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59 year old Dad - Stage III Lung Cancer. They're talking surgery.... Anyone out there with success stories? Have only one lung?

Lindseyc5038
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2012

My name is Lindsey and I’m 27 years old. My father, Edward, 59 years old, was diagnosed with Stage III Lung Cancer (left lung) in early January. It took two months of tests/scans before starting treatment, but he has had 5-6 weeks of radiation Mon-Fri plus two full weeks of Chemo. Dad lost his hair during week 5. Even though the treatments have stopped in an attempt to bring his counts back up, he still has a very raw, sore throat from the radiation. He can barely eat, but eats soft foods such as egg noodles, jello, watermelon, and frappes. Whatever he can get down.

He met with the surgeon a few days ago and surgery seems to be the plan of action. Before concluding that they will do surgery, dad has to go in for breathing tests this week and next. If they do surgery, they will take the top lobe but may have to take the whole lung as the mass is bordering the bottom lobe. The surgeon said he might be able to “re-route” the artery (whatever that means) and save the bottom lobe, but he doesn’t know until he is in there. Dad gave his OK for him to do what it takes for survival.

Dad has a very bad burn on his back from the radiation. It’s extremely raw. For anyone with the same thing, take my advice and ask your doctor for this patch (feels like a gel patch) that they used to help the burn. I am confident that it has helped dad’s burn heal faster. I also recommend the Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for anyone willing to travel or within driving distance. Dad survived his Leukemia 15 years ago because of them. Amazing hospital.

Reading your posts about lung removal has helped to keep me thinking positive. I’m not naïve in that I know this will take time for him to recover and it won’t be easy, but I want to know what we are up against. They said they are “going after the cure” in dad’s case, so I am staying positive. If anyone wants to email me for information on the hospital I am recommending, my personal email is Lindsey_Carney@hotmail.com. Take care, all of you.

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

What type of lung cancer does your dad have? I have NSCLC and it was in the left lung. I had the upper lobe removed. It was painful and am still having pain 2 months after the surgery. They do the breathing test to see if he can have the surgery. If he fails the breathing test they may not want to take the lobe. Please let us know what happens. We will keep you and your dad in our prayers. God speed!

lekkerone
Posts: 199
Joined: Jan 2011

I am quite a few years older than your dad. I had my lower left lung removed on Dec. 1/10 and to date am doing fine. I did not find the surgery difficult I guess because I was so grateful to get it. I had lots of tests and for sure they do give lots of lung function tests if they are not sure. I was on the borderline in that regard but now am able to go to the gym, live a pretty normal life and I never needed oxygen. I still have rib and nerve pain but I thnk that is a small price to pay.
Please keep us up to date re: your dad and we will be here to answer any questions that you may have. Diane

dennycee
Posts: 675
Joined: Mar 2011

Lots of people live for decades with just one lung. My cousin lost one of his 30 years ago in a motorcycle accident. I have been living with one for 6 months. My lower left lung was lost to radiation and the upper lobe is paralyzed due to loculations (pockets of fluid in the pleural cavity that were too numerous to drain). I work out daily and walk a minimum of a mile a day.

At stage 3 it is still possible to achieve a cure and I hope that your dad succeeds there. In the meantime, to help get him past the esophageal irritation, and in addition to soft foods, ask your doc for "magic Mouthwash". Please keep us informed.

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