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    SparbsRN posted an update

    My mom had her initial appointments yesterday. Originally we thought they would do chemo and radiation combined. But because of the widespread disease in her chest, not all would be able to be radiated/would cause too much damage to healthy tissue to try. So they are going to try chemo first for 6-8 rounds. After the 4th round, they will rescan to see progress, and then discuss radiation. We found out that it is Stage IIIB. I'm having a hard time with all of this info, and that I can't be there all of the time. She's having a port placed Monday and starting her first chemo next Thursday.

    I'm most frustrated with the inability of the Dr's to tell me a prognosis/time frame. I know they can't tell anything until we try chemo and see what happens, I just hate not knowing.

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    SparbsRN shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy and radiation combined): My mother is having a port placed next week, and will begin her first round of chemo at the end of next week. Her doctors think chemo and radiation combined would be too hard side effect wise, so they are going to try chemo first then reassess/add radiation.

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    SparbsRN shared an experience

    Oh No (Diagnosed): My mom was diagnosed in September 2012. Yesterday, October 1st we found out the stage is IIIB.

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    SparbsRN asked a questionLung Cancer

    Questions you wished you asked your Dr. at the beginning of diagnosis and treatment plans

    4 answers
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      1. Take paper and pen with you to take notes. There's so much coming at you if it's new to you that the second you walk out of that room, you're going to have a hard time remembering some things.
      2. Ask for a copy of the radiology and pathology reports when they are available from the scans and biopsy. Ask if there is a way to view these records online. Having these reports covers a lot of the things about which you would ask questions. Of everything, I wish I thought to get copies of these the first time around.
      3. Get a notebook to put all these things into, and print a calendar that you can record everything on-- dates of diagnosis, appointments she went to, chemo days, record everything. That makes it easy when you try to recall days later.
      4. If I could have had only two things to read to prepare before dad's first lung cancer appointment, they would be these choices from the National Cancer Institute:
      and the treatment PDQ summary for whatever type of lung cancer. You have listed non-small-cell, so here is the one for that http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/non-small-cell-lung/Patient/page1/AllPages
      5. I would ask for a clear answer as to what stage the cancer is. I think a lot of questions I might have asked, you would already know the answers to, with your nursing background. If it's advanced, I might ask more about the prognosis.
      6. If she's going to go ahead with chemo, I would ask for any prescriptions up front so you have them ready at home. Something like compazine for the nausea was good for dad.
      7. How long until we know if the treatments are working?

      With dad's first lung cancer, he had stage 2b non-small-cell, was able to have lobectomy surgery, and chemotherapy with taxol and carboplatin. That treatment was successful. Then two years later, he ended up with a new, different cancer. I learned far more on my own than through the 2-3 minutes with the doctor. I think doctors are good for answering basic questions like:
      Where are we now?
      How do we know that? What did the tests and reports show?
      What are our goals?
      What is the plan and why? Is that the best way to proceed?
      Are there any other options available?
      What is the realistic outlook short and long term?
      How will we know if we're making progress and when?
      What, where and when is the next step?
      Can you prescribe something for the ________?
      We had this rash pop up, and she has a fever... what do you think?

      about 4 years ago
    • Kdowg's Avatar

      I will be going into my Oncologist this morning for chemo training and will start chemo in a few weeks, I think the biggest question is one you have to ask yourself. Do you feel conferrable (trust) with your Oncologist and the people in the office? This will be my 4th time meeting with them and everyone there has been so helpful and understanding. My Oncologist gives me time to think and talk and helps me understand all my options. I look forward to seeing them, it's a comfortable and safe place to be.

      about 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      An issue that developed with me, several years after the treatment was dental issues. Damaged blood vessels in my jaw area, and saliva glands that just don't work anymore have caused my teeth to fall to pieces. I am now in the middle of seeing speacialist in reconstructive dental work to fix the problems without pulling the teeth. Pulling them puts me at high risk of Osteoradionecrosis.

      So my #1 NOW, would have been Is this going to affect my teeth?

      Hope her treatments go smooth, please keep us informed on her progress.


      about 4 years ago
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