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Thread: I got some answers today - but also need some answers to some things

  1. #1
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    I got some answers today - but also need some answers to some things

    Thank god for this forum.

    After reading through threads in this forum, I realized there were things about my Mom's lung cancer that I didnt know and should know, mostly because I just didn't know to ask about them. So the radiation oncologist have gave me a print out of some things that were found on the CT. Sorry if this is babbled, but I just feel like I need to understand everything that is going on with my Mom.

    Besides the cancer, it says that she has severe centrilobular emphysema ... which I dont understand because she never had any breathing issues until her diagnosis.

    I already knew that it was NSCLC, but I learned it is Adenocarcinoma. There is one pulmonary mass in the lower left lobe measuring approx 5.2 x 5.5cm, they can't get an exact measurement due an adjacent collapsed piece of lung, which may or may not be caused by the femur surgery.

    The center of the lesion has fluid attenuation ... not really sure what that means. Also, not sure what thick irregular wall means. Does anyone know?

    There is also a large nodal mass extending towards the pulmonary lesion from the subcarinal area measuring 5.6 x 3.6cm, which is/was causing the pressure on the esophagus... it must be getting smaller/better because it has become much easier in the last week for her to eat and I have been shoving food at her left right and centre

    The are enlarged lymph nodes at the aorta pulmonary window of 14mm and bilateral small pleural effusions, but no pericardial effusion ... what does this mean?

    So many crazy words that I just dont understand and in all reality wish I didn't have to understand lol

    She also finally had her MRI and thank the Lord, that at this time there are no lesions on the brain. The bone scan was clear, except obviously for the broken femur and nothing so far on the kidney or liver.

    As of today, we are waiting for a few weeks to start chemo, as she started rehab today for the leg ... and I am hoping to get some weight on her and more energy before we start a treatment, that is only going to kill her appetite and zap her energy.
    1/21/11 - Mom 64 diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC Adeno left lower lobe with mets to the femur causing full out break,lower lumbar spine, groin node and lung node.
    3/11- 6 Rounds radiation to all mets and primary.
    3/30/11 - Started 1st of 6 cycles/3 days/21 day cycle Carbo/Etop
    4/6 - Lung scan shows small shrinkage
    4/18 - Hospital 1 week pneumonia

  2. #2
    Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hi Suzie, You are handling this all really well and for most all of us we felt the same way when it all started, some us got smarter from it (pbj) and some of us not so (me). I often get my self in a black hole of information and find an easy way out, I Google it. I look up "bilateral small pleural effusions" and I find that both lungs are producing fluid, which is common for many lung cancer patients, but will need to be treated or will become an extra problem, such as breathing difficulties. "lesion has fluid attenuation" I found it is something the found in there that is not cancer and right now they don't have a clue what it is for sure or what to due with it, it may get better or worse but they will keep an eye on it in the future. Your right about the whole eating thing and treatments but every body handles it differently. Adenocarcinoma is one of the most common lung cancers here and I have it too, it is a name I have a hard time saying it or even remembering it, but I like it best when I can copy and paste it. Any way good luck with all you have stepped into and God Bless you for it.
    God Bless
    57 year old male, Diagnosed Nov. 9,2007 with NSCLC IV with Mets to the lymph's and brain and now my pancreas (9/1/11)
    Had full brain radiation treatment in Jan 08 treatments now every 3 weeks with Alimta, stopped taking Lovenox for clots, working full time

  3. #3
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hi Suzie,

    Dano gave you a lot of important information and you've given me more ideas for additions to the sticky at the top of this forum.

    Seems like your Mom is on the mend from the surgery and that's great. The slight collapse could be due to a wide variety of things. Obviously the docs aren't worried about it now.

    A subcarinal mass is in the mediastinum, which is between the lungs. Interesting that she's had a change where she's able to eat more. That's a VERY good thing! Calories are so important. I find subcarinal masses to be worrisome as they can easily wrap themselves around or crush important things, like arteries, etc.

    Even with chemo, she'll have to do her best to load up on calories any way she can, if she has the common tendency among lung cancer patients to lose weight.

    It all sounds like she is progressing and the sooner she can get into a chemo regimen, the better for her all the way around.

    No pericardial effusion means there is no fluid in the sack around the heart. There are two places where effusion (fluid) can occur with lung cancer -- one is the pleural cavity that the lungs sit in and the other is the area that the heart sits in.

    Hallelujah that she has no other signs of metastasis anywhere else!

    (Dano --- it's really not unusual for the person with the cancer to not know much about it. Same thing with my husband. He was basically of the 'is it growing or shrinking and where' type of guy. That's why people have loved ones as their advocates/caregivers to learn the ins and outs, if that's their personality. Your job is to fight the beast. Ours is to support you and arm ourselves with as much info as possible, while shoveling calories and fluids into you! I think I was over-kill, as my sister-in-law told me that my husband let on to her that "I took TOO good of care of him." LOL He was so tolerant of my hovering and asking how he was 40 times a day. He was extremely independent, but knew me too well to think I'd have been any other way about his illness. We were of the 'attached at the hip' type of couple.)

    Keep us posted Suzie and, knowing our forum, your Mom is being prayed for by many.

    God bless,
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  4. #4
    Suzie, you seem to be doing the right things. Keep it up and take advantage of being able to ask questions here. I was going to add that I also did not, and still don't know, all those 'new' words. As I looked them up, as Dano suggested, I started my 'own dictionary'. When I found the meaning, I had a word processor file, and just added that word and put in the meaning. Later I might want to know again what it meant. I found it easy the next time. Actually I am at this for a second time and already had words started. Just a thought.

    Remember to take care of yourself too. This slips by sometimes when we worry so about our loved ones. Will be praying for your Mom.
    Husband (year of birth 1941) dx'd 2008 NSCLC - Squamous Cell Carcinoma
    Chemo and Radiation Treatments together. Allergic reaction to Taxol & Taxotere.
    The Story 2008 to 1/2011: http://www.cancerforums.net/about9079.html

    2010/2011: Returned & spread to lower lumbar bone/marrow. Stage 4.
    Chemo & Radiation together. Allergic reaction to Erbitux. Chemo was only Navelbine.
    The Story continues 2/2011: Story continues 2/2011: http://tinyurl.com/68qpmym


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