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Readers Respond: How are You Coping With Your Stage 1 Lung Cancer Diagnosis?

Responses: 19


Updated March 14, 2011

A stage 1 lung cancer diagnosis can be reassuring in that you caught it early, but terrifying at the same time. So many emotions. So many questions. So many fears. How are you coping with your stage 1 diagnosis? What has been hardest? What has helped the most? Has something or someone in particular helped you cope? Please share your feelings and/or find comfort in hearing the stories of others who have also had to cope with a diagnosis of stage 1 lung cancer. Share Your Feelings

pretty freaked out about prognosis

Been sick 8 months was seeing a pulmonary Dr, had shortness of breath, hoarse , fatigue and repeated bouts of pnuemonia. Finally after being sick the whole month of December and being told first i had a staph infection in my left lung then i must have aspirated acid flux because he just realized i also have a hiatal hernia which i have had for years. Went out of town for second opinion, had my left lower lobe removed and biopsied lung consolidation which was adenocarcinoma stage 1b. Lymph nodes negative, no treatment. Prognosis 50 percent survival, if it reoccurs survival 1 yr. pretty freaked out Editor's note: The prognosis of lung cancer is unfortunately not what we would want it to be. It's hopeful that with newer targeted therapies (which work better with adenocarcinomas than other lung cancers) that this will change in the future. Keep in mind that the statistics we quote are all based on information that is at least 5 years old -- and gathered before some of these newer drugs became available. Keeping a healthy lifestyle - not smoking and exercise have both been shown to improve prognosis. Here is an article on tips for improving prognosis that your doctor may not share with you: http://lungcancer.about.com/od/livingwithlungcancer/tp/Improving-Lung-Cancer-Survival.htm
—Guest Lorayne

Thanks for sharing

well, Ima smoker and yes, they found a nodule on my lung..might be cancer..my gut feeling is that it is. I m 53 and think alot about what may be coming, reading you have giving me peace of mind, it s so nice to share...didnt tell anyone yet, I dont want to worry my folks. i had to vent a bit..but reading you gave me peace..tks a lot. good luck to all of you and God bless you all. Editor's note: Yes, thank you to all of you who are sharing your stories and allowing us into such a delicate moment in your lives. It makes the world seem so much smaller to know that we are not alone in our suffering. Blessings to all of you out there.
—Guest John

Still Cancer Free

I had a left upper lobectomy November 2009. Still cancer free, however, 5 days ago, my left side, particularly my left arm (from the shoulder to my forearm) hurts. When will this be over? The most important thing is that the cancer stays away from all of us, but lack of energy and pain persist and that is indeed frustrating. Thank you all for sharing your own experiences. It is comforting. I suggest all of you to look into alternative medicine such as healing energy from a respected practitioner in alternative medicine. It brings me relief for my anxiety and for the pain. Peaceful healing wishes to all of you.
—Guest Stella

Alternative supportive treat for Cancer

Hi All, It is very painful to hear stories of people going through cancer diagnosis and treatment. At the same time, it is hopeful to see many are getting treated and doing well. Anyway, i went through this trauma just for couple of days of possibly having brain tumor but luckily it was clean in MRI. I just wanted you guys to know that there is Baba Ramdev's "Yoga for Cancer" on youtube for free and please do practice this for 1 hr at-least a day with the eating habits he tells. I am a scientist and have seen documented evidence and testimonials of people getting better/treated/extending their lives with this. The yoga is mainly based on breathing exercises in a certain pattern and timing which exerts maximum benefits on your body and help your body attain balance to fight the disease. you have to do it for several months to see the benefits . Please note that this is not an altenative for your current treatment going on but supportive. Editor's note: Yoga has been shown to be beneficial for helping with the symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatments, but as is noted here, it is not a substitute for conventional cancer treatment. Check with your physician before beginning to yoga to see if you have any restrictions. Some cancer centers now offer yoga classes specifically for people with cancer.
—Guest Anand Katakam

We are all survivors

Ola. Lendo relatos de todos vemos que todos sao sobreviventes deste mal,de superar muitas vezes um diagnostico medico por nao deixarem se abalar e desanimar, hoje 37 anos, lutando a 1 ano e meio contra 03 tumores, coração pulmao e nas costas. Consegui cirurgicamente remover 02, foram momentos de muito desespero, era muito poucas as chances de vida, o tumor maior do coração cerca de 8 cm, havia tomado a horta, mas mesmo assim deu tudo certo. No momento aguardo resultados quanto ao tumor do pulmao, que me fara perder o pulmao direito, pois pegou a veia pulmonar. Nao sei como sera viver sem o pulmao, sendo que na cirurgia anterior perdi um pedaço do pulmao esquerdo. Mas nao irei desanimar. Deus é que sabe dos nossos dias. E enquanto ele deixar so posso dizer, que maravilha viver !!! Editor's note: Translated to English: Ola Reading accounts of all that we are all survivors of this evil, to overcome often a medical diagnosis by not letting up and shake discouraged, today 37 years old, fighting to 1 year and a half against 03 tumors, lung and heart back. I managed surgically remove 02, were moments of despair too, was very little chance of life, the heart of the largest tumor about 8 cm, had taken the garden, but even so it all worked out. Currently awaiting results on the lung tumor, which will make me lose the right lung because took the pulmonary vein. I do not know how to live without will be the lung, and the previous surgery I lost a piece of the left lung. But I will not give up. God knows today. And while he leave so I can say, what a wonderful life!!
—Guest carla

9 months cancer free

Jan 2012 my symptoms were short of breath, pain in both knees. Clubbed fingers and swollen ankles. X-ray showed 2"x2" tumor. Threw out the smokes. Never again will I smoke. Feb 14 2012 left lobe removed.I found a surgeon with forty two years experience. One of the best. It was stage 1 adenocarcinoma. Five days in ICU and 2 days on 2nd floor. Ready to go home but on oxygen. Four rounds of chemo. Now cancer free. Feels so good to have a second chance. I don't know why. How it turned out like this. It was like here is your warning. Get to your doctor. Are there other people that had this warning? What I'm reading is some get symptoms after it has spread. This was unbelievable what happened to me. It's not fair to say it wasn't my time to go. I just wish that everyone could have the second chance like I did.

Waiting for answers?!*

I am a 43 yr old mother of 3. I recently had a echocardiogram for chest pain. Congratulations! My heart is just fine but, the radiologist saw a spot on my lung. Suggested that I have a CT in three months. Luckily the ER attending was a Pulmonologist and suggested that I should not wait. The size (and related stress of waiting) warranted further testing. PET scan performed several weeks later. Really thought they would call and say false alarm. NO. Cannot rule out cancer but hmm not sure (paraphrased). The Pulmonologist went to Europe and i went to my family Dr. she sent me for a CT and chest x-ray. Seems like i'm moving backwards. Again I was optomistic only to be disappointed. Paraphrasing again we r not sure but its suggestive of cancer but could be something else. Referred to local Pulmonologist recommended by my Dr. He couldnt see me for a month. My brother called University of Chicago (we live in North West Indiana) and I had an appt for 2 weeks later. That was today. Tests....

Luck, patience, and great doctors.

After a heart stress test to determine why I had a lack of stamina I scanned to check for artery blockage. Good news arteries clean, bad news 4cm growth top right lung lobe. Eventually diagnosed as larger cell slow growth (duh I smoked for 55 years). After biopsies they settled at a stage 3b. I had radiation and Chemo. Once PET scan showed I was clear of other masses, my surgeon took out upper lobe, and a smaller lump found in the lower lobe and a bunch of lymph nodes all which were negative, This is not an operation for wimps but I have the best surgeon there is in Atlanta period. They tell me I am Cancer FREE but have me at a stage 1. It has been 5 weeks since the operation and I am still in a lot of pain but it is starting to abate and I am back to walking. It has been a surreal experience but I made it thru with the help of family, my strange sense of humor and great doctors, nurses and techs.


`Hi im 53 I Found out I had stage 1b lung cancer in Nov. 2010,I had my left upper lung removed Jan. 20th 2012.OMG that surgery was so painfull, I stayed 4 days in icu then another 5 days in a regular room.I have 3 permanent broken ribs that did not fuse, was told there was nothing that could be done. I am still cancer FREE, I go in 2 months for my next CT scan feeling really scared, still in alot of pain on my left chest and ribs, my left arm and shoulder still kill me.But as long as the cancer stays away I can handle it on most days.I have also had depression,alot of anxiety.I am taking meds for that,also for high blood pressure.I still take some pain meds.I hope that will soon get better so I wont have to take them.I have alot of trouble sleeping until I got some medical marijuana it works better than sleeping pills!By the way I dont smoke it, I eat candy bars with it, You can buy them isnt that crazy!Good luck to everyone fighting this beast.LOVE LAUGH LIVE

Guilt about Smoking

I had stage 1 NSCLC, Had vats surgery March 2010 removed lower rt lung, no chemo or radiation. I had Pet scans every 3 months for 1 year, then every 6 months, all have been OK including the Nov. 2011 But, the last one in June 2012, they found a small non-calcified nodule in upper rt lung, too small to biopsy now so have another Pet in late August to see if it has grown. Just saw my Doc, he did genetic testing on the old tumor to see if I could take some new oral medications that have proved to be very effective for lung cancer, unfortunantly I am not a cadidate for these oral drugs, very complicated. So, I will have to wait for the Pet to see what is going on, yes, the waiting is hell. I must say, I thought I was home free... I am now 62 and have been a smoker since I was a teenager, I quit for a short time after surgery, then started up again, my guilt is overwhelming. I am not supported by my family, because of this. Has anyone else here continued to smoke? I need help :)

Waiting for surgery

Diagnosed with more than likely stage 1 adenocarcinoma NSC on Feb 13th 2012. Seems like it is taking forever for the lobectomy to take place(LLL) I have fears that it will spread before they take it out. My tumor is approx 3 cm. I am 31. They wont know the exact stage until they remove the tumor and the surrounding lymph nodes. Pet scan shows no lymph node involvement.
—Guest SaraJoy

Almost Half a Year....

Had no symptoms, incidental finding in xray as followup to course of antibiotics in Feb2011. CT/PET followed by biopsy confirmed NSC lesion 2.5 cm on upper left. Had lobectomy Mar18 2011 & rtn to work EOM April 2011. Had 3 month followup in July 2011 and Dr. cleared me for 1 year. Retired also in July and am looking for new directions. I now hike 4-6 miles a day and have changed eating habits. I have 26 years of sobriety and I credit the one-day-at-a-time philosophy and general good health with helping to cope. Our attitude is the one thing we can control....I choose to smile!


CT as a result of kidney stones showed small mass in lower right lung in July 2009. Military response was to wait 3 months to see if it grew; it did. Follow-up CT showed mass had doubled in size to approx 6 cm. Needle biopsy done within 2 weeks confirmed malignant NSC tumor. Numerous tests, including a PET scan that didn't show any cancer, completed and lobectomy of lower right lobe done in October 2009. All tests since surgery have indicated that I'm cancer free. I was off work for approx 10 weeks. A lot of extreme pain. Now two years later I still have persistent pain on right side of chest and on back near site of surgery. Neurontin helps a lot. I feel extemely fortunate that the cancer was found as early as it was but I still have a lot of anxiety about my future. I was a heavy smoker for approx 15 years. Quit at 31 and cancer discovered at 55. It's therapeutic to share. Thanks! Editors note: Thank you so much for sharing. As a cancer survivor myself, what makes me this world seem a little warmer and smaller is knowing we're not alone in our journeys. Sending well wishes your way.
—Guest Mike in AK


Biopsy 9/20/11 NSCLC-Squamous Cell. Surgery Stage 1 -scheduled 11/28/11. Very scared, I am also Brst cancer survivor since 2003- and then I had surgery,chemo,radiation- am now Age 75
—Guest Enuf


I was diagnosed with BAC lung cancer in August of 2011. I had a lobectomy on August 18. I am "cured", and feel so lucky. I went back to work, full time, four weeks after surgery. I walk everyday, my doc says an hour of exercise a day is the best way to stay in good health. The only medication I take is Vitamin D3. I have very little residual impact from the surgery. My mother also had lung cancer, but was diagnosed at Stage 4, she lived just six months after the diagnosis. Because of her illness, I had a scan, and was so lucky to have the disease detected early. Like someone else stated, I have anxiety around a recurrence, but do my best to not dwell. Most days I'm successful.
—Guest Lucky L

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How are You Coping With Your Stage 1 Lung Cancer Diagnosis?

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