Re: [MOL] Today/Donna's report [12462] Medicine On Line


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Re: [MOL] Today/Donna's report



Lillian,

Here is the background.  Obviously, I was not feeling well.  However on June
20 I developed  pain in my back right shoulder and in my chest.  Went to Drs.
on June 23.  They said pneumonia and also wanted to do an x-ray.  X-ray
revealed large mass in my right upper lobe.  Kept me on meds and sent me for a
CT scan.  CT scan came back with 1.) 4.8 x4.0 mass "consistent with malignant
neoplasm, 2.) bullous emphysema. As I am only 35 this came as quite a shock.
All other organs and such were "unremarkable" (although I think all of my
organs are remarkable).  adrenal glands looked "unremarkable". Sent me to a
pulmonary specialist.  Bronchoscopy was done on July 9.  Results came back
"poorly differentiated non-small cell carcinoma, favor adenocarcinoma."  They
have also told me that they believe it to be stage II or possibly III due to
its' size.  At this point my primary (HMO DR.) said I needed to get to a
thoracic surgeon and an oncologist right away.  I chose to fight my HMO for a
visit to Johns Hopkins.  They eventually agreed.  They also had me see one of
their plan drs.  On Friday I went to Hopkins and saw  Dr. Heitmiller (a
thoracic surgeon).  He is supposed to be at the top of his field.  Can you
believe he was the first Dr. to really show me my CT scan and explain the
delicacy of my situation.  My tumor literally engulfs my trachea.  It almost
appears as though it has split into 2.  He felt that he could not remove the
tumor without removing my entire right lung and even then could not be assured
that all of the tumor would be removed. He said under no circumstances, did he
want to put me through that only to have the cancer remain.    He recommended
I see an oncologist right away. Chemo and radiation.  I also asked him about
the stereotactic radiosurgery at SIHU and he strongly recommended that I try
to get in.  He felt I would be an excellent candidate.  

The dr. today, started talking right away about opening up my throat.
Checking my nodes, etc...to determine if chemo would be necessary and may,
just maybe the tumor could be removed.  I asked him the likelihood of this and
he said it was very low. Well......I tend to go with the Dr. at Hopkins.
According to research once a tumor has reached 3 centimeters there is more of
a chance that it has reached the nodes.  And mine is very centrally located.
Although the CT scan did not turn up anything.  I would feel safer anyway with
chemo followup anyway.  I am only 35.  I have watched 2 very dear friends told
that nothing was found in their lymph nodes only to have the cancer return in
another place.  One has passed on and the other one is truly living on a
miracle.  

You are correct.  I have heard that my type of tumor does not respond well to
chemo.  So I am confused.  I did not know about the oxygen content, etc...
That is rather interesting.  

The worst part here is that my HMO set me up with an oncologist.  They said it
was very important to see him right away.  They made the appointment.  It was
scheduled for Friday afternoon.  Thursday they called and said something had
come up with the Dr. and they would call me back to re-schedule.  On Friday I
called and they said they would get back to me.  This morning I called again.
They said they were having trouble fitting me in and would have a time by this
afternoon.  Well guess what? No call.  I am furious.  

Whatever information and/or guidance you could provide me with would be most
appreciated.  You are a special Lady.

Your friend,
Donna    
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