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post operative course

allcats
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2009

My sister was dignosed with lung cancer in Nov 2008 and she had her left lung revoved in December. She recovered well initially but has had a 22 pound weight loss and she was tiny to begin with (93 lbs). She's trying really hard to eat small amounts but feels full all the time and she had a heck of a time with nausea and vomiting, which is better for now. She wasn't expecting this and she's discouraged. I can't find much information on this kind of thing and I was wondering if someone knows about this? Can she expect this feeling of fullness to resolve? If so, are we talking months? And does anyone have any helpful hints for those who are discouraged? Thanks,

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

I am not a doctor, but a survivor of head/neck cancer who also, more recently (Jan, '08) had a lobectomy, lower right lung lobe).

That is NOT the same as losing your entire left lung, clearly.

If your sister is on chemo, I would look there for the problem. If she is taking medications for pain, I would look there for a possible answer.

If neither of those is the case, I would suggest that nature abhors a vacuum. That is, nature will fill a hole with something. In my case, even my heart shifted slightly to the right as organs and whatever moved into the place where my lower right lobe used to be.

I am only speculating here that perhaps your sister's stomach, bladder, something, has moved up into that space to some degree and it is putting a crimp on your sister's eating style. Just a thought.

Others, who have been through exactly what your sister has endured, will certainly have some better ideas.

In the meantime, I would strongly advise that your sister get back to her doctors right away. Given her original weight and what she has lost since, it sounds to me like she is in peril. It really does. A 71 pound adult probably needs some immediate help in the dietary department.

Best wishes, and take care,

Joe

allcats
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2009

Thanks Joe. Sorry, I didn't give all the info in my original message. We did indeed get her back to her doctors. My sister was put on IV nutrition last week and is home now receiving that as she tries to eat as well. She has not started chemo and she and her doctors have eliminated all the problem meds - narcotics and an iron supplement. I think you make a very good point about nature not loving a vacuum and the pulmonologist has described how lot's of things are shifting in her chest cavity right now. I know there's no magic bullet but I really wish there was one to relieve this for her. It's hard not knowing what to expect with all this. Her providers can't tell us how long this will go on but my gut tells me this is with us for awhile. Thanks for your thoughts, take care as well.

BILL914
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2005

I had my entire left lung removed in Dec. 2004. Before the surgery, I weighed in at about 180. After the surgery, I went down to about 165. Could not eat. Had no interest in eating. Could not put weight on. I was not sick - I just didn't feel like eating. After a few months, the weight started to come back. Now, I am trying to loose weight (I currently weigh 197). Unless the Doc's see a problem, just be patient.

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