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hubby diag nscl stage 2b lung cancer 8 wks ago

moonie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi I just found this site, and I'm very grateful. So far found lots of answers, lots of information and lots of reassurance here. My husband has recently been diagnoised with nscl stage 2b lung cancer. His work requires a physical every 3 yrs, and it was picked up on the chest xray. Last physical there was no sign of a problem. The tumor us 7.6 cm in size, and apparently on the bottom side of the top left lobe, touching the bottom right lobe and very close to an artery. Also pressing on broncoi?? We have had CT, PET and a needle biopsy so far. Wed they will do the broncoiscopy to verify it is not involved with the artery yet. If all goes well, he will have surgery the following day on Thur am. They aren't sure till they get in there, but as of now the surgeon has told us odds are she will end up having to take both upper and lower left lobe out. Then followed by the usual treatments..chemo and radiation. Hubby has a very predominant family history of cancer on his Mom's side. Also been a smoker for 42 yrs. of which we've been married 34 of that. Thank god for the support of friends and family. One of my main concerns is aftercare as I also have several health issues including heart, vascular disease, emphysemia, asthma and diabetic.
Thanks for a chance to just talk. that seems to help, knowing we aren't alone, and so many have beaten the odds. Trying to hang on to our optimism and humor!
Moonie

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi. I'm glad that you found us. And I'm glad that you're finding us helpful. We certainly have experience with cancer, so put us to work! I'm a five year survivor of nsclc, 3a, initially dx'd as inoperable/incurable. Number one... pay no attention to the "odds"! The oncologists and surgeons are very good at what they do. Have faith in them, but if you feel dissatisfied with them, don't hesitate to get another opinion. The doctors are used to that, and they do not get offended by it. And so what if they do???
As for care after surgery,- first look into home nursing, visiting nurses, etc., through the social services department of the hospital. Just ask the doctor or the nurses about it. They will probably suggest it to you prior to discharge from the hospital.
Also, many of your friends and family would be willing to help out, I'm sure. They are usually reluctant to offer, but will pitch right in when asked. There are so many things that they can do for you,- rides to the hospital to visit, rides to treatments, errands, giving you a break. (And that's very important, - give yourself a break on a regular basis.)
Keep you positive attitude and your sense of humor. Keep us posted so that we can offer our experiences. That's what we're about. Best wishes and prayers to you both.
My personal web page can be found by searching for "Grateful Survivor".

ernrol's picture
ernrol
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2006

Welcome aboard. We are here to help each other. My cancer was inoperable I had Stage IV lung cancer and I have been cancer free since Novembeer2005. They say operating is the best course of action, but I think you can get some good results with chemo also. If they can operate that will be good, if they can not there still is other treatment that can work Keep us posted and if you have questions ask. We will do all we can. My story is posted here. If you have any questions about any of the things I did you can e-mail me. You can read my story on my web page, just type ernrol in the search box above, and then click on ernrol to the right; my diet and supplements are to boost my immune system. Stay Positive
Ernie

kaitek
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi Moonie,

Plymouthean gave good advice.

I hope that your husband has quit smoking. They say half of cancer patients still smoke after they are diagnosed. Nicotine has negative impact on treatment. So, please get him to quit if he hasn't already.

You thanked the support of family and friends. So, for aftercare, you can rely on them to help out. Fortunately for my mother, she has a solid group of family and friends to relieve her from the daily grind of cooking and cleaning. I'm her primary caregiver so I take my mom to all her doctor appointments. Her sister accompanies us, which is a huge moral support for the both of us. Her other sister cooked her chicken and rice and soups that my mom could eat throughout the week. I supplemented those meals with vegetables that reportedly have cancer-fighting properties (i.e., cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, etc.). And her friends would bring over groceries and oftentimes, cooked dishes.

If I were ill and debilitated, I would definitely appreciate friends and family preparing meals (but ensuring that they practice absolutely good hygiene and sanitation, whatwith the compromised immune system of a patient going through chemo). The meals could be frozen and easily reheated in the microwave.

If your family and friends haven't already offered their services, you can try asking them just as Plymouthean suggested. Often, they don't know how they can help. So by giving them definite ideas would allow them to feel more supportive. I don't think everyone is cut out for that task so trust your instincts on who can.

Take care!

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

This site is great for information and support! I'm a newbie, sugery for stage 1 lung cancer August 2nd of this year. I was very concerned about what would happen after surgery. It helped that after the wedge biopsy I was roomed with a lady who had had her left lower lobe out and seemed to be doing just fine. Sure enough,the doctors and nurses took pains to see that I would be just fine too. First they did a pulmonary test to make sure I had plenty of lung to spare before they did surgery. They warned me that I would be a little breathless at first, but that I would get used to everything soon and would be able to do anything I wanted (except maybe run a marathon!) as soon as I healed up. I bounced back from the wedge biopsy where they found out I had lung cancer (they didn't know on me until they went in)very quickly. In fact, I was jogging around the high school track a little two weeks later. But they hadn't finished removing the lobe at first because they didn't know it would be lung cancer. That meant a second operation right on top of the first. The pain control was great both times. I had an epidural as well as general anesthesia the 2nd time around. I could punch a button for pain meds every 6 minutes as needed. It not only controlled any pain from the stitched area, it also controlled the sore throat you get from intubation! A day or two later, the tubes came out and they put me on ibruprofin and lots of it and some oxycodone. It's been a month now, and I still take 3 ibruprofin every 6 hours and about 1/2 an oxycodone once at night. The pain is more around my ribs and abdomen and sometimes my lower back. It feels sorta like I got kicked by a mule, but every day it gets better. I needed to sleep all day in the hospital and couldn't believe how little I could do. Toddling to the door of my hospital room and back to bed was a major accomplishment on day 3 and they almost sent me home with a walker! I was upset and worried because I'm used to being quite active. But now it has been a month and I can walk over a mile and not feel messed up the next day. What I needed was lots of rest, even when I was not tired, small but frequent meals that I didn't have to fix(esp. since I had trouble picking up anything at first and moving around), and pain meds organized and given on time. My handy dandy pill organizer kept me from taking too much or too little. Lots of fresh peaches, tomatoes and Milk of Magnesia helped with the side effects of the oxycodone and general anesthesia (stock up before you need 'em!). It hurt to talk and walk at first, mostly because I'd start coughing, but I'm better now. I'm still not ready to run any races and I'm not jogging yet, but there's always next month. That's probably enough details to sink a ship, but maybe it will help you have an idea what lung surgery is like from a patient's view. His may go differently since he won't have 2 operations on top of one another and they are taking 1 lung instead of 1 lobe, but some things might be similar. Be sure to get the number to call the surgeon or nurse after you leave. I called every day or two after I went home. They were very helpful. Good luck!

kaitek
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

Cabbott,

Great to hear you are doing better each day. I personally don't mind details. I love it!! It reinforces that progression is incremental and may be small. But as one physical aspect improves, others fall in line...incrementally!! Your anecdote shows what others can expect in their recovery.

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