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Everything posted by LexieCat

  1. Hi, Maricie, I'm fairly new (lung surgery scheduled for next Monday), but I'm so glad to hear that your dad is finally staged and has a plan for treatment--even though you were hoping for a different result, it's great to be able to get things going to knock this thing out! I just wanted to offer a suggestion--I just completed my advance directive and medical power of attorney, and I put in a provision allowing my ex-husband (long story but world's friendliest divorce--I stay with ex and his wife when I go visit my adult kids, and his wife offered to come out and take care of me after surgery!) and my two kids the authority to talk to my doctors about anything involving my medical condition. So if you worry about your mom's ability (given the language difficulties) to advocate for your dad, you might want to discuss that with them. I live alone and I feel better knowing someone can pick up the slack if I'm not up to it. Teri
  2. Well, don't go heaping guilt on yourself. Neither one of you could have prevented your wife's cancer. I'm very new to this myself (surgery next week), so I can't give you any helpful cancer-related information or advice. I CAN tell you, though, that if you want to be there for your wife, it's critical for you to take good care of yourself, too. Make sure you stay on top of your work with your therapist and do whatever is recommended to maintain your own stability. There are so many advances in cancer treatment she could be around for a long time to come. Sending support and hugs.
  3. Thank you ! I'm familiar with a spirometer--I had a partner once who needed to use one after heart surgery. I have a recliner, but the downside for that is that I also have cats--who WILL be all over me if I try to sleep in it. I can close the door in the bedroom, so I think all things considered I will stick with the bed. The wedge pillow I got seems to provide a lot of support--it's a memory foam/gel, and pretty firm. And yes--I remember the pillow-hug for coughing from my abdominal surgeries. Did you find that the primary pain is from the incisions? I'm assuming there's not a whole lot of pain where the lobe is cut out. I'm ecstatic that VATS is possible. I really didn't like the descriptions of the full incision surgery, with rib-spreading and all. I've had a cracked rib before--NOT pleasant.
  4. Now THAT is encouraging! And so is your followup--you've been kicking around for a while, now. Do you continue to have scans or x-rays periodically? How often? My nodule is just about 1 cm, so I'm hoping for 1a. Nothing else has lit up on the PET scan, other than the one nodule. I'd love to avoid the chemo, but will have to wait and see. At least I'm keeping busy this week.
  5. Thanks, appreciate it. I think I'm pretty well fixed in the grocery department. I have lots of good, easy, microwaveable stuff. I just found the VATS sheet from the hospital, and it says there "shouldn't" be any dressing changes necessary. That's assuming, of course, that the chest tube comes out, I'd guess. I've gotten most of my housework done this long weekend and can finish up the rest this week. I know I'll feel better if I can come home to a clean place (world's most lackadaisical housekeeper here). LOL, living alone has the advantage of requiring cleanup of only my OWN messes, but the disadvantage of the temptation to let a lot of the routine things slide.
  6. Oh, trust me, I TOTALLY get that. All *I* know is that my nodule is "probably" cancer--I won't know anything for sure until surgery on Monday. So I'm sort of trying to get the most useful info I can without getting ahead of myself. I know right now it looks encouraging--it doesn't APPEAR from the PET scan that there has been any spread, but I won't know what I'm even dealing with until Monday. So I'm trying not to get too far into the weeds on scarier scenarios that I may never have to contend with. That's a sure-fire recipe for freaking myself out for no reason. Hang in there--remember, at this point anything that's there is SMALL.
  7. I have TONS of small pillows, so getting comfortable/supported should be no problem. And glad to hear the dressing changes aren't likely to be too terribly frequent--if it's every other day or so, shouldn't be too difficult to manage finding someone to do it. I'm pretty sure my insurance would cover nursing visits to check on that sort of thing--just left a message for the Nurse Navigator to find out. I have friends who would be willing, but they aren't that close by. I'll figure it out. It also just occurred to me that I should probably color my hair before I go in--normally I'd wait another week or so before doing it, but I imagine it's going to be painful holding that one arm up in the awkward positions for a while. And I remember with the abdominal surgeries having to be careful about getting up/out of bed. And yes--one and done is the plan.
  8. Actually, there are some great caregiver resources here: https://www.lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/caregiver-resource-center
  9. Hi, Terri, Welcome, and I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I'm brand new to this, myself (surgery next week), so I'm afraid I don't have any helpful advice or information for you, but there will be folks along in a bit who can be more helpful. Just wanted to send you some hugs and support. I lost my mom 30 years ago (to a different type of cancer) and it's a very helpless feeling to be dealing with something like that. On a personal note, as well as getting the best care that you can for your mom, remember to take good care of yourself, too. Find out from the hospital whether there are any groups for caregiver support--cancer is hard on everyone in the family.
  10. Do you know how often that typically has to be done? Once a day, or more often?
  11. Great--good luck, and do keep us posted. Try not to worry. I was in the screening because I WAS a longtime smoker. Anyone can get lung cancer--not just smokers--but if your nodules are just the "thingamajigs" most of these are, you might have been blissfully unaware of them for the rest of your life. But knowing they ARE there, it's possible to keep an eye on them and if it does turn out to be a baddie, you will be on top of it before it has a chance to make itself at home.
  12. I have VATS scheduled for next Monday--probable lobectomy (if the nodule is cancerous). Anyone have any great tips for the hospital/recovery? Bridget suggested getting a wedge pillow, which I already received and tested out--it's great and I can see how useful it would be for maintaining a good position during sleep. I also got a locking mesh bag for my iPad, phone, etc. Last time I gave birth and was in for a couple of days following a C-section, my wallet was stolen (yeah, I'm a prosecutor, should have known better) and credit cards run up. Lesson learned--don't leave anything valuable unsecured in your room, even briefly. I've had three major abdominal surgeries in my life (counting the C-section) and I generally heal quickly, tolerate pain OK, and am anxious to get home as soon as is reasonable/safe to do so. My surgeon predicts that (barring complications) it will be 2-3 days max. I took today off so I'd be able to do some cleaning and laundry and stuff so I will come home to a clean house and not have to do anything but recover. I live alone but have terrific, dependable neighbors at home all day, who will run errands or do anything I need help with. The surgery will be on my left side, which at least means my dominant side won't be compromised. I am fortunate, too, to work from home, and my job will accommodate a flexible schedule as long as I need it--I can work for a couple of hours as I feel up to it and then rest/take a nap. So, is there anything anyone found particularly helpful or that you wish you had known/done before surgery?
  13. I'm so sorry for all the complications there, Jeff, Sending good vibes and encouragement. Thanks so much for your service.
  14. LexieCat


    I'm having a lobectomy next week, and I travel for my job--no trips planned till September, but my doctor says it should be no problem at all. If you're feeling good, I can't imagine that you aren't fit for travel after a year.
  15. Hi, Heather! I'm no expert because I'm fairly new to this myself, but I have several nodules they were following as a result of cancer screening I was participating in. This last time one of the nodules had grown SLIGHTLY and so I am scheduled for surgery--the PET scan is suspicious as well, but it's small and nothing else lit up on the PET so I'm hopeful if it is cancer, we will knock that sucker out. What I did learn is that there can be many, many causes of nodules, most of which are harmless (scar tissue from an infection, for instance). If this is your first CT scan, there's a good likelihood they are just sitting there doing no harm. If it DOES get bigger, or if there were NO nodules on a previous scan, there's a bit more reason to be concerned but nothing to panic over as long as they keep an eye on them. I have zero symptoms and all four of the nodules (the troublesome one and the other three) I have are larger than yours. I doubt that nodules that small would cause a cough, unless they were in some weird location. Certainly follow up with your doctor, but from what I read, these are very common and most often not cancer.
  16. HI, Rick, I see you started your own thread! I'm sure someone(s) with helpful info for you will be along soon. And I, too, would be interested to know how that could be considered "stable." I have a few lung nodules, which were observed over a year ago, stable on a three-month re-scan, and then on the last screening scan one had increased 2-3 mm since last year. I have surgery scheduled a week from Monday. The other nodules I have are still considered "stable" but that's because there's something to compare them to.
  17. Maybe it's that people are less stressed as they go longer without a recurrence. I'm positive there is a mind-body connection, because stress does affect the immune system and other biological functions. It's a far cry from that to concluding that any kind of psychotherapy cures cancer, or that cancer is a "psychosomatic condition." This strikes me as what's euphemistically (and kindly) referred to as "junk science." Anybody can concoct a theory. Where is the research/testing to support it?
  18. Hi, Rick, I'm brand new, myself, so I don't have any info or advice to offer. I'm new to this forum, too, but in my experience on other forums it's usually a good idea to start a new thread of your own so your post gets the attention it deserves. I'm sure somebody with knowledge/experience will be along soon. Sending you hugs and support, though!
  19. I think what Cindy was suggesting is that the NP could order a referral for a biopsy or to a doctor who could order one. No, the NP will not be able to diagnose you or perform the biopsy, but should be able to get you to someone who can.
  20. I know--sending a hug. Those are therapeutic, too.
  21. Maybe one of the "old hands" here can weigh in about this projected wait time?
  22. OK, I just totally relate to your anxiety to find out what's going on. If you haven't, already, I'd let her office know that this is stressing you out and you'd appreciate her getting you scheduled for testing as SOON as she gets back. And, as I said, if it were I, I'd be finding someone else to do it. That way the two of you would have the info all ready to go when she comes back. I'm just thinking of reducing the lead time for any necessary procedures.
  23. I'd travel the two hours, personally, but that's me. I wouldn't be able to stand waiting till the end of July for testing even to be ordered.
  24. Well, if the NP can order the testing, it might be worth it to get the ball rolling. I should just reiterate that I'm new, myself, so I'm really just suggesting what I would want to do, if I were you. Not that it's critical that you do that, but geeze--a month seems like a very long wait.
  25. I'd see if there isn't somebody she uses as backup coverage when she is not available. Have you checked with her office?
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