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BridgetO

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Everything posted by BridgetO

  1. Thanks for the update. I wonder whether a dermatologist could help with the skin issues?
  2. Hi Ramona and welcome. I'm sorry to hear about your nodules. 'I'm not a doctor, but I am a 3-time cancer survivot. With growing nodules now over a centimiter, ground glass opacity and mediastinal invovement, I don't think I'd be comfortable with "wait and see". In 2016, I had a nodule that was under a centimeter. My pulmonologist advised wait and see, and 3 months later it had grown to about a centimeter and was spiculated, which is "suspicious". I had a PET and nothing lit up at all. I was referred to a thoracic surgeon, who took my case to the hospital's tumor board. Do they have tumor boards in Canada? Here they are pretty standard. They consist of a variety of specialists who review a patient's case. None of the specialists thought they could biopsy my nodule by needle or by scope, and wedge resection was also out because the location was near the center of my lower right lobe, and not near the edge. They recommeded a lobectomy by VATS and I''m glad I agreed to that because I was diagnosed with Stage 1 adenocarcinoma. Because it was a Stage 1 diagnosis, I didn't need further treatment. I have had regular CTs for surveillance and have had no evidence of disease (NED). Do you have an option of a second opinion? I wish you all the best and encourage you to keep posting with whatever questions you may have,. Let us know how we can support you. Bridget O
  3. Welcome from me too! Letus know how we can support you. Brdget O
  4. I felt tired and a little flu-ish after the shots. A friend of mine had shingles and developed post-herpetic pain and has never really recovered. After seeing her experience, a day or two of discomfort from a shot seemed pretty minor.
  5. I had a VATS lobectomy at age 71. I was in pretty good shape before the surgery. I was up and around in the hospital unit the same day and discharged from the hospital the following day with a chest tube and drain bag in place because I had an air leak. It's unusual for people to be discharged so soon. Usually it's two or three days and the drain is out before that. My drain was in for about 10 days at home, until the leak stopped. I was up and around, though I did rest a lot. I went for walks in the neighborhood with my tube and bag hidden under a big raincoat. Ineeded some help changing dressings, especially the one around the drain tube, and I wasn't supposed to drive or to lift anything over about 8 pounds (if I recall correctly). Otherwise I could take care of myself. I did have some pain, mainly from the drain tube, and especially when I moved in certain ways-- I learned pretty fast not to move in those ways. I needed some opiod pain meds but pretty quickly got off them after the tube was out. So the surgery wasn't too bad. Others will probably offer their opinions on it too. I think getting an opinion from a medical oncologist who has lung cancer experience is a good idea. Probably no-one will make the decision other than your mom with your input. The surgeon has said he/she can do surgery and the radiation oncologist has said he/she can do SBRT, so your mom is lucky to have choices.
  6. Hi Alina, Surgery is considered the gold standard for early stage lung cancer, when someone can tolerate surgery. It matters more what kind os shape tha patient is in than what their chronological age is. Since the doc said it's operable, I assume your mom has had the battery of lung function tests. Would the plan for her be to have VATS (video assisted thoracic surgery) or robotic surgery, rather than thoracotomy (open surgery)? VATs and robotic are fairly easy as surgeries go, although of course any surgery requiring general anesthesia is a serious procedure. SBRT is generally used when a person can't tolerate surgery. What does your mom think about this? If she feels like she can deal with the surgery and the risks(and the surgeon agrees), I'd be inclined to encourage her to go for it. If you and she are undecided, I agree with Tom that a second opinion might be advisable. BTW, I had a VATS lobctomy almost 5 years ago and I'm doing well with no lingering side effects.
  7. Hello and welcome here. I'm sorry to hear that you have lung cancer but I'm glad you found us. We've all been sad and scared at having lung cancer. Can you tell us a little more about your lung cancer, for example what type it is, when you were diagnosed, what stage it is, whether you've had treatment yet? Also let us know whether you have questions and how we can support you. That's what we're here for. I look forward to hearing more from you. Bridget O
  8. Hi Barb and welcome. Tom has given you some great information. Lou's tips (which Tom linked) should be really helpful. I especially recommend getting a wedge pillow. It will help you sleep and breath better after surgery. Will your surgery be VATS (video assisted)?. I had a lobectomy by VATS almost 5 years ago and it was pretty easy, as surgery goes. If you have specific questions, I''ll be happy to answer if I can. Bridget O
  9. Hey Karen, I'm sorry to hear that the chemo is so hard on you. I didn't need treatment beyond surgery on my lung cancer, but I had aconcurrent chemo and radiation for an earlier unrelated cancer. I can testify to its difficulty! Are you getting some anti-nausea meds? I'm now almost 10 years out on the prior cancer and I've been NED since treatment. For me the side effects were worth it! Hang in there!
  10. Hi Carole and welcome! Like Kristin, I'm sorry for your diagnosis, but glad you found us. Do you know whether you have a single nodule or several? Or whether you have any spread outside your lower right lobe? With cancer limited to one lobe, the treatment is often lobectomy, which is consdered the gold standard and potentially curative. I had adenocarcinoma in the right lower lobe in 2016 and had a lobectomy by VATS (video assisted thoracic surgery), which is pretty easy as surgeries go. I've been NED (no evidence of disease) ever since. I now have annual CTs since recurrence is possible. Please let us know how you're doing and what your oncologist says. Also, let us know what questions you have and how we can support you. That's what we're here for! Bridget O
  11. I'm so sorry for your loss. I wish you peace and comfort as you grieve.
  12. Judy, I'm so sorry for the loss of your father. As LexieCat said,sometimes obstacles are beyond our control. Be kind to yourself . Bridget O
  13. Hi and welcome. I'm sorry to hear about your long-term pain. I can understand how it would be debilitating and depressing. I don't have anything to add to Michele's and LexieCat's suggestions of a palliative care or pain management specialist. Those sound right on. Let us know how things are going. Bridget O
  14. Hi David and welcome. LexieCat and Tom G have given you good information and advice. I don't have much to add. I do want to say that overthinking and anxiety over the possibility of cancer isn't limited to people with a diagnosis of Aspergers. Probably all of us who have been tested for cancer, or who have a loved one who has, have experienced this. Let us know what other questions you have and how we can help you. Best wishes to your father, you and the rest of your family. Bridget O
  15. Hi Nav and welcome! I don't have much to add to what other members have posted. One thing I do want to clarify, since it can be confusing. One poster referred to molecular testing and others to biomarker testing. These are the same thing. It is testing for mutations in the actual tumor itself, based on a tissue sample from the biopsy. It can also be called tumor genetics. Biomarker is the most common name. There may be specific targeted therapies depending on the biomarkers. There is also a recently develped form of biomarker testing sometimes called liquid biopsy, based on blood. This is not the same as the genetic testing for inherited risk of specific cancers, which is often called germline testing, but sometimes just called genetic testing . This kind of mutation is found in all the cells of the body, not just in tumor cells. The inherited mutations many people are familiar with are BRCA mutations which increase risk of breast and some other cancers. These tests are done on blood or saliva. I hope this is clear. It took me a while to figure it out! Let us know if you have other questions and how we can support you. Best wishes to your father. Bridget O
  16. Hi Sarah and welcome. I had a right lower lobectomy in 2016 by VATS and found it pretty easy as far as surgery goes. I was up and walking around the unit the same day. I was released from the hospital the next day with a drainage tube and bag in place, since my lung had an air leak. The tube was the main source of discomfort. If I moved a certain way, I felt like I was being jabbed with a knife, but I quickly learned not to move that way! I was walking around the neighborhood in a couple of days, with my drainage apparatus covered by a big raincoat. I used some opoid pain meds when the drain was in but when it was taken out (after 10 days) I no longer needed them. I agree with LexieCat on all points. The wedge pillow was great. I had tried to prop my upper body at an angle using ordinary pillows but that resulted in a stiff neck. The wedge was a relief-- easier to breathe and no stiiff neck. Best wishes to your mom. Le us know how it goes. Bridget O
  17. Hi CoCoNG and welcome here. I'm glad you found us. I'm sorry for what your husband and you are going through. You wonder how you will get through this. You're in a 12-step program, so you understand "one day at a time". That's how you do it. and if one day seems impossible, then one hour, or even 10 minutes. You can do this. One suggestion I have is to ask for a referral to a palliative care doctor. Some people think palliative care is the same as hospice, but it's not. (Although palliative care can be part of hospice services). Palliative care aims to help people who have serious illnesses deal with pain and other symptoms such as breathing problems and nausea, whether caused by the illness or the treatment. It focuses on helping patients have a better quality of life. Hang in there and let us know how we can best support you. Bridget O
  18. Wyde, Welcome!I 'm always glad to hear when a treatment is working. Bridget O
  19. I had accupuncture regularly during my treaments for 3 different primary cancers, during most of that time twice a week. I found it helpful for nausea from chemo and also for stress. My naturopath recommended an anti-inflammatory diet, but she advised not making any dietary changes during my active cancer treatment. BTW, I followed the anti-inflammatory diet for a year and felt very good both physically and mentally- no colds, no allergy symptoms, increased energy. THEN I took a trip to Italy, where I gave in to inflammatory foods. Pasta, bread, cheese and tomatoes overcame my best intentions-- oh and chocolate gelato with whipped cream.
  20. I don't know whether to laugh or groan! BTW, I was an English major, but never heard of a chiasmus.
  21. I'm glad to hear you're feeling better. Loss is hard and feelngs of grief can come and go for a long time. Bless you for everything you did for your husband.
  22. Hi Diane and welcome! I haven't much to add to what the Lungevity gang already told you. My NSCLC was stage 1a, so I didn't need anything beyond surgery and surveillance. I had 2 unrelated cancers, one of which was stage 3 and very aggressive, so I have some experience with chemo and radiation. I had a "dismal prognosis" on that one, but I'm almost 10 years out and NED (no evidence of disease) since my treatment. It goes to show that oncologists' opinions ( and ones from Dr Google) are sometimes incorrect. Hang in there! Bridget O
  23. Hi Priscilla and welcome, Lobectomy is the gold standard for lung cancer treatment. I had a lower right lobectomy 4-1/2 ago and I have no evidence of disease (NED) since then. As Lexiecat says, VATS lobectomy is pretty easy as surgery goes. After your surgery and pathology is done, you'll learn what, if any, additional treatment is necessary. Let us know what questions you have and how we can support you. That's what we're here for. Bridget O
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