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Follow up after complete lung removal

Posts: 4
Joined: May 2004

My wife has had her right lung completely removed as of 5/3/04, all of the pathological tests of the lymph nodes and tissue samples came back neg. We were told she would have a chest xray every 6 months for the next 5 years. I asked about a prventive maintenance program and our doctor mentioned adjunctive chemo treatment. I am not sure what this is we haven't seen an onocologist as of yet. The appointment is being set by our pulmonary doctor. I was wondering what kind of treatment and if it was going to cause sickness? Her cancer type was adenocarcinoma. And it was a large mass but had not spread to any of the local lymph nodes or mestasized. Our surgeon said it looked real good but we don't want it to show its ugly little head again. If anyone can help with this it would be most appreciated. She is doing great infact wasn't on a ventalator and was released last saturday from the hospital.

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2004

Chrisr: my aunt was in her late 70's and had surgery on her lung, since she had lung cancer and I just found out she had lived almost 12 years after her surgery. She just died in September 2003 at age 86 yrs old ?? approximately

Posts: 133
Joined: Nov 2001

hi Chrisr, I am mike, I have small cell lung cancer and had extensive chemo and extensive radiation. I would seek a second opinion on the radiation and the need or proof of neccessity. I have fibrosis and crystalization of my lungs from the radiation and also my lungs hurt because they are still swelled two years after radiation. I am in remission but I am in alot of pain because of the radiation. So please seek a professional opinion and not one from a radiologist because he most definitely would advise you to do it. I would ask an independant oncologist from a cancer center, Well good luck and hope I have not alarmed you but have helped you. Bless and in my prayers ,,, Mike

Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Chris, My name is betty2 if you see me on CSN. I had Adenocarcinoma in 1987 in my left lung they removed the top half, it was all contained so I had no chemo or radiation and I had large cell in my right lung in April of 1991, again it was contained and I never had either chemo or radiation, either time, Knowing what I do now though I would insist on one round of chemo just as a preventive measure. You never know if one of those little cells got loose. Mine didn't but I was lucky. I'm surprised that your wife isn't having to go every 2 mos then 4 mos and then 6 mos. It was when I was still going every 4 mos that they caught my 2nd one.( which had nothing to do with my 1st one) It has been since 1991 and I still go every year for a chest X ray.
Your wife will find she is much more vunderable to bronchitis and all the stuff to do with the respiratory system now. Make sure she starts walking right away to build up her left lung so she won't have problems breathing.
If you want to talk more my email addy is jodnns@aol.com

Posts: 4
Joined: May 2004

Thanks for replying betty...When you say one round of chemo what do you mean? Just one session or several? We are so out in the dark on this all the help and info I can get helps.

pacisan's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2002

Hi guys..I hope you are doing ok after this past couple of weeks. Hopefully you have seen your oncologist, but if not my advice to you is insist on the chemo. I had my left lung removed in 2001, and had three nodes involved. The oncologist I had (only saw him in the hospital one time and I was still on morphine)sad no chemo or radiation. I agree on the radiation, but everything I have heard and read since says I really should have had the chemo..even the new oncologist I got. Problem is it was to late by then. Again I hope you are doing well..believe me it takes time but you can recover and beat this "thing" called cancer..drop me a line if you feel the need..

Posts: 4
Joined: May 2004

Thank you for replying...We haven't seen an onocologist as of yet that is in June. But the reports from pathology showed neg on all areas tested and they removed the lymph nodes from her chest. She is recovering well from the surgery. And we are walking and working around the yard to build her strength back up...She's a tough one. We wish you the best and if you need an ear I am here also. Thank you

Posts: 4
Joined: May 2004

We will be seeing an onocologist in the middle of June and the chest xrays will be taken at approx the same time...Knowing that all the pathological reports are negative. If we should go ahead and do preventive maintenance, so to speak. And if she does elect to do follow up chemo what to expect. I know the onocologist will want to do treatment because thats his job, but i also am suspicious of the effects of chemotherapy after watching my grandfather go through it for 10 months. Granted he survived 12 years with lymphoma non-hodgkins. But the treatments made him so sick. I am sure things have change greatly since the early 80's. But still leary. We just don't know what to expect. I am going to request a PET scan just to play it on the safe side. I have heard that it will show any signs of problems. And thanks for the replies to my original post.

Plymouthean's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Chrisr,
My name is Ernie, and I'm a 2 1/2 year post-op survivor. I'm late tuning in to this discussion, but for what it's worth, - I had pre-op and post-op chemo when I had non-small cell lung cancer, stage IIIa.
The pre-op chemo was tough, with nausea, hair loss, memory loss, fatigue, weakness, etc.
After the upper 40% of my right lung was surgically removed, I had post-op chemo for about three months. The post-op chemo was nowhere near as potent, in terms of side effects. In fact, I really noticed none.
My advice would be to go for the post-op chemo.
Also, I doubt if the oncologist would recommend chemo "because it is his job". I always felt that my oncologist acted my best interests, and I'm sure your wife's oncologist will too.
Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery for your wife.


Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2004

Hi. I am glad to hear your wife is doing well. My dad had surgery last february for lung ca, small cell. He started with chemo and radiation, and ended with chemo after surgery even though they said they got it all. Its just "in case" they missed a cell. He had two different kinds of chemo medication. Neither really had little side effects. No hair loss. Little weight loss. It all depends on the kind of cancer. He only had to go once every 3 weeks, for about 9 treatments. He had to wait for about 6 weeks after surgery to start again. They also gave him a few different pre-meds to keep him from having a reaction, nausea etc. These are important. Good luck.

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