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6 year survivor with "rib" pain

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2006

Hello: I am a 59 year young grandmother of 5 who has survived Stage 1-2 Non-small cell adenocarcinoma lung cancer since 1/2000. That was when it was discovered accidentally with a chest x-ray because I had a bad cold. I had the right upper lobe removed. I went back to work 3 months later. It was tough. It still is tough. My main problems are shortness of breath, an inability to sleep on my right side, fatigue, mid back pain at the end of each day, and "rib" pain. I take Gently Yoga every Friday at Cancer Lifeline which helps a lot (especially with the breathing). I thought I would be more pain free by now. I am very blessed to still be alive, and I don't want to sound like I am complaining. I was wondering if any of you have any suggestions. I would love to retire, and I don't think I qualify for SSDI. So I need to keep working to get health insurance. I hope that you hearing from a 6 year survivor will give you hope. I a truly greatful to be alive. CarolT

Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2005

My wife, Lynda, had the same thing except in the left lung 8 years ago. She also had similar pains and trouble sleeping on her left side. She went to a pain clinic where they deal with chronic pain. They can give you treatments and shots that work on the nerves to stop the pain. they told her that when they do the lobectomy they have to cut through some of the nerves and they are slow to heal if they ever do. If it is only nerves a pain clinic should be able to help. Make sure your doc checks out other things first.


Posts: 20
Joined: Jun 2006

My dad has just recently been diagnosed with Lung Cancer. He complained about pain in his ribs. After they did a more detailed x-ray, they found 4 of his ribs were fractured. The doctor told us cancer has a tendency to weaken the bones, and he probably did it when he was coughing. Congratulations on the 6 years! Hope you figure out what is wrong. Having to cope with pain like that is terrible.

Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2006

Carol, I'm sorry for your pain... And I hope over time you it will disappear. I want you to know your message is encouraging to me. I am a caregiver of my wife. She was diagnosed with NSLC In Feb of this year 2006. She has since had surgery, chemo and radiation. And is still going through the radiation and chemo. She too is suffering from extreme chest pains as well as shortness of breath. The doctors and I are trying to determine the cause. She has had bone scans, and spiral chect scan only to reveal nothing obvious. We are going to try, messages, accupunture and now yoga to try addressing the chest pain. A possible cause is post surgical scar tissue but no one really knows???

Plymouthean's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi. I had similar pain, after surgery, and thought it would never go away. I finally went to a pain management clinic at my local hospital, and they gave me shots at six - to - nine month intervals which took away the pain. I stopped having the shots after about four, and have been pain free for years now. For the shortness of breath, I would recommend doing deep breathing exercises, a few times a day (the more often, the better). I found that to be the single most important thing to restore/maintain my lung capacity. Brisk walks are also very beneficial, because they force you to breath more deeply, and they get the blood circulating better. Best Wishes.

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I'm a newbie who just had her middle right lobe removed, but I too am having rib pain and shortness of breath. The doctor did an xray and says I have fluid on my lung. Have you had a CAT scan recently to take a look at things? That's more difinitive than the xray, but also more radiation. Make sure the doctor checks it out if you are still having problems. It may be correctible. Good Luck!

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