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Recovery after Surgery

suebanj
Posts: 16
Joined: Jul 2009

I had my upper left lobe removed on 7/7/09. Looks like they got all cancer, YEAH!! Just wondering, how long after, if you had this surgery, did you start feeling like yourself...I didn't have the VATS, but no ribs had to be broken. I'm starting to get a bit more pep, but then I do more and exhaust myself out...My breathing seems to be coming along..I live in Florida so taking walks in the afternoon are hard since the humidity is so high...But, have been walking a few times everyday.
Guess it's just starting to get to me...Want to do more, but my body is saying to slow down...
Thanks for letting me vent!

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 388
Joined: Aug 2008

I'm glad to hear they got all of your cancer. I am out of surgery 1 year. I feel good. I walk every day at least 2 miles. I go to curves 3 times a week. Still don't feel as good as before the surgery. But I had no symptoms before the surgery. One doctor says well you had part of your lung removed the other says I should feel the same as I did before. But I can do everything I did before. Just listen to your body, it will tell you if you are pushing to hard or not. Good luck with everything/

suebanj
Posts: 16
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks for your reply....Glad to hear you feel good!

joni92314
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2009

Just take it one day at a time. I was in the hospital for 3 week's and was just glad to get out. I was given exercises, physical and breathing. I also got an oximeter that measures your oxygen level. Hey we are all doing great, we are breathing. I get tired easily, and still can't do alot of thing's that I did before, but know that it's just a matter of time. Good luck

Greggriggs's picture
Greggriggs
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2006

Yep listen to your body I was walking a mile an a half in six weeks .
I never did get to feeling like my old self guess I could lie to ya but that is just me .
And i am old and had a left lung removed complete like you the old fashioned way.
That is funny the Surgeon told me the same thing I did not break any ribs .
Just cut up a couple thousand nerves and tendons.
I think the surgery is good then you know they got it all outta the lung.
Did they give you Chemo ?
well thanks for letting me vent also >>>
Greg

suebanj
Posts: 16
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks for your input! Each day I seem to be doing a bit better. I go tomorrow to the radiation oncologist for him to review my file. My medical onc. doesn't think I'll need anything further, but we need to go over all possibilites. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't need anything further, but we will see. Just want to enjoy life!!
have a great day!

suebanj
Posts: 16
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Everyone...Well, been to both oncologists and they feel that the surgery got all the cancer so I won't be needing any treatments. Of course, I am overjoyed with the news but then a part of me wonders if perhaps I should be getting some chemo anyway to "be sure"....I know I'm probably second quessing at this point and I do get a catscan in 2 1/2 months..so, for now, I'm going to try to keep on getting my strength and overcoming this anxiety and depression. One dr gave me some valium to help with anxiety and my sleeping problems...didn't help too much last night so wondering if I should be taking it....
I don't know...I need to snap out of this and get on with enjoying life.....
Thanks for listening to me.

joyceannred
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2009

No - don't do the chemo. I declined chemo a year and a half ago. The survival statistics were barely 5% better with the chemo, and then you would have all that damage to your kidnesy, and feel so sick from the chemo. I like to believe that because they did get all the cancer out of me, as was done with you, we have been cured. Please have faith and you too can have that outlook.

DONCARLOS
Posts: 66
Joined: Jun 2009

Congratulations. I had mine last June 30, bearly one month. At first I felt great and as the days went by I started with the pains caughing was an agony, and then I went home and had to be brought back to the hospital emergency for poor breathing due to fluid in the lung. I have been out now since July 13 and doing very well. I am 77 years old nd always very active. I decided to keep on going as if nothing happened and I have done very well, I am almost back to 100% of my usual daily routine but my work is not physical but I must move around a lot and use my brains as a business counselor. Believe me that you soon will be moving around normally.

Be well and keep thinking positive.

suebanj
Posts: 16
Joined: Jul 2009

Well, It's been a little over a month and I must have turned some kind of corner...I feel like a different women...Not as tired, more energy and feel like doing things...I did find out I have a slight upper respitory infection but dr gave me antibiotics and meds to get rid of it....
So....as most of you said, it takes time, but I am starting to feel like my old self and am going to enjoy life!!
Hope all of you have a wonderful day!

DONCARLOS
Posts: 66
Joined: Jun 2009

Way to go. Never give up!!!!!!

DonCarlos

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

I'm glad to hear you are doing so well. I do not have cancer but I will be having this same surgery as I have a large benign mass in my right upper lobe. The dr says it will never go away on it's own and will get bigger over time so it needs to come out. Surgery is not yet scheduled but I'm hoping they will do it in the next few weeks.

If I may ask how old are you? I don't know if age or smoking history has anything to do with recovery but I am 45 and I have never smoked. I was very active until recently when I started having symptoms that led to the discovery of this mass. I'm hoping these are points in my favor.

If anyone else has anything to share I would love to hear it.

suebanj
Posts: 16
Joined: Jul 2009

I was a smoker...quit when they told me I was going to need lung surgery...I am 56 years old so I do have a few years on you...
I am about 6 1/2 weeks in recovery now....I'm really not in any pain...just some stiffness by the incision....I've been walking 2 miles a day and golfed 9 holes yesterday so I really think I'm doing pretty well from the surgery...I do have a problem with phelm and stiffness in my throat now though...I've been told this can happen after the operation and now I'm being treated for acid reflux!!! Just what I wanted...Oh, well, if we got all the cancer with the surgery, I'm surely not going to complain..
Good luck to you!

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

This is very helpful. And like you, I told myself if there's no cancer I will not complain. I feel very lucky.

suebanj
Posts: 16
Joined: Jul 2009

Good luck to you...Keep us posted....The recovery after surgery isn't the easiest, but if we come out of it healthy, who cares!!!

joyceannred
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2009

It's been a year and a half since my lobectomy -- upper right lobe removed. They did have to break some ribs on me. It was 7 months following my surgery before I could walk my large dog without alot of pain along my ribs from just holding the leash. All that pain is gone now, though still some soreness in my ribs. Aside from that I feel pretty darn good. Take walks, do a little yoga, play a little golf, and yes, I do get a little more out of breath that I did prior to my surgery. but I am not complaining. I'm 61, and I support age and lifestyle prior to your surgery are factors that affect how you do after surgery. Good luck!

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

They did my surgery to remove my upper right lobe on Friday, 9/4/09. Before the surgery all week long I was feeling so sick and weak so the doctor took me in and removed the lobe. My lobe had a huge abcess and it was taking up the entire lobe. It was supposed to be a 3 hour surgery but it actually took 7 hours. When the surgeon opened my chest the abcess burst and he had to scrape out all of this stuff that was hard like cheese. We are still awaiting pathology results but they believe it's just bacteria in the lung. They have identified 2 types of bacteria and we are waiting to hear what else was in there.

I know this is a lot different from what most of you have experienced but the lobectomy I had is probably like what you all had. It's been a tough week and I'm still in the hospital although they expect to release me tomorrow. Right now it feels like I will never be the same again but re-reading this thread about your healing has helped tremendously. Thank you all and as always you are all in my prayers.

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

Yeah! I'm glad you did not have cancer. I know that they need to run lots of tests on your abcess and get it under control, but hopefully that will be done and soon. I agree that your operation will hit you the same as those of us who had the lobectomy with cancer. It takes a few weeks just to get the anesthesia out of your system. Your skin and muscles and nerves have been jangled and it will take them time to recover too. Some of my cut nerves still aren't quite on line and my operations were back in 2006. Even so, by the end of a few short months I was back at the gym moving--slowly at first but moving just the same. It took from August til October before I went back to the gym. I waited till I could walk two miles before I attempted classes again. It was about 6 months before I could keep up like I used to. Now I am able to lift heavier weights than I did before surgery and the cardio is okay too. (Guys aren't the only ones who like to lift weights!) So take your time and listen to your body but keep doing what you can. Soon you will be doing more than ever!

Note: My mom took me walking at a near empty mall in town for several times before I was ready to walk outside after I came home from the hospital. When I could walk the mall in AC with no problems, I knew I would make it walking around my little town. Malls are climate-controlled and often have signs telling you how far you've walked. Just watch out for crowds that shove and push.

lmisnkc2
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

It's nice to be in the company of such brave people. I had my lobectomy 5-1-09 and am cancer free. I too had acid reflux along with phenumona 4 weeks after surgery but have gotten all my strength back. I have 2 questions though... Does the humidity bother anyone now after surgery that didn't have a problem before? Also, do any of you have numbness in the arm and breast area still or sharp pains that come and go quickly around the breast area? The doc seems to think it will all go away but he can't tell me if it will for sure. Just curious.

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

Thanks again for all of your words of encouragement.

lmisnkc2, I am also having numbness in the breast and sharp pains. Of course my surgery was a lot more recent than yours so this makes me wonder if this will continue for a few months for me.

I am also wondering about your experiences with drainage. I had 2 chest tubes in the hospital which were removed on 9/9. Ever since there has been some leakage from that area. I called the nurse yesterday and he said if the drainage does not stop soon they might have to stitch it. Did anyone else have drainage of a goldish fluid after leaving the hospital?

DONCARLOS
Posts: 66
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi I had my lobectomy on June 30, 09. I had to go back becuase I had shortness of breath caused by fluid. I was released after a few days and have been home since July 13, and doing well I guess. Very little pain and for sometiem numbness accross my chest and side. I do take my pain pill but not too much of it. I did develop some anxiety and depression and that is botheing more now than anything else. I also had a OSTREOSCAN and my Ocnologist found that I am free of any cancer in any part of my body, so I should be very happy but I am still depressed and often do get the pains you are describing, but I try to keep on working on some small chores etc. I am now 77 and I feel that I am not going through any more of this suffering as I did a few weeks ago. I also heard from a neighbor who had the same operation back in February and he is in constant pain, but I see him working on his garden every day. I guess we are just a little anxious to getthis part of our lives out of the way and as long as we keep thinking about it we will continue to bring the feeling back. I have to agree that these pains do not go away and keep coming back. I also hear that depression is a good friend of cancer so we must work on geteting our spirits back in a positive track. I am trying by keeping busy around the house, I wish yu well and keep writing....Reading good news from some of us will also make us happy.

Be well

Don Carlos.

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

I think it is good news that I haven't had to have a cancer operation since 2006, especially since I have been diagnosed with both breast cancer and lung cancer. When I was first diagnosed with cancer (2002, breast cancer) I was very depressed. I was so sure that the end was near. I remember wondering if I had a month or a year left. At the time I didn't know that cancer, even bad cases of it, are often something you live with. There were and are many things I do to keep anxious and depressed thoughts from taking over. Exercising every day helps me sleep lots better. Either I take a walk or go to the gym, in addition to anything I do around the house. It also seems to help if I have something good planned. Sometimes that is as simple as a trip out to dinner at the end of the week. Sometimes it has been a trip to go skiing for a weekend. It may sound corny to some folks that I had to give the worrying to God, but it seemed to me that he was big enough to handle that part of cancer and I sure wasn't too good at handling it. In any case, that helped too. Avoiding reading about cancer just before bed helps, but of course that's when I have the most time. Talking on the chatroom with other survivors sometimes puts my own problems in perspectives and that helps. I wonder what else other folks are doing to keep depression at bay.

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