I was diagnosed with BAC lung cancer on May 26, 2010, four days before my 56th birthday. Everything is so new right now, and I'm waiting to see an oncologist, but I do know that the "glass like particles" are in both lungs. I'm at the point I am very scared, and anxious. It is in my every moment of thought. I am just so sad.
Well that was written so shortly after my diagnosis. I went to another doctor at a teaching hospital and am so glad I did!! I urge anyone with a diagnosis of cancer to seek out the closest teaching hospital you can find, and get an opinion from them. I have had my upper right lung removed, all edges were clear of any cancer, and no lymph nodes had cancer. I have been diagnosed with stage IIIA T3 NO MO Adenocarcinoma with BAC features. I am so possitive I'm going to beat this cancer. I am going to my second dose of chemo this Thursday (Sept. 16th) and will have 4 does altogether. I don't know what treatment I'll have after that, but I am keeping a sense of humor, my faith, and possitive thinking at the top of my list. In my home town, the prognosis was so bad, they were ready to treat me with end stage drugs, saying cancer was in both lungs. It was not, I am so thankful for the knowledge of a teaching hospital being so close to my home, God Bless Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee and all their kindness and knowledge.
Well, I was done with chemo the end of October. I finally felt better the week of New Years, so it was quite a while to get the good feelings back again. I am so blessed that my ct scans have shown nothing and I am NED!! I will have another one the end of July, and actually every 4 months for 2 years. If no cancer shows up in that amount of time, then I will have scans only once every 6 months. Praying God smiles down on us all!!
In my case, a chest x-ray sooner would have helped me. I was always getting those e-mails about women and heart disease, and I was getting winded when I went up and down stairs. So I told my dr. at my yearly check up. She put me ...through stress tests and heart tests and my heart was fine. She ordered an x-ray, and some "glass like particles" showed on the x-ray. I was given anti-biotics for pnuemonia, then another x-ray showed it was still there in two spots. Now I was refered to a pulmonologist. He ordered ct scan, breathing tests, and more TB tests. After ct scans, still "glass like particles" showing, and now thinking it is a lung fungus, no signs of cancer. Then, more tests for that, which included operation where he went through my nose blindly into my lungs, and it is negative. Now it's time for a biopsy, going through a cut in my throat because now the pullmonologist and pathologist and thoracic surgeon think it is sarcoidosis. Going through my throat to take a lymph node from my chest. Well, that turned out negative, so while on the table, they turn me over and go for a sample of my lung, a wedge resection with VATS surgery was performed. Chest tube hurts the most here. Well, then on May 26th, the next day, I was told it was non small cell lung cancer with BAC (brochoalvedar-sub type of adenocarcinoma) features. Well, in my home town they told me it was in both lungs, nothing they could do but put me on end stage treatment. I got a referal to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee (about 45 min. away from me) which is a teaching hospital. EVERYTHING CHANGED!! They found it was only in one lung, and I could have a lobectomy. On July 12th I had the upper right lobe of my lung removed. On Aug. 28th I started chemo. I get cisplatin and alimta. I have my 3rd treatment on Oct. 7th. I get one treatment every 3 weeks, for 12 weeks, so after next week I've got 3 down and 1 to go. They found I had 3 "glass like tumors" (this is a trait of BAC, and it does not "glow" with a pet scan) but they were all small. No lymph nodes were involved, and no mets. Also, all edges were clear. Still they staged me as IIIA, T3 NO MO. I thank God for the e-mails I got about women and heart disease. I found out that I've probably had this cancer more than 4-5 years or even longer. It started out as BAC only, then morphed, turned aggressive, and is now Adenocarcinoma. Soooooooo, I am one of those who believes in x-rays for former smokers. BAC is one of the lung cancers not usually caused by smoking, but I was a bartender my whole entire life (turned 56 4 days after finding out I had cancer) and second hand smoke for bartenders and waitresses is a problem. An x-ray years ago would have helped my cancer not turn aggressive. From what I've read, when found early, lung cancer was not what dr.s have been looking for. Anyway, sorry such a long post, but if this story of mine helps ANYONE, it was worth the typing. I also want to say that teaching hospitals are the way to go in my opinion rather than a small hometown dr. At a teaching hospital you get a dr. who is a specialist in your OWN cancer only, and they are in on the most newest technology, clinical trials, and are no more expensive than your home town docotors. Anywhere there is a VA hospital, there is a teaching hospital near by. Thanks to all who read this, I just wanted to get this story out there.
It is now November of 2011, and I will have a ct scan the end of the month. 2010 was a year with some bumps in it, but with God's guidance I was able to survive. I am a survivor and plan on being around for many more years.
Well, as of Dec. 2012 they are still saying I am NED. HURRAY!! God bless the doctors and all whom God's hands have touched to help me. AMEN
God Bless ~ Helen
On January 15, 2013 I lost my best friend, my soul mate, my love, my life, my husband. I am so sad. While I was making plans to make my passing easier on my husband, God had other plans. My wonderful caretaker, my strength, my support, my rock is no longer with me as I travel this painful journey. Jerry passed painlessly, and unexpectedly of an unsurvivible heart attack. I can't for the life of me help but wonder why God allowed me to survive all I've survived ~ only to not have my partner with me.
So, I only want to say, remember my friends, because we have cancer does not mean we are the ones to go. Life is moving on, and sometimes we forget that as we battle this disease. Take care of your caretaker, they are so precious, and can be gone in a flash, without us even realizing the needed us. Oh Lord, I sometimes wonder why my life has been so hard. But mostly I wonder why you gave me Jerry, but then took him away.
Life truly is what happens to you while you make other plans.