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Cancer: Lung Message Board


Cancer: Lung Board Index


I know this subject has been discussed many times already and appreciate your patience allowing me to personalize my post. I am 48 years and have been a long time smoker. (I know the risks and know I should quit and hopefully after this scare will gain enough sense to do so).

Knowing that smoking this long and at my age I am playing with fire I made an appointment with a pulmonary specialist. I had been diagnosed 2 years ago with mild COPD and wanted to see how much it had advanced which by the way remarkably it didn't at all. I explained to the doctor that being realistic as a smoker I would rather catch lung cancer in it's earliest stage and would he set up a CT scan for me knowing that CT scans detect smaller amounts of cancer than a regular chest x-ray. He agreed and I had a CT scan on August 1. I thought I was out of the woods because the doctor hadn't called me. I have another appointment scheduled with him Sept. 8 and felt he wouldn't wait until then if something showed up on the scan.

Today I received a postcard from his office which read like this...........

x normal or within satisfactory limits
x will discuss at your next office visit
multiple small (underlined) nodules
no (underlined) intervention recommended
we will repeat the CT scan in the future

Okay, so now this big, bad if I have lung cancer let's diagnose it early girl is freaked out. I know the chances of it being benign with my pathetic history of smoking and my age are probably not the best but I am still going to ask you for other reasons I could possibly have multiple lung nodules so I can at least perhaps close my eyes for a few minutes and sleep tonight. I have my first grandchild due to be born next month and am feeling extremely depressed right now.

Thanks for your patience and any input you can possibly give me to help understand what this means.
Boy, did your post hit home with me. I dont have any answers for you but I can tell you that you arent alone. Both, yes both, of my parents died this May of lung cancer. I am 52 and quit smoking 10 years ago. On a visit with my primary doc I mentioned that if she ever did another chest xray please look very carefully due to my parents. Well, I needed a ct scan for something else so she had them do the chest as well. I was like you, I didnt hear and didnt hear, everyone said no news is good news. Yeah right. When I did get the call I was told the same as you. Multiple small nodules. I didnt hear much after that. I shut down. Since then I have been given a PET scan which showed the only hot spot to be my left thyroid. But thats another story. I will have a repeat CT scan this Sept for analysis of my lung to see whether the nodules are growing or not. I believe he said they were too small to biopsy so Im keeping my fingers crossed that they are something else. I dont know what and he didnt tell me. Its awful this waiting. Im sorry you're having to go thru it as well. Im sorry I dont have any answers for you , but maybe someone else will. Stay in touch

Becky
Hi Becky,

Thanks for your reply. I am so sorry about your parents. How terrible to lose them let alone in the same month. Our stories are more similar than you know. My mother was diagnosed 2 years ago with Stage 4 lung cancer. She has never smoked a day in her life. She had a third of her lung removed and went through chemo. The cancer was gone until recently they found another very small spot on her other lung. They have been watching it for a few months now and it is not growing. Thank goodness. My mother is 70 years old and cleans 3 houses a week. During chemo she only missed one house. She's pretty amazing and very lucky.

I called my doctor today to see if he could explain his postcard a little before my appointment so I wouldn't have to be in limbo until Sept. 8. Lucky me, he is on vacation and no one else would give me any info. I have so many questions and no one to answer them. Everything I read is like Greek to me. I am very scared but at the same time feel lucky if it is cancer to have perhaps caught it in it's early stages.

Please keep me updated on what your doctor tells you since we do seem to have similar stories. It's terrible that you quit smoking so long ago and still have to worry but I am hearing that more and more. Quitting definitely helps but doesn't guarantee you are out of danger. I wish you the best of luck and appreciate your kind words.

Tanya





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