Tag Archives: diagnosis & beginning treatment

Talking with a young child about advanced lung cancer

My daughter was seven when I was diagnosed. Now she is eight. She is beautiful and my number-one motivation to live and stay strong as long as possible. When Chris and I first received the terrible news from the surgeon … Continue reading

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Palliative care for lung cancer: getting help for your symptoms

Shortly after my diagnosis, a physician I knew socially said, “Call me if you have questions. I’m board certified in palliative care.” I was polite, but quietly took offense: how dare he tell me I was dying when he wasn’t … Continue reading

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Three thoracic oncologists: my big city/small town treatment plan

Family members wanted me to get my treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering or the University of Pennsylvania, the most prestigious cancer centers within reach. Meanwhile, I really liked Biren Saraiya, the smart and compassionate thoracic oncologist closest to home. I also … Continue reading

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What it’s like to have a port inserted

As soon as it became clear that my initial treatment would be chemotherapy, the doctor recommended a port insertion. I wondered: What’s a port? Thinking back now to all the confusion and worries of those early days, I couldn’t even … Continue reading

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Poked and prodded: dealing with lung cancer tests and procedures

The first six weeks after a lung cancer diagnosis are a grueling battery of tests and procedures. You may have any or most of the following within a very short time: bronchoscopy, biopsy, CT scan, PET scan, brain MRI, port … Continue reading

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Gene mutations in lung cancer (for the beginner)

If you have non-small-cell lung cancer, some of the most powerful information you can have is about gene mutations and their role in lung cancer treatment. With an up-to-date knowledge of gene mutations, you and your doctors may be able … Continue reading

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Double half-caf soy hazelnut cappuccino, or why no one has “lung cancer”

Just as almost no one orders a plain old “coffee” anymore, no one has plain old “lung cancer.” “Lung cancer” is what they think you may have when your doctors see some suspicious cells, a mass that doesn’t respond to … Continue reading

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Lung cancer cells

Did I mention how important it is to have tissue samples, that is, some of the actual cancer cells from your body, for examination and testing? For my first appointment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering back in January 2013, I was told … Continue reading

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Lung cancer doctors: You need at least two

Every lung cancer patient needs a minimum of two doctors: a surgeon and an oncologist. The surgeon will analyze your imaging studies and determine whether surgery is possible; if it is, he or she will perform the surgery. The oncologist … Continue reading

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Lung cancer: What I wish I’d known in the first 72 hours

Just over a year ago, I was in the hospital with mysterious breathing difficulties and a mass in my chest that looked like pneumonia, but hadn’t responded much to antibiotics or steroids. The newest theory was acid from my stomach … Continue reading

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