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Stage 1b adenocarcinoma of lung on wedge resection

Nurse_Jeni's picture
Nurse_Jeni
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2017

I am a 53 year old female (recent ex-smoker) and I just got a diagnosis after having a wedge resection of my right lung apex, 1b adenocarcinoma (poorly defined) with >3mm margin on excision... could have been worse I guess. I still have a lesion in my right retrocrural area (under diaphragm near backbone) but the oncologist says it is unlikely to be a met due to its position and it is not in a position that can be resected or biopsied. My oncologist is hoping it was just inflammation and will be gone on my next PET scan in early November. I go for a U/S of my Kidneys ureters and bladder tomorrow as there was atypical radiourine pooling on my last PET. If it turns out that the only malignancy was the lung then they will remove the right upper lobe in the hopes of a cure or so they say.

I will have a CEA level done in a week to see if it has rsponded to removal of the lesion. My GP (local doctor) found the raised CEA about 20 months ago when investigating what turned out to be thyrotoxicosis (I thought I was having a nervous breakdown and lost 18kg quite quickly but that has been fixed and I have regained most of the weight) and it took this long to find a possible focus. I have no symptoms and am fairly healthy other than these lesions.

Just thought I would touch base here as all my posts have been on the colorectal board as the only thing wrong before was my CEA. Is a lobectomy a lot worse than a wedge resection? I was out of hospital in 3 days with the resection despite my chest drain falling out on day one and a small pneumothorax and some surgical emphysema from the tube being dislodged. I was walking up and down stairs day 2 post op and my only problem now (almost 2 weeks post op) is a numb/painful right breast/chest (not the lung it feels fine although sneezing is still uncomfortable).

I am keeping positive with the thought that there is nothing else I can do and I can't change the diagnosis so I will just deal with things as they arise and keep living till I can't. I really hope that doesn't sound flippant but it has got me through so far and allowed me to keep working as a registered nurse in a busy clinic, well except the last two weeks when I was recovering. 

Any advice or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated as I face this thing down.

Thanks 

Jeni

jorola's picture
jorola
Posts: 214
Joined: Mar 2016

Well the great thing is they found the lung tumor early so if they remove the upper lung that should cure you yes. Normally no radiation and/or chemo are even done after. Hopefully that other spot is just inflammation and then you can move on with life. I can't speak about recovery as my hubby never had surgery but still wanted to say say and welcome and all the best to you.

scentient123
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2018

I am scheduled for robotic surgery on Oct. 26, in 10 days. Unlike you, I have not had the resection yet. They are going to do the recection, check for malignancy and if it is malignant (which we all expect that it is, based on CT's and Pet Scans, family history, and 50 years of smoking) do the lobectomy right then and there.  As for staging... I won't know that until probably a week or 10 days later. I did have a full body Pet Scan and nothing lit up except this little spot, 1.2 cm in my right lung. My SUV was 3.2. 

So, I am having the surgery, before really being definitely diagnosed with cancer?  But, a reveiw of my options sent both myself and the doctors in this direction. No one thought biopsy was a good idea. I guess they had little hope that it would give the enough information. And if all my reading is accurate the only thing that might present like this is a fungal infection and the doctors think that a normal immune system should take care of that, so don't think that it is likely. 

I went to another message board where there were two or three people who have had this surgery, with VATS and I don't think there is a big difference between the resection and the lobectomy from what they have all said. Your experience with the resection is pretty much how they have all described it. 

Your attitude, "Keep living until I can't", is the really the only one that make any sense to me. I am 70, so a bit older than you. Both my mother and father died of cancer. Every sibling of my mother's(there were 5) had cancer in some way or form. However, on my fathers side of the family, my grandfather lived to 86, grandmother to 99, and uncle to 96.  And I have been a heavy smoker for 50 years. Despite that I have normal lung function, Pulmonary doctor can't believe it?  So, I have this huge family cancer history, but incredible longetivety on the other side of my genes. So, ..... keep on living until you can't.... is really all any of us can do. 

I am having this surgery, but this may be all that I do, it may be all that I need to do right now, but I have lived a very full life and death is where we are all headed. I always expected to have cancer, because of the smoking and the family history... so this was not a big shock to me. I think my biggest shock was that it was caught so early. It was inadvertantly found on a MRI of my degenerative spine. 

I will not spend the rest of my life making myself sick and miserable trying to just stay alive. I want to not be in pain, but however it goes, I, like you.... will just keep living until I can't... I think it is a very healty attitude to have. 

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