lung cancer diagnosis

Today marks 2 weeks of being smoke-free for me. I had been smoking for 52 years, mostly a pack/day, but more in the last 4 years since I retired. On February 3 (2015) I went to the ER room, as I had diagnosed myself, via Dr. Google, as having pleurisy, and needing an antibiotic to cure it. A chest X-ray was taken, revealing a 3cm. mass in my lung. I was not surprised to learn that I had lung cancer, and then began 6 weeks of tests, consultations and a measure of anxiety. My family doctor told me that I must quit smoking immediately, but I determined that I would wait and see what my prognosis was, before adding additional stress associated with quitting smoking. The doctors said I was very fortunate to have caught my cancer early, and a simple removal of the mass was all that was needed. I had my last cigarette on April 14th, had the lower third of my lung removed on the 15th, and have been smoke-free since. This quit has been quite easy. Many times throughout the years I had said that I was going to quit, but I guess I never really wanted to before. I want to this time, and not because of fear. Mostly, it is because I am just tired of it. Had I waited just one more day, I never would have gone to the ER, for my "pleurisy" was cleared up the next day. I never had any other symptoms of lung cancer! One thing that I am going to talk to my doctor about is encouraging people who have lung cancer in their family history (as I do), to ask for a chest X-ray every few years. Chest X-rays are not a routine part of a physical exam! They screen for so many other kinds of cancers, but not lung. So...I am happy to report that my recuperation from surgery is going well...I am almost 100% pain free, and beginning to resume some daily routines. My hope here is that someone who has been smoking a long time, and has lung cancer family history, is fortunate enough to catch it early, via a chest X-ray. Lung cancer is called the SILENT KILLER because it is diagnosed mostly after other symptoms manifest themselves, and it is usually too late. Be proactive...a chest X-ray every few years is not going to kill you...Meanwhile, quit smoking!

9 Replies

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  • Hi, I am new here too. What a scare you have had... I am so glad your cancer has now gone.

    My brother had about a similar amount of lung removed about 3 years ago - he continued to smoke but had to be careful re: infections. About a year ago he had that near fatal infection - at the time he was using an ecig and still smoking. After this event he stopped smoking both ciggies and ecigs and is looking great today. He still has a little way to go to increase his lung capacity but can walk briskly without breathlessness and lives life to the full... :)

    Keep it up... you are doing amazingly..... well done!

  • Kalika, firstly welcome :) second I'm so pleased you're on the road to recovery and third well done on your first two weeks smoke free! What a scare you had - but it sounds as though it gave you the conviction you needed to make a strong quit. Keep being string, and again, well done xxx

  • Kalika, firstly welcome :) second I'm so pleased you're on the road to recovery and third well done on your first two weeks smoke free! What a scare you had - but it sounds as though it gave you the conviction you needed to make a strong quit. Keep being string, and again, well done xxx

    Did that post first time or not? .....

  • I 've written a couple of posts that have disappeared too!

  • I could see it - but the 'today's posts' page was telling me that Celestine was the last one to post on the thread still...weird! There seem to be lots of gremlins here at the mo :)

  • Kalika. What a horrible time you have had, but thank goodness it was picked up when it was. You sound very determined (and brave!). We all know smoking is bad for us but we still don't really expect it to happen to us. Anyway, welcome to the forum and good luck with the quit - look forward to hearing your progress ☺

  • What a scare so pleased it was caught in time. Obviously your decision to quit is the right one and hope you continue to be strong because obviously smoking is no longer an option for you. Keep posting it truly does help.

  • Welcome from me also, a very touching post reminding us all of what smoking can do. You are very brave and how amazing that you want to help others to quit smoking and get chest checks. I wish you every bit of success with not smoking and staying well.

  • And a welcome from me too. Congratulations on your quitting and good wishes in your recovery.