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Surgery is over

Cheryl Z
Posts: 36
Joined: Mar 2009

My husband Howie had his lung surgery yesterday. They did a complete right upper lobectomy. Did not go as smooth as we thought it would. Surgery should have been 2 hours but took 5 hours due to complications with the arteries and veins. Instead of a 3 inch incision he has a 9 inch. The good news is they were able to take out the portion of the lung by spreading the ribs instead of cracking them. They also removed the surrounding lymph nodes. If the lung cancer did not spread then surgery is all they will do. If it has spread then it is back to chemo and radiation. He is still recovering from surgery, chemo and radiation from the colon cancer last year. I hope this recovery is a little better on him. He is in a lot of pain but they are managing it with a pain ball attached to the incision. Lanacaine is pumped through this and keeps the site numb. But the doctor said being that they had to spread the ribs there will be more pain. The breathing tube is out and he is breathing on his own. They will do xrays every few hours just to make sure that the lung does not collapse. He seems to be handling it pretty well so far and now he is ready to begin another fight for his life. Wish us well as we go down this road again. Thank you Buzzard for the pep talk. It rally helped to keep me focused.

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

Best to you and your husband .

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Great to have you back in the land of typing.......I knew he would be fine...It doesn't matter 2 or 5 hours, what matters is its over and he is OK...and hopefully so are you...Im sure your sigh of relief is over for now...no matter what the verdict, as I see it it will be ok, thats what I am focusing on..and he will be fine as well...cause really us men, all we want is our arm rubbed every once in a while to know we're loved, we're really low maintenance..... :) ...Im very happy to see that one of us is through it...keep the chin up and keep us posted in here......Love and Hope ......Buzz

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I am so sorry there were complications but it sounds like all came out right in the end. It must feel good to have this surgery behind you both. Take good care, both of you.

idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

YAY.... it's done and over. Yes, take a deep breathe and relax for a minute. I am so glad he is doing good. He will be back on his feet in no time cause thats the fighter he is.... and so lucky to have you by his side. Ya'll take care


Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3343
Joined: Jan 2010

So glad that the surgery is over and the healing process can begin. I am sure you had some tough moments while waiting all that time, but now it sounds like you are both gearing up for the recovery.

Definatly wish you both well, and hope that the surgery is the only procedure he needs.

Take care of yourself as well as hubby.


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Hey, Cheryl.

I'm sorry Howie's surgery got a little complicated, but I'm glad that he's come through it okay. Praying for continued healing and only good news!


impactzone's picture
Posts: 535
Joined: Aug 2006

Congrats on that. I get my right lower lobectomy Monday morning (third lobectomy). It is a painful one to come back from and the first three days are rough. Once they get the tube out and you start moving it gets better. It is so hard but the sooner you can walk, the better. the coughing and breathing exercises are really tough at first and don't be disappointed if the results are weak. They will get better.
All my best

Posts: 1736
Joined: Jul 2007

JUst reading your post brings me back to my surgery day, I remember it like it was yesterday, I remember asking the surgeon not to let me die, I think I feared the surgery more than anything..I am so glad your husbands surgery is over and now on to step number 2, then 3, then 4 and before you know it, he is all better... Praying for you both...Stay strong and keep the faith..


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Cheryl

I just walked away from my 2nd lung surgery, just 29-days ago now. I had a pain ball for the incision as well - mine was a full blown thoracotomy and there is a 10-inch "Frankenstein" style scar just to remind me of what happened.

They cut out 2 of my ribs and scraped the chest wall. The tumor had become embedded and was very close to my spine, so we went as far as we could go. Radiation will be on the table, almost for sure - chemo is an option as well. I meet with these guys over the next couple of weeks.

Such a relife to have the breathing tube removed - when I awoke, I had mine in and it felt like I was gagging. I went for my hands and found them both tied to the bed where I could not move them - that was a funny feeling.

I wish your husband nothing but the best. At least the surgery is behind you now and that's always a good thing.

Fellow Lung Patient


Cheryl Z
Posts: 36
Joined: Mar 2009

Thank you everyone for all the well wishes. Howie was running a low grade fever yesterday that they are not too concerned with. He was also feeling sick to his stomach early yesterday morning so they gave him Zofran to calm it down. By 3:00 he was throwing up nothing but bile. The doctor is not happy about that. He said if it continues during the night they will either have to give him suppositories or put a tube down his throat in case there is a blockage. They just need to get the garbage out of him.
If things turn around in a good way during the nite then the plan is to remove the chest tube and drain and then he can come home. Once he is home I hope to get him confortable enough to sleep a little and then maybe his appetite will return. Right now he is neither sleeping or eating. He sleeps in a recliner at the hospital just because it is a little more comfortable. Even though he felt like absolute crap yesterday, he still pushed himself to get up and walk down the hall a couple of times. He does his breathing exercises like he is supposed to do also. He is such a fighter and I could not be more proud of him. For all he has been through in the last 15 months I think it is time for him to get a break. But at least the surgery is over with. Now on to the road to recovery. When this is over maybe I will have to give him a medal don't you think.

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Here's hoping for the rest of the recovery to be less eventful. Glad he's doing his exercising of walking breathing.
Maybe you should get a medal as well, I'm sure he's so happy that youre by his side, encouraging and loving him.
Please give him my regards. And keep fighting the fight.
Winter Marie

Cheryl Z
Posts: 36
Joined: Mar 2009

Well they ended up putting a tube in on Monday morning. His lung surgeon called in his colon surgeon and they both agreed that Howie now has paralytic ileus. During surgery the bowel went to sleep and it did not wake up yet. We thought it would be in for 1 day only but it will remain in place at least 1 more day to give his bowel a chance to start functioning on its own. I think this is the first time I ever prayed for gas and poop. Once he poops they will take it out and then start him on a liguid diet. Last nite he started having gas which is a good sign. He is beginning to get a little depressed because he really wants to come home where it is more comfortable. Maybe today will be a better day for him.

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

my best vibes !

Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

great, keep the reports coming.

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

worked for me and when it happened I had just gotten my ostomy and at 1:30 am it felt like a swarm of bumble bees were buzzing out of my belly...scared the chit out of me...but it worked...he'll be fine...just remember when he says he needs to fart, to maybe back up a little, it could get ugly......Love to you both, Buzz

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