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Surgery went well

dorookie
Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

Hi Everyone,

Surgery went well, better then expected the doctor said. It was even shorter then she expected too. They took out the lump and 2 inches completely surrounding the lump. They did not have to take out the lobe, so that is great. The pathology report came back and it was clean, no other cancer. The doctor said that she looked around and everything looked great inside.

SO in a way I am cancer free, just have to do the 6 months of chemo. Now is when I am asking myself, do I want a second opinion on if I should do the chemo treatments, do I really need them? I have all the faith in the world in my ONC, guess I just want to hear that I dont have to do the chemo, or at least wont have to do it for so long. Was also thinking that maybe an oral chemo might work instead of the IV chemo? What do you all think?

Thanks to all for the prayers, nice to be back and out of the hospital. The pain is out of this world but I have good meds to help. So I am doing fine.

God Bless

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Beth, I was glad to hear your surgery went so well! I pray your recovery goes smoothly and that you are out of pain soon. As far as chemo, I believe that 6 months is standard if you do the chemo route. Whether to do chemo or not is definitely up to you! Getting it all and knowing whether microscopic cells are still floating about requiring nuking are two different concepts! I know some here have done well with no chemo, others have done well with chemo, and everywhere in between! Talk to your doctor and seek a second opinion if it makes you feel better! The decision is yours, as hard as that is! Have a good thanksgiving!
mary

dixchi's picture
dixchi
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

Isn't it wonderful to be out of hospital; that was the first good feeling I had too back
in July after liver resection. Then it was wonderful to have all that great pain med to just
chill out with.....except for the constipation it sometimes starts, ha......what's more
wonderful is that they did not have to remove very much. You have lots of blessings there.
My own personal opinion would be to take the chemo, even with all its aggravations, it is
an additional way to tell the beast it is not welcome in your body microscopic or otherwise!

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

First of all, I'm dancing for the success in the surgery!!! YEA!!!

Chynabear posted awhile back about a new blood test they are doing in Colorado that will spot the free-wheeling cancer cells swimming around. Maybe you could ask your onc about it.

Yup, 5 second opinions to see if I REALLY needed chemo again. I just didn't feel right about it somehow till the last one told me what I needed to hear.

Take care of yourself, and rest.

Hugs, Kathi

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/health/18036988/detail.html

VERY cool!!!!

Hugs, Kathi

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi,

I'm so glad to hear of your successful and smooth surgery! I never had adjuvant (followup) chemo after my liver resection this past May. I had 6 months of Folfox before then, but nothing after. When I recently went to a new oncologist for a consultation/2nd opinion on my current care, he seemed visibly horrified that I never had that adjuvant chemo after my surgery. Three months later, I did have to start in on chemo again for a recurrence in my lungs (not liver), however, there is an area in my liver that they are watching carefully- so I think I probably should have had that followup chemo, so I wouldn't be wondering if what I'm going through now could have been prevented. I'm curious about the blood test to "catch floating cancer cells" that was mentioned in a recent post- I'd definitely ask about that.

Xeloda is an oral chemo- not sure how often it's used as adjuvant chemo, but it's worth talking to your doctors about. If you're not aware, it's like the 5FU, but in oral form. 5FU is taken IV along with Leucovorin. I've been on both. There was another post about the Xeloda vs. the 5FU pump- I prefer the Xeloda to the pump, but there were some that preferred the pump. My initial concern with the Xeloda is would it be as effective if it had to take the time to go through my digestive system first. I talked w/ my onc & read studies on it, which have recently shown Xeloda to be at least as effective as the 5FU pump.

Best wishes to you during your recovery- take care and God bless,
Lisa

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Yayayaya Beth!! I'm so glad the surgery is over but even more important, that it went so well!! How are you feeling after the surgery? I'm curious just because that may be a procedure I have to go through in the future. Do you find breathing difficult at all... or any kind of pain?

Now, as for the chemo... again, the bottom line of course is the decision is up to you. I would get as much information about it before I would ever decide not to go with it because, as some have said, they have gotten recurrences and will never know if the recurrence happened because they didn't have the standard chemo after surgery or not.

Me... my personal decision would be to have the chemo. I'm a weird little duck that way, but I want the cancer to know it is NOT wanted nor welcome in my body and I will make it very ugly for cancer to set up home. Hahaha... sometimes, while in the waiting game, I'm tempted to ask my onc... why don't we put me on a round or 6 of chemo while we wait? I'd just as soon know that inside my body is a very cancer unfriendly site. Of course they don't just give you chemo for the sake of something to do... but sometimes I just want to make sure the cancer doesn't have any chance of starting somewhere else, so having the chemo in my system might prevent that.

On the other hand, I don't really want to be taking chemo if I don't need it. I figure chemo is a weapon to use in this battle and you don't want to overuse a good thing. Sort of like antibiotics... your body builds up an immunity to them if you take them for a virus. Antibiotics are for bacterial infections, not viruses... but so many people seem to take antibiotics at the sign of anything wrong. I'm not sure if our bodies build up an immunity to chemo, but I'd just as soon save it for when I really need it... and if, after surgery there's a small chance that there are individual cancer cells floating around looking for a new home, then I would definitely do the chemo to kill them off!

But, each to their own... this is something you really need to discuss with your onc so that you make the right decision for YOU :)

Huggggggs,

Cheryl

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

while your body doesn't build up a resistance to chemo, your cancer cells can. When i had my surgery for recurrent cancer, the hospital did tests on my tumor to see what drugs would be the most effective and no surprises, the 5FU and Leucovorin showed the most resistance; I had initially been put on FOLFOX but had to drop the oxaliplatin after 3 treatments due to toxicity. We continued with 5FU and Leucovorin alone for the remainder of the 6 months. My cancer learned to live with it, so to speak, although it did take 6 months after the end of chemo for it to start growing with a vengeance. So, they only give you chemo when it will work for you and switch drugs around when they stop working.
mary

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Thanks, Mary!! I was wondering about that... so even though I've had my moments where I was wondering why they don't give more chemo just as a safety net, your explanation makes total sense!

Hugggggs,

Cheryl

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

you're welcome!
mary

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I,like you had the option of Post Op Chemo as we all do so I thought about it for a while and needed time to realize that I didn't want to go through all the sickness that would go along with it but I eventually thought about the people that loved me, It was then not an option. If I wasn't going to do it for myself at least do it for the people that love you. They deserve you around as long as possible. It is something that you don't want to have to wonder if it was the right move or not to make. This way you'll never have to second guess yourself....and its really not as bad as it sounds..needle stick( we're use to that) nausea (small price to pay for assisted assurance of non re occurence)..Go for it and then know in your heart you have done it all....don't go through what you have gone through and then quit 3/4th of the way through the race.......its almost over...finish the race... God Bless ya and your decisions..

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I,like you had the option of Post Op Chemo as we all do so I thought about it for a while and needed time to realize that I didn't want to go through all the sickness that would go along with it but I eventually thought about the people that loved me, It was then not an option. If I wasn't going to do it for myself at least do it for the people that love you. They deserve you around as long as possible. It is something that you don't want to have to wonder if it was the right move or not to make. This way you'll never have to second guess yourself....and its really not as bad as it sounds..needle stick( we're use to that) nausea (small price to pay for assisted assurance of non re occurence)..Go for it and then know in your heart you have done it all....don't go through what you have gone through and then quit 3/4th of the way through the race.......its almost over...finish the race... God Bless ya and your decisions..

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Beth, I am so glad it went so well for you. I hope that you'll be feeling better soon. I know what you mean about the chemo. It would be great to just "be done with it". We are also facing the same situation. We've been down this road before. Last time we chose to observe and not do adjuvant chemo after my husband's liver resection. Now following the ablation for a reoccurrence in the liver in less than a year , he will most likely go back on chemo for 6 mos in hopes that any microscopic cells are eliminated. Take some time to heal and then whatever decision you make, it will be the right one. Once you've made it , don't look back . God Bless and keep us posted on your recovery.
Diane

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Congratulations on your successful surgery! That is excellent news. Great that they didn't have to remove the whole lobe -- and that will make for an easier recovery, too. Sorry to hear about the pain but glad you have good meds -- and the pain will resolve (I promise!).

The decision about chemo is a tough and very personal one. One piece of advice I have is that you try not to think about this for at least a week or two. You have a FULL-TIME JOB right now: recovering from surgery. Give yourself time to rest and recover. You don't need to make any decisions this week!!

I have been in the same situation as you (no evidence of disease, following lung surgery). As you have heard, some people have had "mop up" chemo afterwards, and some have not. I elected to do so. My feeling is: while I am young (relatively!) and healthy and strong (relatively!), I want to give it everything I can, to reduce or eliminate the chances of recurrence. Chemo is not fun -- but I can do it. My loved ones (esp my kids - two strapping teenage boys) are a strong inspiration for me -- we all have different inspirations. I wanted to give it my best shot. I certainly encourage you to seek out a second opinion, if you have the desire to do so. There is nothing to be lost by doing so. But in the meantime, DO rest up and take care of yourself!!

I am currently doing oral chemo (xeloda pills). But I am doing so in combination with a 2hr drip of oxaliplatin (i.e. XELOX). I prefer the pills to the 48 hr drip (FOLFOX), which I have also had. But there are advantages and disadvantages of both....

Love,
Tara

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Great news on the surgery, Beth. I'm glad they didn't have to take huge chunks out of you:) The chemo question is always so individual. Think about it and get a second opinion if you feel it is necessary. I'm an aggressive type, so I always say "Kill it! Kill it twice!" However, cancer cells do get tolerant to various chemicals, so perhaps there is an alternate regimen available. Either way, I'm so happy your surgery went well and that the pathology report came back so clean!!!!

Kirsten

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