If an exclamation point and a question mark in the headline seem confusing to you, join the club, you are not alone.
A heads up here: I have written about my experience with lung cancer in a number of posts, all of which I gathered into one Page – My experience with lung cancer if you want to catch up.
I just had my first post-op visit with the surgeon who removed the tumor and part of my left lung on 11 January of this year. He said that there are currently no signs of cancer in my lung or system. That’s the good news – right now I am cancer free.
The picture is an x ray of my lung following the surgery.
After I met with my surgeon, I had a meeting with my oncologist. He gave me the not so good news – that the tumor removed was six centimeters which qualifies as ‘large.’ Because of that, there is a good chance that it left cancerous micro-organisms in my system that can trip me up in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. These cancerous organisms can be free to travel anywhere in my body to start another cancer attack.
So, while I may be cancer free at the moment, I need to guard against future attacks by the same organism. He recommended chemotherapy and immunotherapy in either order.
I confess to a great deal of ignorance about chemo. I have heard horror stories about side effects as well as simply after effects. I said that at this point I did not want to undergo chemotherapy.
Right now I am in the immunotherapy camp. The treatments and side effects seem less onerous. Also they actually use the body’s own immune system to do a better job finding cancer cells so it can attack and kill them. Chemotherapy kills fast-growing cells – both cancerous and non-cancerous.
This is day one of my new ‘after cancer’ life.
Anyone who has any suggestions or stories about folks in my situation and what they decided is welcome to share with me. I truly feel like a babe in the woods here.