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1st visit to Oncologist after Lung wedge surgery

ellenm4's picture
ellenm4
Posts: 124
Joined: Dec 2011

This afternoon was scary enough being Friday the 13th and going to my onc to talk about my treatment since all surgeries have been done and all path reports were in. At first I was told T3 and they were waiting on the biopsy from the lymphnodes. They all cme back neg with one inconclusive. After seeing that the "Inconclusive" showed it was not cancer nor infection, my Onc said since I had Mono the first of November and a severe outbreak of shingles, it show inflammed slightly. He was not concerned about it....that was good, right? Well, I was told by the surgeon that did my surgery that he took out 2 tumors not one. Path report now shows thee larger tumor was cancer but the smaller second one was not. So, after having a long visit with my onc, and another onc in the room and talking to the lung doctor on intercom along with the surgeon, they have decided to get me built back up, get this cough I have to stop and take me back into surgery to remove the upper left lobe and remove my port. They all feel that this is indeed the best treatment for me and will keep me from having to under go chemo. I should feel pretty good about this, but removing the upper left lobe after only have a wedge done on the left lung 4 weeks ago is really scary to me! They are looking at doing this the first of Feb. Out of 4 doctors they all can't be wrong can they? I trust my Onc. He is a great and compassionate doctor. He feels doing this ups my 5 year survival rate a great deal. Please let me know your thoughts on this.

Thanks,
Ellen

In Peace you will find Love, with both you will find Eternity!

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Any surgery is scary so I can understand your apprehension but if all four of your doctors agree that this is the best route then I personally would follow through with their suggestion. I'm sure they would not operate before they felt your body was strong enough plus they are trying to build you back up and get rid of the cough first so it doesn't appear as though they are rushing it.

Unfortunately mine are inoperable but I would agree to surgery in a heartbeat if it were possible for me.

Please keep us updated,
Glenna

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

If the cancer is confined to one spot and has not spread, the gold standard is to remove that lobe. When the surgeon told me that he wanted to remove the middle lobe of my right lung, I also checked with another lung specialist over the internet to make sure that was the best course of action. After all, once out, it wasn't going back in. I had confirmation from the second source that indeed, surgery was the best route. The second opinion was free and took only a day or two. I think it was through the University of Maryland. I was assured that my remaining lung would grow into the missing spot and develop the ability to breathe sufficiently in time by all the doctors. Meanwhile, the breathing tests had indicated how much lung the surgeon could remove without harming me.They had also checked with a PET/CAT scan if the cancer had spread anywhere else. It hadn't. My surgeries were less than two weeks apart: first came the lung wedge biopsy via VATS, then the lobe removal with a modified VATS. The second one ouched more. It took longer to recover from it because of the close timing and the somewhat larger incision. However, I did recover. That was back in 2006. I still see the surgeon yearly for checkups but so far everything is stable without further treatment of any kind but monitoring. So check with another doctor if it gives you peace of mind. Then rest assured you are doing what is recommended for your kind of cancer.

Deb0202
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2011

Hi Ellen,
As Cabbott stated, there seems to be a 'gold standard' for each of our situations and the treatments that follow each diagnosis- vats or full thoracotomy, which kind(s) of chemo or no chemo, radiation...? You seem to have a good team caring for you. I wish you well on your recovery.
Best Wishes, Deb
(This is a shot in a million, but just checking that you aren't on any medication that could cause the cough. I had been on Lisinopril for high blood pressure for over a year, no history of any cough. Diagnosed with NSCLC and had chemo, radiation, and thoracotomy (upper right lobe removed) - still no cough. About three months later I developed a cough that had me thinking serious trouble was brewing again. Someone questioned if I happened to be taking Lisinopril. Saw my primary care MD, changed medication and haven't coughed since!)

ellenm4's picture
ellenm4
Posts: 124
Joined: Dec 2011

Deb I coughed only a few times after my lung wedge resection and even cough up very little dried blood....which did scare me at first. Called the surgeon real fast, and he stated that was normal. After that I did not cough any more. Two weeks after the lung wedge I went back in and had the mediastinoscopy done and he also paced a port while I was out. When I came around good I was in a hospital room. Everything went well, but they wanted to watch me overnight. I noticed I had a very large but soft knot above the cut. The nurse called the surgeon and they told them to go in and raise my bed to the sitting upright position and I even had to sleep that way. Three weeks later I still have this spot, although it has gone down a lot. The surgeon said it created a hematoma and that it would take time for my body to absorb it. I started coughing 2 days after this procedure and have been coughing since. My onc put me Friday on Tessalon Perle. It has slowed down some, but not totally gown yet. I am not on any new meds and nothng that would have caused it. Thanks for your advise though...it is always welcomed! Best of luck to you!
God Bless!
Ellen

Sandblaster's picture
Sandblaster
Posts: 17
Joined: Jan 2012

Im glad you got some responses from people with experience. Keep us posted of your plan. You have peeps to take care of you?????

ellenm4's picture
ellenm4
Posts: 124
Joined: Dec 2011

This morning I started coughing up stuff. It was little but looked like it might have had some blood in it. Called the onc and he sent me for a chest Xray. Now they are setting it up for a CT scan tomorrow. Looks like I have pneumonia....well that would explain the cough! So new meds are coming....hubby gone to get them. Tomorrow I will get the CT and go from there. Will keep everyone informed!
Sandblaster...yes I have a hubby with a little too much time on his hands right now, so he is my main care giver. Over the weekends my girls come over to help out. We seem to be doing ok, Thanks for asking! God Bless!

barbebarb's picture
barbebarb
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Ellen:
I have been following your posts regarding your lobectomy and lung edge procedures. I am a stage iv colon cancer w/lung and liver mets.I had a left lung lobectomy on 2/9 and am just starting to feel better, walking straight, but it has been painful and certainly slowed me down. I have a Ct scan next Sat. To look at liver tumor and next surgery will be 4/11, if I feel left side has healed. Your posts and others are helping me cope and learn more about dealing with these surgeries. (Next surgery is lung wedge and remove liver tumid providing scan is ok, I had 4 rounds of chemo to shrunk all tumors and am being treated at N Western hosp.in Chicago and have faith in this team
I hope you are feeling well. This surgery does limit what u can do. I have two young adults 20 and 22 that help me somewhat.
Blessings to you and your family. Thank u for reading my post.

barbebarb's picture
barbebarb
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Ellen:
I have been following your posts regarding your lobectomy and lung edge procedures. I am a stage iv colon cancer w/lung and liver mets.I had a left lung lobectomy on 2/9 and am just starting to feel better, walking straight, but it has been painful and certainly slowed me down. I have a Ct scan next Sat. To look at liver tumor and next surgery will be 4/11, if I feel left side has healed. Your posts and others are helping me cope and learn more about dealing with these surgeries. (Next surgery is lung wedge and remove liver tumid providing scan is ok, I had 4 rounds of chemo to shrunk all tumors and am being treated at N Western hosp.in Chicago and have faith in this team
I hope you are feeling well. This surgery does limit what u can do. I have two young adults 20 and 22 that help me somewhat.
Blessings to you and your family. Thank u for reading my post.

ellenm4's picture
ellenm4
Posts: 124
Joined: Dec 2011

Wow, you just had a left lung lobectomy on Feb 9 and you are doing this well this soon? Did you have it done VAT? I did not have mine done vats, instead I have a scar across middle of my back to bottom of rib cage towards underarm area. It is about 9" long. My pain is still great, but try to control with a patch. What is your next surgery for? Did they get everything when they did the lobectomy? I will keep you in my prayers. I have been having a lot of trouble breathing and the can not figure out why. The right lung is not producing as much air as the left is. The right lung is my good lung. I go back on the 30thand I know they are going to want to go down into the lungs again. Oh well...you keep me informed. As always...prayers for you!

Ellen

barbebarb's picture
barbebarb
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Yes I had Vats proc., still have pain and tightness. Take Norfolk as needed and use lidocaine patches for ribs, as well as ibuprofen. Surgeons want to wedge right lung and remove tumor on liver (have Ct scan on Sat to check liver) I get short of breath, too, it varies, the pain,walking straight etc. Very frustrating!
Next surgery is scheduled for 4/11, which may be too soon? I can where a bra sometimes but there are supportive garments, Barely There brand that are somewhat comfortable.
Wishing you the best at your spot., I think u mentioned tomorrow and my prayers are with u.
I find these boards great support.....
Please keep me informed how u r progressing.
Sincerely - Barb
I hope this doesn't post twice!

kathy1211
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2012

hi ellen, i hope you are doing well after your surgery. i had my lower right lobe removed october of 2011. i got sick from something else on vaca last summer and the clinic did a routine chest x-ray which found a spot on my lung. after MUCH testing and speculations on staging i was diagnosed with stage one. there was little discussion on treatment as i was told that the lobectomy was the best way to go. all and all i am doing pretty good. altho i do get a bit winded walking up stairs and hills. a couple months after surgery i developed a persistent dry cough. i mentioned it to my surgeon and onocologist who were not overly concerned since my tests looked ok and told me to see my regular dr. my reg dr did a chest x-ray that came out fine so she feels that i've develped allergies or asthma and i've been on an inhaler. i go back to the specialists for my 6month next month and plan on revisting it with them. don't know if you or anyone else has experienced anything like this.. but i can live with it as long as the test come out negative! good luck with your recovery... kathy

ellenm4's picture
ellenm4
Posts: 124
Joined: Dec 2011

On Feb 20, 2012 they went back in and removed the upper left lobe done thoracotomy done. I have had a dry hacking cough since December and nobody can figure it out or make it go away. Do you still have your cough? Mine is so bad at tim that I can't breath at times. I am not so sure I can live with it.... Ellen

kathy1211
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2012

don't think i've got it quite as bad as you but been coughing now for a good 3-4 months and have some chest tightening.. still huffing and puffing on hills and stairs. my primary care physician thinks it's alergies so i'm on inhaler advar twice a day to open the air passage ways. she's talking about me seeing a pulmonologist but i'm waiting until after i see my surgeon for my six month follow up which comes up in a few weeks to see if he has anything else to offer. will let you know if they can shed any light.
(ps never had alergies in all my 53 years) good luck...kathy

kathy1211
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2012

don't think i've got it quite as bad as you but been coughing now for a good 3-4 months and have some chest tightening.. still huffing and puffing on hills and stairs. my primary care physician thinks it's alergies so i'm on inhaler advar twice a day to open the air passage ways. she's talking about me seeing a pulmonologist but i'm waiting until after i see my surgeon for my six month follow up which comes up in a few weeks to see if he has anything else to offer. will let you know if they can shed any light.
(ps never had alergies in all my 53 years) good luck...kathy

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