Janice Flanzbaum Janice Flanz-Ironwoman

First post: Jan 13, 2019 Latest post: Oct 22, 2022
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It started with a lymph node.   A while back, Janice asked her doc about some bumps in her neck and none of them were too big,  nothing scary, but wanted to get an ultrasound and a chest x-ray, just in case. With a healthy late summer and early fall of training and racing,  there were no concerns. At the end of November, the ultrasound was done on the lymph node ( looked fine) and a chest xray was done - did not look fine.   It showed an area of concern in the left lower lobe. A CT scan done on her birthday was concerning for malignancy. Great birthday - not! We met with an oncologist, Dr. Sawhney that Monday, and she had a PET scan done two days later, and a lung biopsy to follow.   We met with him again on 12/26 and the diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer was made. Surprisingly, the lymph node was “equivocal”, but still concerning So, the next day a contrast CT scan was done and the following day, a fine needle biopsy of the lymph node.   A great week with family in Morro Bay followed, and then a meeting again with Dr. Sawhney on our return ( 1/7 ) . We learned our favorite word at that visit. Downstage!! The contrast CT, showed no disease on the other side of the chest, and the original lymph node was smaller than expected. Also, the node biopsy was negative, so instead of being classified as 3b it was now 2a.   That put surgery on the table as the best option. We met with Dr. Dharan - a cardiovascular surgeon - on 1/10. He remains concerned about the lymph node, and whether we can rely on the fine needle biopsy that was done. There are so many little ones all quite near each other. Still, he is optimistic and has scheduled surgery for this coming Tuesday - 1/15. The plan , as it stands, is to biopsy the lymph node and get a quick read from pathology and if negative go ahead with a lobectomy - removal of the left lower lobe of the lung. This will be followed by 12 weeks of chemotherapy.  Should the lymph node prove to be positive for cancer, the big surgery will not be done and we will be looking at radiation and chemo. So, that is the story to date.

Having written all of that,  Janice is in good spirits, and feeling fine.   She has continued to run, swim, bike and hike without any issues throughout this ordeal.  Regardless of what the biopsy shows and if we get back upstaged to 3b, and no lobectomy is done, we will remain optimistic.    There have been incredible advances in lung cancer research over the last few years and with Janice’s strength, spirit and the support of our family and friends we will get through this.  

Janice’s contribution: My goal is to work on being 'well' and let all the doctors work on the disease.

I plan to still go to Orlando and the Star Wars Half marathon first week of April as purchased w/Sammie even if I have to walk it. BIG Goal is to hike to the top of Machu Picchu in July!




I’m compiling hashtags so if you want to toss one out there do so :~) Also, if you have any song suggestions for a recovery/wellness playlist do share, nothing sappy or sad:)  I listen to almost all music genres.

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