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Gotta love surgery

Posts: 238
Joined: Sep 2003

Hello Everyone!

I'm glad to see everyone seems to be doing relatively well. Happy birthday SB! And hang in there Judy... I would really tell that skinny wench to kiss my stoma! You are a beautiful spirit - remember that!

As for me, I'm alive and kickin'! I have to say that the thoracotomy was MUCH easier than the APR. Although there was still about two million places I would rather have been and about four million things I would have prefered to have been doing. This includes counting the tiles of a bathroom floor or eating raw monkey butt. When all is said and done however, I do not know how effective obssessive counting or monkey eating are in combating cancer (although, I'm sure if I looked hard enough, I could find some firm believer in the power of cure in counting/monkey-butt eating). Anyhow, I'm still on dilaudid and other pain meds. so please forgive my random ramblings..

As for what the surgery accomplshed... it's really hard to say. The surgeon keeps reminding me how "experimental" it is. From my understanding, he froze three lung wedges and had them analyzed. They all came back malignant. That sucks because I was still hoping that maybe the spots were benign. Oh well. He resected 5 other wedges (and I have to wait for the pathology on those) and claimed he removed everything he could palpate - he was quick to remind me, however, that micrometastases most probably remain. More on the bad news is that my last CT done just prior to the surgery showed 4-6 new nodules on my left lung. The conclusion of the radiologist was increase in size and number of lung nodules. Anyways, at least my right lung is done and they took out all they could. Now, the plan is to do some more new chemo and then do the left lung. The good news is that there is more plan! They are far from giving up, as am I. I am recuperating well and am still pleased that I pursued the surgery... My CEA went from 4.1 to 2.7, so that's a glimmer of hope. I'm going to class tomorrow and I'm super excited about starting back to school. I never thought I would be attending lectures one week post-op!

Hope all is well and my thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of you! Now, must go take my pain meds.... hmmm....

Lots of love,

p.s. Does anyone have any suggestions on swollen legs/arms? It's getting pretty bad since surgery - somewhat reminiscent of the elephant man! I'm on 20mg of Lasik to try to help... Any other ideas?

alihamilton's picture
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

All I can say Andrea is that you are an inspiration! With all you have gone through and still are going through, and able to describe your condition with humour and such optimism is amazing!!

I do so hope your post is an inspiration to anyone who is feeling down right now.

All the best.

Posts: 319
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Andreae, you are a inspiration to me and others. It is true that if the doctors have a plan it beats nothing at all. You hang in there girl and never give up I know I won't. Montiel a.k.a. Livin

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Welcome back Andrea!!!!Just reading your post tells me that your attitude to all this is really great. You have to be one tough gal to come across so calm and collected!
How yu do it sweetie is beyond me--mmmm--tell yu what--bout time yu got a rainbow from kanga--so go looking at the end of it for that big pot o "love".
Sending yu a big hugg to go.--luv , kanga n Jen

Posts: 145
Joined: Mar 2004

hello there. just wanted to share a little with you about me maybe you will be more comforted especially with some of the news you got about the malignancies. i hate that word. anyway i am now 35 but in 03 i had two major surges one being lung. at the time of the surg i had 4 in left lung in 3 in the right that they could see however after the surgery was all sd and done i had 17 tumors removed some were very small and 11 wedges all but 2 were milignant. had that done march 03 started chemo in april and sitll on now. last ct in jan of 04 had some new ones and several small ones 2 many to count so back on chemo again. at this point i a have one left in my left lung but is very small so hope it is gone this time will find out end of this month. so you keep fighting and keep your humor. i did not get a chance to count ceiling tile the day after surg they sd you have to get up and make it to the door and try to go farther at least six times today and then tomarrow you will go to phys theorapy and get on bike or treadmill and move. i hope this helps you with some of the unknown just keep fighting. you take care and keep us posted.


spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Andrea -

I am shocked by your insensitive posting...

Didn't you know that counting bathroom tiles is the national sport in Australia? And were you, an educated woman, unaware of the fact that raw monkey butt is considered a DELICACY in certain parts of Australia - especially SOUTH AUSTRALIA?

I cannot believe that Kangatoo and Jenn were so nice in their reply to you. I am personally SHOCKED!

Hopefully your classes next week will teach you to be more sensitive to the cultures of others.

HA-HA! You made me laugh out loud! That was great!

you hang in there, darlin' - anything you need you just holler. Rest assured I raised my glass to you, especially, on my birthday. Let's make a plan to get together next September 5th and pay hommage to Captain Morgan together!


(that's supposed to be a hug, not a raw monkey butt)

- Sponge

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004


you are a stitch and I want to be there next Sept 5th when you and SB have that Captain Morgan!!!! That is, if you will have me.

You hang in there and fight, fight!!!!! I love to cook and like to use cooking analogies, so I am sending many many pounds of "soul food" (that wonderful combination of foods, fun and wonderfully loved and loving friends and family)!!!!!

Lisa P.

PS. The fluid retention takes a while for the body to process while it is working full time already. Help it out, by drinking lots of healthy fluids. I found myself peeing every hour (after I laid down for rest. I had 55 pounds of it to get rid of and it took about 6 weeks. Lying down was the key, once I talked to my dr about it. It makes it easier for the cells to respond while they are at "rest".

Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Girlfriend, you rock!!!!!!!!!! Your positive attitude is inspirational. Keep it up!!

I am soo glad your thoracotomy was a piece of cake; mine was the same. After living through APR, everything is easy!!!

Advice for the swelling: continue the Lasix. You may try elevating the worse limbs (higher than your heart), but when it's all arms/legs it'll be pretty difficult. See if it helps.

Best of luck to you. Continue the fight. And again, YOU ROCK!!

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Aw ok---now who instigated this "monkey butt" thing?. Kanga and Jen respectably would like to inform all and sundry that the most common and extremely favourite dish served in tha ozzie outback is effectionately known as "kangaroo tail soup".
However, it is reasonable to assume that our friends across tha briny could mistake that for "monkey butt"------he he

BTW --kangaroo butt is quite palatable--lol
You want I should send yu a copy of ,

"BRING ME 2 PINA-COLADAS-I want one for each hand--
Garth Brooks--------Seven's

Thought yu might like that!!!!!
luv kanga n Jen

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Dear Andrea,

As others have said, you are an inspiration to all of us. Keep up the good fight! Your CEA going down is a good sign, and your positive attitude will help you with your battles.

Hope your classes and your new chemo regimen both go well.

Keep us posted.

Hugs to you,


Anonymous user (not verified)

Andrea, you've got such spirit and "UMPH" that I know deep in my heart you will be a dragon slayer not only for yourself but your inspiration to others to get of the "why me" wagon and jump on the ship of survivors. God Bless and Keep you, sweetheart.

Monika and Bert

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

Andrea: cool Beans, Babe..the doc is right about the buggersyou can't see, but hopefully the chemo can..I also had the thoracotomy, but only for a biopsy & confirmation of malignant mets-(21 bilateral) the chemo zapped about 16, then IMRT (last month) is supposed to do in 3 more..have to wait 3 months, then CT to see what's left. If you have less than 5 visible-(by PET/CT lesions, you might want to consider IMRT; less invasive and no side effects. Bud

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