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1st post-surgery scan - lung nodule

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 241
Joined: Apr 2017

I had my nephrectomy in late January. Tumor was about 8-9cm, I'm not sure of the grade/stage, but there were some anomolies. It looked like it might be two cancers, regular RCC and something else that was more aggressive. Clear margins and everything was looking good. Then I had my first post-surgery scans Saturday and spoke to doctor today. Apparently there is a nodule on my lung that has grown from 2mm in March to 9mm now. It's in a place that could be hard to reach for needle biopsy. Doc is consulting with a radiologist and a pulmonary specialist, then presenting to the tumor board when they meet next Tuesday. She's supposed to call me after that to discuss the outcomes of those discussions and the options. Needless to say, I'm a bit freaked out. Considering the rapid rate of growth since March, I know there's a very good chance this could be the cancer coming back. I guess there's not much I can do for now. I'm trying to focus on work - I have a full plate right now - but this is hard to for me to simply get past it mentally and buckle down and work. Any advice is appreciated. I will fight this no matter what. I was just hoping I wouldn't have to get back in the ring, so to speak, this quickly.

-Gary

 

Hd67xlch's picture
Hd67xlch
Posts: 144
Joined: Apr 2016

definatley go see an experienced cardiovascular surgeon if they can not do the needle biopsy, an experienced one can pretty much tell if its cancer or not by the ct scans. Ive had two lung nodules removed  with a biopsy and two removed without a biopsy, all rcc. See my profile,  Good luck

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 241
Joined: Apr 2017

Thanks! I'll see what they come back with after the consults and tumor board, and will look into a cardio-vasc surgeon if they have nothing definitive.

And thanks for sharing your profile. It is comforting to know that others go through this and are ok.

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 241
Joined: Apr 2017

This is really getting to me for some reason. The waiting is making me nuts. I know I have a lot to be thankful for. And I know that until I hear from the doctor, which will likely be Wednesday, there's nothing I can do except try to stay positive. I'm just having a real hard time today. Hard time staying focused on work, and a hard time not obsessing about what this could be. From reading others' posts, I know that others have had what appears to be worse, and it's been treatable. I just wish I could adjust my attitude and dive into work as if nothing were wrong. I also just lost a first cousin and am waiting for word on funeral arrangements so I can plan my travel to California for that. Maybe it's a combo of everything; I don't know. I just feel mentally sh**** at this moment and am hoping I can get past it quickly. Thanks for listening...

JerzyGrrl's picture
JerzyGrrl
Posts: 760
Joined: Jun 2016

INDY, so sorry for your loss. You've got a lot on your plate right now. You'll soon have answers and courses of action. But in the meantime...?!

A couple of "chill" activities that work for me, YMMV...

Can you give yourself the space to take a little "break"? I find if I take the time to take slow deep breaths and exhales, then say "relax," or "calm," or "slow" - It's a big help (10 + 10 works well). 

Sit down with an idea of something specific you're going to work on, set a timer for 30, 45, or 50 minutes, and make a deal with yourself that you're going to focus on that work for that amount of time. At the end of the work session, take a 5 or 10 minute break, go to the restroom, get a drink of water, stretch your arms, or bounce up and down on the balls of your feet. Then reset that timer and give it another go... 

Also - you'll probably laugh, but that's OK - get yourself a newish pencil or a drinking straw, open your mouth, put the pencil / straw sideways, then close your mouth over the pencil / straw. You can also squint a little, although squinting is optional. This puts your face practically into the shape of a smile (If you squint, you've pretty much got it). Faking a smile causes your blood chemistry to start to adjust for slightly happier feelings. Go figure, our bodies' physiology isn't always too sharp. At any rate, whatever you're doing will seem more pleasant. They've done studies that validate this... I'm not setting you up just to be ridiculed by your coworkers. Honest. 

Hang in there - !

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 241
Joined: Apr 2017

Thanks! That last paragraph definitely made me smile. I appreciate your suggestions and really like the timer suggestion; I will give that a try tomorrow. Fortunatley, I work from home (since moving from NJ to Colorado) and can look as goofy as I want at my desk. Nobody but my dog will see it, and he doesn't see so well these days anyway. ;-)

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1425
Joined: Dec 2012

Along those same lines, they've done some studies and shown that doing certain body postures can help improve outlook and emotion. It's a pretty interesting topic. Try looking up Ted Talks by Amy Cuddy on body language. You should find them on YouTube I think or just google Ted Talk Amy Cuddy Body Language, see what's there.

In brief, they've done some studies that doing certain body postures for a certain amount of time can improve mood. It goes along with JerzyGrrl's suggestion of forcing a smile even can change your feelings/body chemistry.

Do whatever works, I always say.

Best to you,

Todd

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 241
Joined: Apr 2017

Thanks, Todd. I'll check this out!

Hd67xlch's picture
Hd67xlch
Posts: 144
Joined: Apr 2016

Dispensary+thc oil+vape pen = what was I worried about a little while ago?

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 241
Joined: Apr 2017

I'm investigating the options to make the right choice. There are so many different products it's a little intimidating, even for this seasoned Dead Head. 

 

JoanneNH
Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 2013

The tumor board should have either a thoracic or cardiothoracic surgeon on it.  It should be multidisciplinary (radiation therapy, pathology, surgery, oncology, hematology, and probably one or two others I can't remember).  They will come up with a plan for you to consider.

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 241
Joined: Apr 2017

The tumor board met a couple weeks ago, and the pulmonologists felt they could get it either with a scope or possibly a needle. I met today with someone from Pulmonology who felt pretty confident that they could do the needle biopsy. Assuming his colleague concurs this afternoon, we'll get it scheduled for sometime in the next couple of weeks. I'm waiting for the doc's call to confirm that, and then for the scheduling people to call me to set the appointment. And the adventure continues!

Hd67xlch's picture
Hd67xlch
Posts: 144
Joined: Apr 2016

 it is a piece of cake, less than a hour and your are not even asleep, just doped up enough that you feel nothing. Good luck.

Deanie0916
Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2016

with the biopsy, will be thinking of you and praying...Fare Thee Well

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 241
Joined: Apr 2017

Not sure if "Fare Thee Well" was a Grateful Dead reference or not, but I'll take it!

Deanie0916
Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2016

Yes it is a GD reference and thanks for helping to get Jerry's voice into my head. Smile Even now...yay!

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1322
Joined: Oct 2013

Gary, I am glad you came here to express your fears and concerns. No one likes the "what ifs" hanging over their head, NO ONE!

However, when its me facing the unknown, I use the Serenity prayer. If you are a non-believer, just leave off the "God" part.

(God) Grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference.

I keep saying it over and over, and this peace starts to come over me. 

AND ask yourself, Gary, what is this teaching me at this time in my life? One thing, is you are asking for help. This life changing information can teach us to be in the moment and not rush into the unknowns and make ourselves miserable. You need ALL your energy to survive and live, why waste it on worrying over things out of your control?

Treatments are amazing this time.

Still I know, easier said than done. So yes, do that "centered-breathing" where you sit or lay comfortably, with your palms up (to receive and not tighten up). Breathe in through your nose, and out with your mouth S L O W L Y with your teeth and lips apart. Keep doing this breathing as you check your muscle groups to see where you are holding in tension and relax that muscle group. Start with your face, lower your eyebrows and allow your eyes to sink into your skull will relax your facial muscles.

While you do this centered breathing, go somewhere mentally that you really enjoy. I like to choose being by a body of water, hearing the waves, the wind and knowing i have no pressures, just total relaxation. 

Gary, use your energy to LIVE your life, not allow fear to zap your needed energy.

Keep us informed. We'll be here for you all the way ok?

Sending you serenity, calm and healing thoughts.

Gentle hugs, Jan

 

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 241
Joined: Apr 2017

That is some solid advice. It's funny how even when we know this stuff, it's easier said than done. I used to be a stage hypnontist and am very familiar with the power of deep breathing for relaxation. Despite that, I don't always naturally 'go there,' so to speak. I often need reminders like this to help me remember to breathe, relax, and focus my energy positively. Your words and your kindness are very much appreciated! Thank you!

Gary

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