First Oncologist Visit, Is he correct? No Hope?

I found out yesterday that I have sclc. My first Dr. visit seemed hopeless to me. I'm wondering if my Dr. is so negative or is he being honest.
He said once diagnosed with sclc it has almost always spread. I had a bone scan which was clean and lab work which was good. I have a PET Scan scheduled for this Friday. He said if it hasn't spread then we can do Chemo and Radiation. I thought he said if it has spread we would do one of the two. He just made this already horrible nightmare much more grim. I don't know what to do now. Do I fight it? Is small cell worth fighting? I don't want my children and grandchildren to see me any worse. I am NEVER going back to this Dr. by the way!

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31 replies. Join the discussion

OMG Donna, change doctors right away!!!!!
It is not true, you must fight, you are young and even if it is spreading there is still hope. Don't give up!!!
Barbara

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Donna-
Please read my profile - my husband was diagnosed in Jan 08, and though it's been a struggle at times, he's still here and doing great right now. DON'T GIVE UP! Get a second opinion at a major cancer center right away - if it hasn't spread, check out 2X daily radiation along with chemo - we're convinced it saved my husband's life. Right now you're on an emotional roller coaster, but it will get easier as you take it one day at a time. There are lots of people here to support you. You CAN fight this and yes, it IS worth the fight!
Charlotte

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Agree that you absolutely must kick this doc to the curb! There is always hope. Don't let anyone take it away from you! FIGHT!
JO

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HI Donna,
I do really hate those doctors,who for some twisted notion, love to dish out death sentences,with a complete lack of empathy towards the patient,I also had one GP who told me I had two years left,almost four years ago.
You are an individual,I know statistics for lung cancer wheither SC or NSC make for uneasy reading,but there are many people I have since met who have survived LC for years.One of them is my friend Robert Lowe,dxd with SCLC in 1993,given only two months to live by his medical team,had his treatment then makes a full recovery,then in 2007 is now dxd with NSCLC ,had his treatments makes a full recovery,still here today and at 72,has the joys of life and energy of people half his age.Think about Robert,thats 19 years he has survived lung cancer.Best Wishes,I know how you are feeling just now,but believe me with the support of family and friends around you and the passage of time,your jangled nerves will begin to settle and you will regain
your smile for the world.

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Eight months after a thyroid operation that went horribly wrong - I was diagnosed with NSCLC in both lungs - My right recurrent laryngeal nerve was severed by mistake - After that my health deteriorated - All kinds of junk went into my lungs, juices went up my nose when I ate or drank. If my neck was not straight when I was eating, drinking or talking to people I developed headaches and blurred vision). If all that and the stress I went through did not cause the cancer I will eat my hat!
During and after treatment my oncologist said he has kept people with my condition alive for 18 months to 2 years. That was not very encouraging to hear that at the time. In fact it traumatised me no end. Now almost four years later - Besides antibiotic treatment for lung infections now and then, and not being able to walk and talk at the same time - I am alive and well; playing bowls and doing housework. So do not take too much notice of what doctors or people say. We are all different but have to remain positive.

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Dave was diagnosed with Ex sclc 18 months ago. He is still here doing well and fighting every day.

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Donna do not let the words of this thoughtless uncaring doctor get you down. You MUST keep a positive attitude. You Must fight fight fight!!!!

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Donna,
Great decision to find a new doc. This is a new world of cancer. No cure yet.......however there are more tools now then ever before to fight the beast.
Hang around INSPIRE. You are smart and you are a fighter. Find a modern doc. Look @ all your options. Please let us know what you decide. Marie

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DonnaJo:

I'm glad to hear that you've canned the doctor.

I'm also sure that you'll get lots of responses from SCLC survivors on here that will encourage you. And, I'm pretty sure most of them will tell you that, yes, it is worth fighting.

Take care,

John

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Donna, in your last post you were looking for an onc, where did you find this one so fast? You also said the report said bronchial carcinogenic, which would be NSCLC not SCLC. Are you sure you heard this doctor right, as you've been very upset and may have only picked up key words. If your LC is SCLC and ends up being limited, which is no mets-then you have a chance for a cure. You don't have a complete diagnosis yet, so a plan can't be put in place until you do. Definitely find a new onc and be prepared for the fight of your life and for your life.
Take care, Judy

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Yes, do change oncologist as soon as possible. Sclc is a hard battle but you have to fight it. Stay strong and positive.
Barb

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My son was dx June 2011 has finished chemo chest radiation and PCI. So far the scans are clean he goes back in April for scans again. He is still tired but he and his son Colton who's almost 14 just finalized their trip to Honduras in June to help build churches. It has not always been a walk in the park with treatments. But than he looks at it like Hey I'm still here and I can walk in the park and take no day for granted.

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Donna,
NO ONE can make you give up hope, you decide that for yourself. Sounds like you have decided to pursue hope and healing, beginning with finding a new doctor! Stick around Inspire, gather all the info on your diagnosis that you can and if you share it here, someone will have walked that same path or one very much like it.
Hope? One important thing: Don't read statistics, they are old and things are changing. Forget what you read and what the doctor said and decide to LIVE!
God bless you in this journey.
liz

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Donna Jo,
I am a caregiver, but I was wondering, did anyone go with you to your appt? If not, try to take someone with you as four ears are better than two. Also, all I can say is that there are doctors like that who give up on patients. Find a major cancer center (as mentioned above) who will treat you. You have two very good hospitals within 70 miles of Elgin, Northwestern, and University of Chicago are both very good.

Finally, No matter if it is SCLC or NSCLC, you need to believe and fight for your life. Many on here have or had advanced NSCLC and SCLC and are still around to talk about it.
Hugs,
Deb

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Where there is breath there is hope. Please get another doctor and send the one you just saw a link to Inspire and have him read what is really happening in the lung cancer world. What a jerk!

T.

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There is always hope . Some doctors just become a Onco because they had no other field in medicine to chose . These Onco need treatment .

Cancer is generally such a dreaded word .

The first thing a Onco has to do is install confidence in the patient . Than start treatment and monitor the progress .

Arvind

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Donna Jo, I was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer (extensive) that had spread to my lung, liver and lymph nodes oct. 2011. I have had 6 chemo treatments now and am feeling pretty good -- each day is better. My biggest hope is in our Lord, Jesus Christ, but no matter where you get it from, do NOT give up hope.

So glad you are finding a new doctor and I would be glad to be your friend here on Inspire site. Yes, the prognosis is scarey, but people can and do live with this horrible disease for a long, long time and I plan to be one of them! I bet you will be too!

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Dear Donna Jo, You have the right to choose a doctor that you can not only trust but one who is willing to help you fight sclc .I found out through my sisters battle that most oncologist just want you to throw in the towel.Don't do that, find a doctor that's willing to help you get through this battle.The will to live should never be taken away from you.God bless,Sis

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I am stage IV NSCLC and I know exactly how you feel! (is that possible, really?...dunno…however). My first oncologist, I referred to lovingly [sic] as Dr. Death. Something about his entire mannerism disturbed me (besides the DX). It was evident he saw me as a product and not a person. I marched right out of his office and on to another treatment center and doctors. Unfortunately that wasn’t the right place either. I say that so you understand finding the right oncologist is very worthwhile, I am now traveling almost 400 miles one way for treatment but my peace of mind is worth it and I am responding quite well. I know I am in good hands. If there is a placebo effect, so be it…whatever works, Works! Do not stop simply give up! I’m cheering for YOU.

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My son also travels 350 miles for his treatment to Cancer Center of America.

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