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Still No Answers

gcolburn
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2007

I have had 2 CT Scans, 1 Needle Biopsy CT Guided, 1 PET/CT Fusion Scan and still no conclusive answers to 1CM Spiculated nodule in upper lobe of left lung. Between the second CT and Needle Biopsy they saw 3 additional lesions 1.2, 1.3 and 1.5 CM. Primary is sending me to a Thoracic Surgeon as he believes surgery is only option left. Does anyone have any idea if there is anything else before surgery? Evidently the hospital I will go to does VATS (Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery) which I am assuming I would be a candidate for taking the Spiculated nodule out? I would appreciate anyone who has experience with this especially next steps comments. I am really getting scared now. How long does it take to recover from VATS Surgery? How about conventional Thoracic surgery?

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Before my VATS procedure I had lung tests to see how healthy my lungs were. The surgeon could use the results to determine how much lung I could afford to lose without getting handicapped if he had to remove some. The tests were the same as what they do for asthma: blowing in a machine, measuring peak flow, doing an albuterol inhaler and redoing the tests. None were painful and all of them together took about an hour. The surgeon went over my tests and checked me over. Then he went over what he thought he might find and what all the options would be right up to the possible (though not probable in my case) removal of my lung. I had to sign a lot of papers and get on the list for surgery. Then they gave me the standard physical, ekg to check my heart, and blood tests for who knows what. I was told that I would wake up in intensive care if they had to remove a lung, that I would be in for a week, and that I would be on a breathing machine if that happened. As it was, they only removed the nodule on the first operation. Thinking it was breast cancer mets, they closed me up. I woke up with a few tubes here and there that hadn't been in when I went into surgery, but in a day or two I was up and moving around. I was actually able to jog slowly around the school track 8 days afterward with no pain. It turned out to be lung cancer, stage 1 when the path report was finished. Standard procedure was to remove the lobe if it was lung cancer, so they had to go back in. (The lobe removal would have happened right away if it had been a different kind of lung cancer, but that's life.) That second recovery took considerably more time. I was back to work in less than a month, but I was walking fairly slowly. Part of the slow recovery though, was having two major surgeries in less than 2 weeks. They said it would have been easier if I had had just one operation. Also the second time around I got a 4 inch modified VATS incision, which was over twice the size of the first time around where they just had three 1 inchers. Conventional surgery has a much bigger incision and longer recovery time, but you have to do what you have to do. Good luck!

debber216
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi,
Different Doctors, different hospitals, different procedures!! I've heard of some having chemo and/or radiation before their surgeries, and some who also have "follow-up" chemo after their surgeries, (which is what I had). Everyone is different!! Sept. will be a year for me, I had the top and middle lobe of my right lung removed, having just the conventional surgery. I would say that the biggest majority of the pain went away probably in about 8 weeks, even though I still have a small amount. And some people say that it never completely goes away. BUT, it does diminish quite a bit!!!!
So, my thoughts and prayers are with you. If you have any questions or doubts about how your doctor is wanting to proceed, get a second opinion!!!! Hugs, Deb

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

Before I would let them do any surgery, I would want a second opinion from a good cancer center like M. D. Anderson. They now say they have spotted 4 lesions that are larger than 1cm. I would think that they could be a little surer of what they are doing before surgery. It is possible that surgery could do more harm than good.

Stay positive,

Ernie

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

Here is a web address that will give you a list of places that give second opinions

http://blochcancer.org/articles/xtrnew.asp

Stay positive,

Ernie

Duckbot
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2007

I second opinion the call for a second opinion. Depending on your location, Cancer Treatment Centers of America are pretty easy to work with, and can schedule an exam pretty quick. Airfare and transportation for our first visit was paid for by the hospital, as was the first week of lodging.

Take both opinions and consider them carefully. Just because one comes from a local doctor and one comes from a big company doesn't make any difference, it's just two views of the same thing. It's also important to take action as soon as possible. This stuff isn't gonna go away on it's own.

We chose wrong.

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