of how the disease works never stands still, but cancer doesn't evolve. I personally think that targeted immunotherapy will be the new normal in my lifetime, and once we crack that, that's the end of cancer.
 
2021-10-18 5:55:03 PM  
Thank you for all the stories and encouraging words. I had a good cry with my therapist and several friends and feel better now.
I have a good support system in place and everyone's got my back; waiting to get the PET/CT done, then I have a consult with a very experienced oncologist/hemotologist on Nov. 3rd. One day at a time and keeping a positive headspace seems to be the way to go after this, and yes, I'll for sure follow my doctors advice and treatment plans.
Again, your posts have given me solace and kick in the ass to not give up hope this early in the fight.

Love,

The_Hound
 
2021-10-18 9:32:51 PM  

The_Hound: Thank you for all the stories and encouraging words. I had a good cry with my therapist and several friends and feel better now.
I have a good support system in place and everyone's got my back; waiting to get the PET/CT done, then I have a consult with a very experienced oncologist/hemotologist on Nov. 3rd. One day at a time and keeping a positive headspace seems to be the way to go after this, and yes, I'll for sure follow my doctors advice and treatment plans.
Again, your posts have given me solace and kick in the ass to not give up hope this early in the fight.

Love,

The_Hound


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Can​c​er_Genome_Atlas
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer_​G​enome_Project

For when you feel like learning more about the longer term battle being waged against cancers.
Spoiler alert, it isn't all ready to deliver now, but it's getting there.

First we are going to get better at rationalizing/understanding why some therapies are working better for some patients. Then, that will develop into an improved ability to predict which therapies are best for which patients. Don't get me wrong, there's been huge progress in that already. But significant progress awaits the next 5 to 10 years. It's all rather amazing and at a simple level of intellectual curiosity, you would likely find it fascinating.

It might also frame some context that your doctors might be willing to share with you about their choices for you.

Or maybe it's all too much right now. But maybe later if you find the mood for it. Stay strong.
 
2021-10-18 11:36:06 PM  

The_Hound: 2wolves: Oh, and can I have your stuff?

/s

Do you like guitars and cats?


Yes, but due to tremors in my right hand I can no longer play.  So you'll have to keep them for another forty years.
 
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