Ann Cronin reacted to PaulaC in Pet scan scheduled
Great news at both my appointments today.
I saw the ENT doctor today and he did a biopsy on my thyroid. I should get results in 3 or 4 days.
The good news is I saw the surgeon and he is doing the surgery next week. The only thing that’ll stop that is if the oncologist says there’s a problem. The doctor said the pet scan looked great and he felt he could get the rest with surgery.
The downfall is that he can’t do VATs because of radiation and scar tissue. He said the surgery will be a little difficult but he’s done a lot worse.
hopefully I’ll get the surgery date tomorrow.
Im typing on my phone so sorry for typos
Ann Cronin reacted to Robert Macaulay in Treatment update
This week I got a call from the Pharmacy in the clinic I attended for treatment saying my oncologist had contacted them and they are putting in a funding request for my future treatment and asked my consent. Later in the week got call from now know it was private health clinic asking whole bunch questions to see If I was suitable for funding and my treatment history for cancer so fa this year. This took about fifteen minutes and she then said I was approved for treatment and all was being paid for and she would contact my doctor and inform her. She then set me up in clinic which is only twenty minutes from my home for the infusions which will be every two weeks for one year, She even went into details how they deliver the drugs for my treatment.
I travel down to see the doctor this coming Thursday and have all the blood work scheduled for Tuesday and she wants the results for my appointment so it looks like I will be starting treatment again for full year with Avelumab infusions Bi weekly. The journey continues.
Ann Cronin reacted to PaulaC in CT scan tomorrow
Good news!!!! the nodule shrunk from 3.7cm to 1.9cm. The doctor wasn’t as clear about the lymph nodes because of scar tissue from radiation. He said he’s hoping I’ll now be a candidate for surgery. I’ll have a pet scan in 4 weeks, see the surgeon in 5 weeks, than go back to oncologist is 6 weeks. I get a break till than.
Ann Cronin got a reaction from Mally in Second chemotherapy treatment, feeling bruised?
I had my second chemotherapy treatment last Thursday. Just starting today I feel bruised all over, like I've been beat up. Is this a common side effect? I'm on Cisplatin & Alitma. Thanks in advance for input!
Ann Cronin reacted to LouiseB in Surgery done, he's officially a survivor!
Thanks for all the pre-op thoughts. Husband's surgery done! He came through it very well! 👍
OK, that's the good news. However, what was diagnosed as Stage I-something after the scans, turned into an at-least-StageII-awaiting-confirmation-and-lymph-node-results!
Surgeon says tumor was larger than they thought. What he hoped was tumor plus inflammation turned out to be pretty much all tumor. Instead of just right upper, they removed upper, middle and a small portion of lower. So, regardless of lymph nodes, we're definitely headed to chemo, and possibly radiation.
I will say this now, maybe mostly for those who come after me: prior to surgery, I had avidly searched for info, forums, experiences and support, and I found all of you here. Initially, it was good (great!) to connect, and I will be forever grateful for the swift responses! Then, having read several stories of those who'd been diagnosed with Stage I but after surgery discovered it was worse, I was almost sorry I'd discovered what 'might' happen. HOWEVER, now that 'it' has happened, I find that I am very grateful for all your stories, because, although disappointing and disturbing, it's not such a shock to the system!
I should apologize now in case this brain-dump becomes disjointed, it's been a long day. 4am wake up, 5am check in, 7:30am wheeled into surgery, 1pm out, 2pm with him in ICU, 8:30pm Uber (thank you Uber!) back to hotel, and now 10pm sitting in front of my second delicious glass of Joel Gott cab in the hotel bar, listening to an awesome bar singer/guitarist doing Ed Sheeran!
Where was I? Well, I had already seen my dear old man through 1 neck fusion and 2 back surgeries in past years, but not one of them was like this. Those were evidently rehearsals. This is the big time!. It's the weirdest feeling, half of me feels like I'm about to burst into floods of tears and the other half is managing to laugh and smile while I'm in the ICU with him.
Let's concentrate on the good news. Currently, we're still at Stage II-something, not more, and - as he is, in his anesthetic haze, telling every member of staff who dares to enter his ICU room - his lung function was 107% going into surgery, even with the adenocarcinoma,; plus, since surgery he's already hitting it out of the park with his breathing gadget! 😜 So, we're confident that he will eventually have no problems with usual day to day activity.
Now we just have to get through chemo and what's beyond.
Second glass empty (jeez, that was a good cab!)! Good timing, coz singer's on his last song. Time for bed! Tomorrow is another day.
Thanks for 'listening'.
Sometimes life's a b*tch, but it beats the alternative! 😜
Ann Cronin reacted to Judy M. in Second chemotherapy treatment, feeling bruised?
I had Cisplatin and Alimta and didn't have this particular side effect. But everyone's reaction to chemo is different. Agree you should report this to your Oncologist. I was encouraged (and still am) to report everything to my Oncologist''s APN.
Ann Cronin reacted to LexieCat in Second chemotherapy treatment, feeling bruised?
I'm sure someone will be along who can answer that, but I think it's always recommended to report side effects to your medical team.
Sorry you're feeling beat up--but glad your treatment is moving along. Hang in there!
Ann Cronin reacted to LexieCat in Happy Monday!!!
I actually forgot our online staff meeting today at 11--one of my colleagues chatted me and said, "Aren't you coming on?" I told everybody I completely forgot what day it was, and they were incredulous, "How can you be forgetting it's MONDAY?"
I didn't tell them I was busy posting a link to the SNL cold open and got distracted.
Hey, some things are more important than staff meetings!
Ann Cronin reacted to Steff in Happy Monday!!!
Fun Steffanie is very tired today. I'm starting on my 2nd cup of tea in the hopes that I can gain some quick energy to make it through the work day (only 8 more hours to go!!!). But no matter how tired I am, today is a beautiful day! I hope you all have a beautiful day today too!
Ann Cronin reacted to Susan Cornett in Waiting for results
Finally met with Super Doc yesterday afternoon. The nodule that was there in January is still there. Radiologist estimates 1 mm growth. Super Doc says there's no indication that it is or is not anything. He said he'll give it 90 more days, If no change or it grows, we'll do a PET scan and then likely a biopsy. He said he would talk to Super Radiology Doc about stereotactic radiation. The good news in all of this is that my right lung (the "good" one) is still clear.
The interesting find is that the CT showed some calcification on a rib that indicates it was cracked. Turns out that when I had the plague in December/January, I coughed hard enough to crack the rib. I knew it hurt to cough, to the point that I thought I had torn a ligament.
So, life goes on. Headed on a short vacay with the parents in a couple of weeks. Looking forward to spending time with them. Sorry I haven't been out here much lately. Work is keeping me very busy.
Ann Cronin got a reaction from PaulaC in Chemo and radiation treatments
Every 21 days. I'm on Cisplatin which is known for excess nausea. I think you had previously shared that you are on Carboplatin?? Carboplatin, apparently, does not cause as severe nausea as the Cisplatin. I've read different comments on the differences in the 2 drugs so I'm not entirely sure what the true differences are. I've read that Cisplatin is a cheaper med and also read that Cisplatin is more aggressive. I guess I should ask my Oncologist what the difference is..... I do know that if someone can't tolerate the Cisplatin, they are often then prescribed the Carboplatin.
Ann Cronin got a reaction from Sharon L. in Feeling discouraged
It's been almost 6 weeks since my traditional open lobectomy. I am also discouraged but I'm told time and again "It's a big surgery". I've also learned from folks, as others have stated here, everyone and every surgery is different so the recovery is different for each of us. I've learned that some will recover within a month or two and others could take a year or more.... so like you, I'm pretty discouraged.
I was put on Gabapentin and it works "ok" though I found that it made me very emotional and my legs felt like jelly so I went off. Well, I'm back on because of the discomfort, using that and Advil regularly.
One thing that is a comfort.... at first I thought that there was something wrong, perhaps I wasn't healing properly. Now I am pretty comfortable in knowing that what is needed is time... to heal.
Tom - Hopefully you see this! I get a general sense that being that I had the traditional, open lobectomy, I could be dealing with the burning/pulling/pain for a solid12-18 months.... would you say that is accurate? (If I'm lucky, I should say, as your experience has been quite the rough road in regards to pain, it seems). It's pretty constant, tolerable sometimes but at other times it's truly painful! A friend of mine who had the surgery told me to expect the 12-18 months.... Also, I understand that having shortness of breath is normal, could you comment on how long that could go on? I'm having shortness of breath even just having a lengthy conversation - can you say if that is normal??
Ann Cronin got a reaction from Sharon L. in Feeling discouraged
Thanks so much Ro, Tom, all!
Sharon, completely forgot to mention... the clothing on skin thing.... YES!!! I can validate how you're feeling! It's not 24/7 for me but often times I am pulling my shirt away from my torso for relief! Yours is the first post I've read in relation to this and I'm grateful I'm not the only one in the world that feels this way. If you're walking 5 miles........ I feel like you're way ahead of the game! Best of the best wishes to you for full recovery!
Ann Cronin reacted to Laurel in Feeling discouraged
It's been 8 weeks since my VATS surgery. I have finally moved off my gabapentin pain pills during the day and only take them at bedtime. I didn't experience the skin sensitivity you are feeling. I would have pain along my back and right side. I used over the counter Salon Pas (lidocaine) patches on those areas...never on any of my stitches. Suggestions from this site and my primary physician were most helpful with pain control. Talk with surgeon, oncologist, primary physician...whoever will help.
Ann Cronin reacted to Steff in Feeling discouraged
Feeling discouraged seems to be common theme, at times, when dealing with lung cancer. It seems as though you take 1 step forward, just start to get things figured out, and then wham, something happens to knock you 2 steps back. That seems to be my mom's case anyway. She had the conventional lobectomy in 2016. Her incision hurt her for about 3 months. Her incision is under her arm pit and wearing a bra drove her nuts. She didn't really attempt to try anything to lessen the pain, so I can't give you any advice there, but it looks as tho you have already gotten some good advice.
I mainly wanted to say that it's okay to feel discouraged, but remember, you had a portion of an organ removed - it's going to take some time to recover!! My mom's cancer journey has been filled with discouraging times. Dealing with a chronic health problem is like that. But with all of the treatment options and things to help with side effects, there is light at the end of the tunnel. And even though it seems like my mom takes 1 step forward to only be knocked back 2 steps, the important thing is that she's still here and enjoying life no matter where her steps take her.
I hope encouragement comes your way soon.
Ann Cronin reacted to Roz in Feeling discouraged
I think everyone's response to surgery, pain and recovery is variable. It definitely makes sense to ask your surgeon for some advice. I had VATS surgery (left lower) and also a thoracotomy (right upper). My discomfort from the VATS decreased each week and then 6 weeks later I had the thoracotomy. Dealing with pain and discomfort is still ongoing from the thoracotomy. But, It's great that you were feeling well enough to stop taking the Gabapentin...Try to give yourself plenty of rest time if you are still experiencing pain. It's so hard to be patient with the recovery process and it's okay to feel frustrated. Try to focus on how much better you feel this week compared to last week. Things will improve and you will get closer and closer to where you hope to be in this process!!
Ann Cronin reacted to Sharon L. in Feeling discouraged
Thanks everyone for your replies. I decided to wait to contact my surgeon since they told me it could take 8-12 wks for recovery and I really should consider myself lucky as there are many people that have it a lot worse than me. I have an appointment with my oncologist on 5/22 so I’m going to hang on until then. I have been making myself walk a minimum of 5 miles a day again so if I can do that I think I will be ok just gonna have to not wear any clothes that bother my skin until it’s all healed.
Ann Cronin reacted to Tom Galli in Feeling discouraged
Surgery, lung cancer and normal are words I wouldn't normally associate. After my first surgery, I was discharged in 5 days and I didn't need any pain meds. I suffered a pulmonary embolism after my second surgery and spent about 3 months in the hospital. When discharged, I had a throbbing-like pain in the incision scars. I was discharged about 10 days after my third surgery in about 10 days. I was on intense pain medication for about a month after discharge and have a throbbing-like pain that is constant at 4 unless I have a cramp or experience high stress. Then it soars. But, I have a chronic pain condition and it is expected given all the surgeries I had.
You should not have a chronic pain condition. Since I didn't have a normal recovery, I don't really have personal experience to predict how long your pain may last and how it may present. I do know from experience not to fly in airliners for several months. I learned that the hard way when I flew about 5 months after my last surgery and the cabin pressure altitude of 6,000 feet made my incision pain roar. I'm still bothered by flights and try and avoid long duration flights or if I can't avoid them, use my pain medication ahead of the experience.
I also find immersing myself in the pool up to my neck significantly reduces the amount of discomfort in my incision scars. Buoyancy is offsetting the gravitational tug on my incision scars and that knocks the pain down a couple of notches. Relief is limited to the amount of time I spend in the pool.
My shortness of breath is interesting. My pulmonologist says I have about 38% of normal lung capacity, yet my oxygen saturation rate is above 97, most of the time. I do experience shortness of breath after surgery and my surgeon explained why. He said the body produces fluid to fill up the empty cavities and that fluid squeezes and compresses my lung, especially when I squat or bend over. It took a while to adjust my activity level to reduce this symptom. Generally, I kneel down rather than squat or go down on one knee rather than bending over.
I had to establish a new normal for my life. There are things I can't do but a multitude of things I can do and I live in the can do zone.
Stay the course.