Dealing with Lobectomy

135

Comments

  • Mikhail
    Mikhail Member Posts: 1
    I had a left pneumonectomy and left and right lymph node dissection last month, complicated by a post op hemorrhage, infection, right lung collapse, the lungs both filled with blood during the hemorrag, I lost half my blood supply and coded. I went home, by myself six days later. The seventh day I walked 2 miles and it took three hours, and I was extremely short of breath. I also had seven incisions and a few drain holes and a throat wound. Not comfortable. Every day I walked more. Sunday I walked 9 miles in2 and a half hours. In 2 or 3 weeks I will go back to walking 10 miles round trip to my job where I walk and carry for 14 and a half hours a night. I don't have the money to stay out of work any longer. After the third week the pain got a lot less. I had a lot of nerve pain initially, pain where the drains had been, and pain underneath the front of my rib cage and flank, I gguess where I had retractors. I vacummed one week post op. Its a month and I am still not lifting really heavy things, but I am getting a lot of exercise. My oncologist said to exercise as much as I possibley can, and my thoracic surgeon said that a person can not walk enough.Every day I am getting less short of breath. Since my insurance company is owned by my crappy hospital, I did not get physical or pulmonary rehab, so I am doing it all on my own. Since my throat was cut twice to put in tubes externally, my voice was very hoarse. It sounded awful when I spoke. I let that rest till Sunday. I am maximizimg my breath contol with singing. Its very hard. I can not do the whole score of Phantom of the Opera yet nor half as well as I could do preop, but I am missing a few lungs. The right lung has stage 3 COPD, asbestosis. emphysema and chronic bronchitis. I tend to get pneumonia every three months even though I am active, because of fibrotic lungs. I also chose not to go home on oxygen. Because I have COPD, I can easily live in the upper 80's, low 90's in saturation. oxygen is a drug, and should be used only if necessary. most docs will not prescribe it till a pulse ox is below 87 percent. I've been as low as 85, but my body tolerates that. Its a lot to adjust to, bioth physically and mentally. I always was very athletic and competitive. I am only 49. I was diagnosed a year ago, by myself on an xray and had to fight to get a CAT scan, paid for out of pocket. They did not biopsy me for 7 more months, despite me calling twice a week. My hospital, who owns the insurance company, forbids us to see snyone but their doctors, and the town is small, so they are the only show in Central Texas. I am lucky to have made it through alive. But the more you ask your body to do, the more it will adapt, the more function you will have. Good luck.
  • barbebarb
    barbebarb Member Posts: 464
    gram said:

    I had a left upper lobectomy 18 mos. ago and I feel wonderful today. Give yourself time to heal and be patient. I was a good ten weeks before I felt like a human again.Today I walk 2 miles a day. I guess I was lucky, I never had trouble breathing. I get shortwinded climbing stairs and doing physical work. It was a very painful recovery but I tried to walk in the house a little bit each day. During recovery from surgery, I felt very lonely a lot of times altho I had a wonderful supportive family and friends. I also experienced depression,anxiety and crying jags. My Doctor put me on antidepressant medicine and it has made a big difference. Also , these feelings are normal. Our bodies have gone thru a major trama undergoing major surgery. The biggest thing I found was to listen to my body. Rest when you are tired, cry when you are sad, talk when you need to. One day you will feel like a brand new person. Hope This helped you. If you have any more questions, I will be glad to talk with you. I am a 59 year old female.

    dealing with lobectomy
    Hi Gram:
    Thank u for your candid post on your experience. I had upper left lobectomy 2/9 and am going thru the same feelings. A little lonely being at home and trying to do activities in the house to keep me active. I am lucky to have friends checking on me ss well ss my 20 and 22 year olds who are home in the evening. I though I'd recooperate sooner but its a slow recovery. I am 53 and was very active before my cancer reoccurence-ugh! And surprised the way it came back but lucky it was found!
    My big concern is I have to have my other lung wedged and at that time a liver tumor will be removed so I hope to heal by end of month. I see the liver surgeon March 15.
    Anyone, other thoughts on healing from this surgery?
    I am trying to remain positive but the rib pain sure can hurt. I sm on ibuprofen q/4 hours and take a Norco at night when pain peaks.
  • barbebarb
    barbebarb Member Posts: 464
    barbebarb said:

    dealing with lobectomy
    Hi Gram:
    Thank u for your candid post on your experience. I had upper left lobectomy 2/9 and am going thru the same feelings. A little lonely being at home and trying to do activities in the house to keep me active. I am lucky to have friends checking on me ss well ss my 20 and 22 year olds who are home in the evening. I though I'd recooperate sooner but its a slow recovery. I am 53 and was very active before my cancer reoccurence-ugh! And surprised the way it came back but lucky it was found!
    My big concern is I have to have my other lung wedged and at that time a liver tumor will be removed so I hope to heal by end of month. I see the liver surgeon March 15.
    Anyone, other thoughts on healing from this surgery?
    I am trying to remain positive but the rib pain sure can hurt. I sm on ibuprofen q/4 hours and take a Norco at night when pain peaks.

    Lobectomy recovery=walk, walk, walk!
    I have read all these posts and to sum it up it sounds like walk wake walk to work out these pains and heal!
    Any other advice?
  • barbebarb
    barbebarb Member Posts: 464
    barbebarb said:

    dealing with lobectomy
    Hi Gram:
    Thank u for your candid post on your experience. I had upper left lobectomy 2/9 and am going thru the same feelings. A little lonely being at home and trying to do activities in the house to keep me active. I am lucky to have friends checking on me ss well ss my 20 and 22 year olds who are home in the evening. I though I'd recooperate sooner but its a slow recovery. I am 53 and was very active before my cancer reoccurence-ugh! And surprised the way it came back but lucky it was found!
    My big concern is I have to have my other lung wedged and at that time a liver tumor will be removed so I hope to heal by end of month. I see the liver surgeon March 15.
    Anyone, other thoughts on healing from this surgery?
    I am trying to remain positive but the rib pain sure can hurt. I sm on ibuprofen q/4 hours and take a Norco at night when pain peaks.

    Lobectomy recovery=walk, walk, walk!
    I have read all these posts and to sum it up it sounds like walk wake walk to work out these pains and heal!
    Any other advice?
    I also have lidocaine strips I cm cut and place over my ribs......
  • barbebarb
    barbebarb Member Posts: 464
    Mikhail said:

    I had a left pneumonectomy and left and right lymph node dissection last month, complicated by a post op hemorrhage, infection, right lung collapse, the lungs both filled with blood during the hemorrag, I lost half my blood supply and coded. I went home, by myself six days later. The seventh day I walked 2 miles and it took three hours, and I was extremely short of breath. I also had seven incisions and a few drain holes and a throat wound. Not comfortable. Every day I walked more. Sunday I walked 9 miles in2 and a half hours. In 2 or 3 weeks I will go back to walking 10 miles round trip to my job where I walk and carry for 14 and a half hours a night. I don't have the money to stay out of work any longer. After the third week the pain got a lot less. I had a lot of nerve pain initially, pain where the drains had been, and pain underneath the front of my rib cage and flank, I gguess where I had retractors. I vacummed one week post op. Its a month and I am still not lifting really heavy things, but I am getting a lot of exercise. My oncologist said to exercise as much as I possibley can, and my thoracic surgeon said that a person can not walk enough.Every day I am getting less short of breath. Since my insurance company is owned by my crappy hospital, I did not get physical or pulmonary rehab, so I am doing it all on my own. Since my throat was cut twice to put in tubes externally, my voice was very hoarse. It sounded awful when I spoke. I let that rest till Sunday. I am maximizimg my breath contol with singing. Its very hard. I can not do the whole score of Phantom of the Opera yet nor half as well as I could do preop, but I am missing a few lungs. The right lung has stage 3 COPD, asbestosis. emphysema and chronic bronchitis. I tend to get pneumonia every three months even though I am active, because of fibrotic lungs. I also chose not to go home on oxygen. Because I have COPD, I can easily live in the upper 80's, low 90's in saturation. oxygen is a drug, and should be used only if necessary. most docs will not prescribe it till a pulse ox is below 87 percent. I've been as low as 85, but my body tolerates that. Its a lot to adjust to, bioth physically and mentally. I always was very athletic and competitive. I am only 49. I was diagnosed a year ago, by myself on an xray and had to fight to get a CAT scan, paid for out of pocket. They did not biopsy me for 7 more months, despite me calling twice a week. My hospital, who owns the insurance company, forbids us to see snyone but their doctors, and the town is small, so they are the only show in Central Texas. I am lucky to have made it through alive. But the more you ask your body to do, the more it will adapt, the more function you will have. Good luck.

    Lobectomy recover better?
    I am 53 and had L lobectomy, trying to walk farther e recovery is so slow. How are you feeling? I am walking everyyday but still get rib pain. I have to have 2nd surgery scheduled in other side but feeling now?d I hope m Barbuch better. Are you back at work? Barb
  • emy247
    emy247 Member Posts: 8
    barbebarb said:

    Lobectomy recover better?
    I am 53 and had L lobectomy, trying to walk farther e recovery is so slow. How are you feeling? I am walking everyyday but still get rib pain. I have to have 2nd surgery scheduled in other side but feeling now?d I hope m Barbuch better. Are you back at work? Barb

    peumonectomy via Vats

    Just got home last pm. removed all three lobes on rt through Vats. I had a very skilled surgeon. My question is what is a good recovery plan for walking. I have been up and walking quite a bit each day,but when should I start back with my treadmill. I am 61 and fairly healthy other than having the rt lung removed.

  • dennycee
    dennycee Member Posts: 842
    emy247 said:

    peumonectomy via Vats

    Just got home last pm. removed all three lobes on rt through Vats. I had a very skilled surgeon. My question is what is a good recovery plan for walking. I have been up and walking quite a bit each day,but when should I start back with my treadmill. I am 61 and fairly healthy other than having the rt lung removed.

    Hi Emy.

    I did not have a pneumonectomy so I can't really help.  May I suggest though that you start a new thread.  Due to the age of this one, many may not find it.  Maybe you will get more responses that way.  

    welcome to the website 

  • emy247
    emy247 Member Posts: 8
    dennycee said:

    Hi Emy.

    I did not have a pneumonectomy so I can't really help.  May I suggest though that you start a new thread.  Due to the age of this one, many may not find it.  Maybe you will get more responses that way.  

    welcome to the website 

    Thank you

    I just don't know how to start a new thread.

  • Xiaowang
    Xiaowang Member Posts: 17
    emy247 said:

    peumonectomy via Vats

    Just got home last pm. removed all three lobes on rt through Vats. I had a very skilled surgeon. My question is what is a good recovery plan for walking. I have been up and walking quite a bit each day,but when should I start back with my treadmill. I am 61 and fairly healthy other than having the rt lung removed.

    You will be fine

    Hi,

     

    my relative had a the same surgery as you did. After 30 years she is still there.

  • Xiaowang
    Xiaowang Member Posts: 17
    emy247 said:

    peumonectomy via Vats

    Just got home last pm. removed all three lobes on rt through Vats. I had a very skilled surgeon. My question is what is a good recovery plan for walking. I have been up and walking quite a bit each day,but when should I start back with my treadmill. I am 61 and fairly healthy other than having the rt lung removed.

    You will be fine

    Hi,

     

    my relative had a the same surgery as you did. After 30 years she is still there.

  • Xiaowang
    Xiaowang Member Posts: 17
    emy247 said:

    peumonectomy via Vats

    Just got home last pm. removed all three lobes on rt through Vats. I had a very skilled surgeon. My question is what is a good recovery plan for walking. I have been up and walking quite a bit each day,but when should I start back with my treadmill. I am 61 and fairly healthy other than having the rt lung removed.

    You will be fine

    Hi,

     

    my relative had a the same surgery as you did. After 30 years she is still there.

  • Xiaowang
    Xiaowang Member Posts: 17
    emy247 said:

    peumonectomy via Vats

    Just got home last pm. removed all three lobes on rt through Vats. I had a very skilled surgeon. My question is what is a good recovery plan for walking. I have been up and walking quite a bit each day,but when should I start back with my treadmill. I am 61 and fairly healthy other than having the rt lung removed.

    You will be fine

    Hi,

     

    my relative had a the same surgery as you did. After 30 years she is still there.

  • janny said:

    Had upper right lung removed 4-23-2001. What a horrific experience but have had no pain after 9 weeks but breathing is still difficult under various situations; brisk walking, etc. Just started 1/2 hr. strong swimming daily exercise to determine if this will strengthen lungs.

    Indication was that surgery got the cancer as it early detection Stage I non-small cell. I am most interested in how others with this surgery felt about the operation in general and the recovery. I consider myself a person with a high pain tolerance and felt I was in excellent health but this surgery is something no one can fully comprehend in advance.

    Your thoughts?

    2 months post-op

    I, too, had an upper right lobe removed.  Still have a good deal of coughing, and my lung capacity does not feel normal yet.  I seem to have quite a bit of pain around right rib cage.  Seems my body is telling me I still need rest.  Never been one to nap, but I do need a nap mid-afternoon, now.  Like yours, my tumor was caught early, so I did not require chemo or radiation. 

    Hoping springtime will relieve me of this cough.  Actually, it is not so bad unless I talk.  I have two grandchildren, (3 & 5) and after a couple of hours with them, I crash and burn the following day.  Guess our stamina comes back ever so gradually.

    Input would be helpful.

    Thanks,

    Penny Laura

  • gram said:

    I had a left upper lobectomy 18 mos. ago and I feel wonderful today. Give yourself time to heal and be patient. I was a good ten weeks before I felt like a human again.Today I walk 2 miles a day. I guess I was lucky, I never had trouble breathing. I get shortwinded climbing stairs and doing physical work. It was a very painful recovery but I tried to walk in the house a little bit each day. During recovery from surgery, I felt very lonely a lot of times altho I had a wonderful supportive family and friends. I also experienced depression,anxiety and crying jags. My Doctor put me on antidepressant medicine and it has made a big difference. Also , these feelings are normal. Our bodies have gone thru a major trama undergoing major surgery. The biggest thing I found was to listen to my body. Rest when you are tired, cry when you are sad, talk when you need to. One day you will feel like a brand new person. Hope This helped you. If you have any more questions, I will be glad to talk with you. I am a 59 year old female.

    Your comments have been most

    Your comments have been most helpful.  Thanks.

  • mind boggling
    mind boggling Member Posts: 16
    grama17 said:

    Pain
    I was glad to read all of the information from you all. I am thinking now that my upper back pain is probably muscle pain due to all of the surgery. Still is really bothersome. I do take ibuprofen with the hydrocodone, hoping it will help with muscle pain too. Doesn't seem to make a difference. It is a patience kind of thing for all of us I guess.
    Take care and Thanks for being out there and wanting to communicate. Oh and waring a bra, forget it! Maybe too personal but I found a tank top with light bra insert works best.

    oh yes to the bre thi!ng! 

    oh yes to the bre thi!ng!  Does this mean no more bras ever?

     

  • cathyraff
    cathyraff Member Posts: 4

    2 months post-op

    I, too, had an upper right lobe removed.  Still have a good deal of coughing, and my lung capacity does not feel normal yet.  I seem to have quite a bit of pain around right rib cage.  Seems my body is telling me I still need rest.  Never been one to nap, but I do need a nap mid-afternoon, now.  Like yours, my tumor was caught early, so I did not require chemo or radiation. 

    Hoping springtime will relieve me of this cough.  Actually, it is not so bad unless I talk.  I have two grandchildren, (3 & 5) and after a couple of hours with them, I crash and burn the following day.  Guess our stamina comes back ever so gradually.

    Input would be helpful.

    Thanks,

    Penny Laura

    Hi PennyYour story caught my

    Hi Penny

    Your story caught my eye, my husband just underwent an upper right lobectomy in February.  He is going back to work tomorrow on his surgeon's advice.  I worry it's too early as he too has pain, especially in his ribcage where the tubes were.  When did you have your lobectomy?  His incision is still swelled and  a little red, surgeon said it's just inflamation and normal.  He too gets tired quicker than he use too.  They say it takes a year to heal completely, starting to believe it. 

     Thanks,

    Cathy

  • dyshepard
    dyshepard Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2016 #58
    oxygen use

    I am about 1 month from right upper lobe removal.  cancer, but only there, so no further treatment except follow-ups in 6 months.  The pain is still terrible. I take vicoden to sleep but just ibuprofen during the day.   I still seem to need constant oxygen assistance.  Does anyone have any comments of how long I might need it?  I have had slight COPD for many years, but controlled just fine with just inhaler use once daily.   Also, the bra issue,  I can't imagine how I will ever be able to wear one again.  Besides the large surgical scar, my rib cage below the breast where drainage tube was is still so tender.  I wish I could build up my strength but don't seem to be able to walk any real distance.  I am 71 yrs old and had triple bypass with new aortic valve in 2013.    any comments would be appreciated.. 

  • z
    z Member Posts: 1,411 Member
    dyshepard

    Hello I had a vats surgery for the lower right lobe on 9-23-10, no other tx required it was stage 1a NOMO.  I didn't wear a bra until I went back to work a month later.  I was 51 years old.  It took at least 6 months to get my stamina back, and just to walk was difficult, but just kept moving.  The best I can tell you to do is walk around as much as possible because that will help build your strength back.  I know 3 days in bed takes 6 days to recover, so the more you get up and walk the better.  You should be doing breathing exercises as well to help regain strength in your lungs.  I didn't require oxygen, but do have mild copd.  I wish you well.  Lori.

  • eclc
    eclc Member Posts: 18
    dyshepard said:

    oxygen use

    I am about 1 month from right upper lobe removal.  cancer, but only there, so no further treatment except follow-ups in 6 months.  The pain is still terrible. I take vicoden to sleep but just ibuprofen during the day.   I still seem to need constant oxygen assistance.  Does anyone have any comments of how long I might need it?  I have had slight COPD for many years, but controlled just fine with just inhaler use once daily.   Also, the bra issue,  I can't imagine how I will ever be able to wear one again.  Besides the large surgical scar, my rib cage below the breast where drainage tube was is still so tender.  I wish I could build up my strength but don't seem to be able to walk any real distance.  I am 71 yrs old and had triple bypass with new aortic valve in 2013.    any comments would be appreciated.. 

    oxygen use

    Dyshepard, I had a right pnuemonectomy back in 1997.  I can tell you that it takes a while to heal from the thorocotomy...there's just no short cut.   I'm a guy so I don't where a bra but can tell you that wearing one would freak me out since I'm all numb along my scar.  I think it would feel like it was always falling down (ok, time to reign in my feminine side Sealed)  As for the O2, I believe your need for O2 will go away naturally.  I lost my entire lung and did use O2 for a while after my pnuemonectomy but eventually i weaned off of it.  I went for may years without using it...now at age 53, I've started using it more.  One thing you may want to do is pick up a PulseOx meter.  You can pick them up at your local drug store for 15 bucks or so.  They're the thing that they put on the end of your pointer finger when you get your vitals taken in the doctors office.  This things measure the O2 in your blood.  Normally, your pulseox will be in the upper 90's.  This little tool can help you determine if you 'NEED' oxygen or if you 'THINK' you need oxygen.  If your oxygen drops down past 90% you are said to be "de-satting' (for desaturation) and oxygen is required.  If you're going through your day and your pulseox stays 94 and better, you may be able to leave the O2 at home.  Hope this helps and I'm happy to answer any more questions you may have.

  • wheezerone
    wheezerone Member Posts: 2
    edited July 2016 #61
    gelc said:

    I had my surgery 4-24-2001, so we are at exactly the same point. I too had stage 1 non-small cell, with no further treatment warrented. The pain is finally gone, and the breathing is good, except in cases of extreme heat. Then I just go in air conditioning for a while. I do have an inhaler that I use as needed, and that seems to help. I do feel back to my old self, and am trying to exercise also to build my endurance.
    Yes, the pain was interesting, but I feel that it was well managed in the hospital, and I was able to get off the pain pills within 4 weeks of suregery, which surprised the doctor. I am on anti-depressents and seeing a therapist also. Feel free to email me.

    pain

    getting ready to see lung surgeon next week.  I have cancer on left upper lung.  Was wondering about your pain for all those weeks.  Right now I don't have any pain. I have ashtma, COPD, emphasema and now lung cancer.  The only time I have pain is when I can't breathe.  Wait - I understand - you didn't have pain before surgery - just after.  Can you describe how the pain felt to me? I'm not per se scared but anxious about it.  Thanks.