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I was using that Lung!!!

Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2005

I am pretty new at this lung cancer thing. I just had the upper lobe of my left lung removed a couple weeks ago and I am struggling to get back on my feet. My body and my brain aren't on the same page yet. I keep thinking I can do more than I can. Anyone have an estimate on how long it will take to get back on my bike or at least handle the stairs with out a break? My doctors keep telling me it will come and that I need to give it time. thats fine I just want to know how much time. Am I doing to much am i doing to little....
What about treatment? Isn't it just going to make me feel weaker. Shouldn't I try to build my lung back up before they pump me full of Chemo? I really want to turn 30 and I guess I need some advice on how to make sure that happens!!!!

Plymouthean's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Whoa! Slow down! I'm not a doctor, but I'm a lung cancer survivor (4 years) and I had the top 40% of my right lung removed. Recuperation and adjustment take time. First, put this time thing into perspective. You are approaching 30 years of age. Seems like only yesterday that you were 20, - right? I was 67 when I had my surgery, and it took about 6 months until I could do the stair thing. Never did get back on the bike. After about a year, I was pretty much my old self again. That may seem like a long time to you now, but 6 months to 1 year is not that long a time. Besides, - Given your age, you will probably recuperate faster than I did. Second; I believe that you have probably been given some breathing exercises to do. If so, do them religiously. Your capacity to supply oxygen to your body is one of the most important factors in how well you recover. You obviously don't need more motivation to walk and exercise. Just listen to your body. It will allow you to do what it can handle. Rest when it tells you to. Be patient. Look back every so often and think of how short those ten years between 20 and 30 were. You have a long life ahead. Best wishes for a complete recovery.

Plymouthean's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Oh, yeah... The chemo treatments will probably not have an effect on your recovery. Post-surgery, chemo is usually given to kill off any remaining bad guys in your system. At least that was my experience. Ernie

Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2005

12/02/04 was my magic day. At 59, I had my entire left lung removed. Although I am not where I was pre-surgery (and I don't expect to be), I have been kayaking, mountain biking and yesterday I hiked 4 miles in the woods and had more left in me. I hope to do some snow shoeing and cross country skiing this winter. Don't know how well I will do but I feel fit enough to try. It will get better - be patient.

Neshel's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2005

During this transition you must be very Patient. My right lung was removed 9/7/04, and it has not been easy, the stairs seem to continue to be an obstacle and I'm all of 36. Breathing seems to be a job within itself. Take it one day at a time, and one step at a time. Whatever you do, do not over do it, the more energy you burn the more oxygen you'll need.

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