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Update

SteveG.
Posts: 16
Joined: Apr 2006

As an update, I had a PET scan, and it came back clean. I ams cheduled for a lobectomy on Monday (three days from now). I would REALLY appreciate an honest reply as to what I can/should expect. Thanks!

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Steve. I had an upper right lobectomey at age 67. The procedure was successful, and I am cancer free, five years later. You are fortunate to be a candidate for surgery, as so many of us are not, and must go the longer, tougher route of prolonged chemo and/or radiation. I had both chemo and radiation, and surgery. Surgery, I believe,is the better of the two, because it is shorter term and is just plain easier to go through. It's impossible for me to predict what your experience will be, but, assuming that you are younger, and that your cancer is smaller than mine, you should do well. I also had the added complications of being a heavy smoker with congestive heart didease. I spent ten days in the hospital, post surgery, and a month of very slow recovery at home. You will feel shabby for a couple of days immediately after surgery, - that's true with any surgery. You may feel an inability to draw a deep breath. That's normal, and will sometimes make you somewhat anxious. The doctor can give you medication for the anxiety, which will subside. The doctor will give you a small plastic device (Inspirometer)with which to practice your breathing exercises. I feel that this is the single most important thing that you can do. The more you exercise your lungs, the faster you will be able to draw that deep breath, and the faster will be your recovery. The other important recommendation from your doctor will be walking. That will get your lungs working better and your heart working harder to get that oxygen to all parts of your body.In about six months I was able to travel and resume a pretty normal life. Best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery. Keep us posted. Ernie

SteveG.
Posts: 16
Joined: Apr 2006

Thanks Ernie. I never did get a proper staging, but from my readings, It doesn't seem likely that it is beyond IIb. The tumor, at the time of the initial diagnosis was 5 cm. I had been a moderately heavy smoker for 30 years (just turned 54), but quit about 4 years ago. I admit I would DEARLY love one now, though! I hear I will be in ICU for 2-3 days, then on the floor for about 7 more. I was fine up until a few days ago.. now I am almost constantly tired, have a pain in My upper right chest area.. how much of this is psychological, I dunno.. It all finally REALLY hit the other day, and now Ithe anxiety begins. Thankfully, I had work to keep me occupied, but I have Sunday off, and surgery is 8am Monday morning. I will keep you informed!

MadelynJoe's picture
MadelynJoe
Posts: 96
Joined: Sep 2003

Dear Steve:

On June 5, 2005 I had a lower right lobectomy to remove a 2.8cm nodule from my lung (NSCLC). I was 55 years old at the time with a history of smoking. Nothing works like fear to make you give them up quick!

While surgery is never pleasant, I was given sufficient pain medication to take care of the majority of discomfort I felt. I was walking the halls within 2 1/2 days of surgery. The part that bothered me the most was being tethered to the chest tube for 8 days. The tube was not particularly painful, it's just that it was attached to a device that measured the fluid drainage from my right lung. I had to carry it around whenever I wanted to walk or move around.

I subsequently had 2 rounds of adjuvant chemo which is when you are given chemo to make sure no microscopic cells linger in your body.

Evidently, it worked because I am almost a one year survivor and all subsequent PET/CAT scans have been clean. I have not experienced much difficulty breathing. The Dr. says the smaller lung eventually expands to make up for the portion that was removed. I agree with Plymothean. Begin using the breathing exerciser right away.

Keep the faith! You CAN survive this. I am living proof. I will pray for your speedy recovery.

Best regards, Madelyn

SteveG.
Posts: 16
Joined: Apr 2006

Thanks, Madeline. I'm seeing more and more of that kind of attitude here, I've NEVER been a qutiter, adn I'm not about to start now!

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Steve,
Well, you have had your surgery by now, and I hope and pray that all went well. It would be difficult to improve or add to the great advice that you have received in the replies to both your posts. Let me just add my best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery. It gets better from here! Please keep us posted when you are up to it. Ernie

CHG
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2005

Hi Steve. I just read your post, so by now your surgery has been completed. I had an upper right lobectomy in August. Before surgery I had 6 weeks of daily radiation and weekly chemo (carbo/taxol). After surgery I had two sessions of adjuvant chemo. I was back at work teaching high school at the end of August. I have had good scans since surgery. Use the spirometer that they give you. Walk, eat well and drink lots of water. Take care.

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