Doc said it's been a couple of years since a chest X-ray so it was
done. It was suspect so follow-up CAT was done. That was followed be
PET scan, a VERY difficult procedure to experience, and data were sent
to a Pulmonologist for evaluation. Saw him on a Tuesday and he hoped
to get surgery done by that Friday. Week and a half later I was
admitted for removal of the upper lobe of the left lung that included
a suspect node. It was stage 1 cancer and surgeon expects
chemotherapy will not be needed but if it is it will probably be the
benign type that doesn't cause the flurry of reactions. If surgery
wasn't done he expected an 18-24 month lifespan. I was released from
the hospital 10 minutes short of 72 hours after admitting and have 2
weeks of no driving and 6 weeks of lifting no more than 15#. Thought
at first the 2 weeks was overkill but with reduced lung capacity I'm
winded just walking down the hall, much less driving then walking
around the store then driving home, the 2 weeks might be too hopeful
for me. Do yourself and family a favor and request standard check-ups
if they're no scheduled!
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome to The Survivor's Camp -- and Congrats on DOING
something about it right then and there! (Far too many folks "do the ostrich
You're very fortunate in getting that critter while it was still Stage
One~!!~ Now just make darned sure you keep on track with each and every
follow-up -- and do NOT BE SHY about demanding additional CTs and PETs.
A year ago Memorial Day I developed a fast-growing "welt" on my right neck.
That "welt" turned out to be a Stage Four SCC by the time it was removed in
mid July of '03. It took a Radical Neck Disection and 34 radiation
treatments to get it, but we did get it :-)
The surgery and "therapy" took a Big Toll, and the recovery from the "cure"
sure as heck isn't "over night". I do know where you're at and where you're
Even though a PET isn't a very exiting experience it's no different an
experience than a CT with contrast. (They're both boring.)
Follow up with a Fervor, Bug the Living Snot out of the Docs when necessary
to get answers and action and Demand to have CTs and PETs done up regularly.
At my one-year point we wouldn't have caught what right now appear as
"suspicious" nodes here and there were it not for my insisting on pictures
as well as pokes and prods. IF there are any recurrences, I intend to get
at 'em pronto. Having had one blossom to Stage Four so fast was too close of
a call. I don't care for any repeats.
So remember -- your follow-up is really in your own hands; the Docs just go
along for the ride. Ride them hard so you can live long :-)
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