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Curt

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  1. Like
    Curt reacted to LouT in My Introduction   
    LexieCat and Curt,
    Thanks so much for your responses.  They did try to do a CT Guided Needle Biopsy, but the small size and location of the nodule kept them from feeling confident that they could get the sample accurately so we are doing the open biopsy.  The doctor told me he will be doing this using Robotic approach which should reduce my hospital stay.  I'm not sure how that compares with VAT, but I believe it is similar. 
    Curt, you mention the recovery time and that is of real interest to me.  You see, I'm the only caretaker for my wife (early stages of Alzheimer's) so, I really want to get back on my feet as quickly as possible.  In my case it is the lower lobe and I've been told that I will have a good recovery, but that when I workout (5-6 times a week aerobic and weights) that I will feel winded and that will take longer to accommodate to.  Is that your experience as well?  I do remember recovering from colorectal was a bear, but I've heard that lung surgery is tougher.  And the doctor is saying that as long as the nodule is primary lung cells and not migratory from my colon (which he doubts after 9 years and a clean PET Scan) then this could be a cure.  I'm praying that he is correct and encouraged to hear you say that your recovery wasn't terrible.
    I'm also glad I found this group.  I know what I'm about to say will sound pretty strange, but when searching for info on the surgery I saw this group a week or so ago but avoided it because it would seem like an acceptance that I had lung cancer.  Now that I've read some of the thoughts and stories from others I'm truly happy I came back to the forum.
    Thanks again,
    LouT
  2. Like
    Curt reacted to LexieCat in My Introduction   
    Robotic surgery is virtually identical to VATS--it's just that a robot is used.  The incisions are the same, and so should your recovery time--fast, in other words!  It was the "open thoracic" that threw me, but maybe that's what they call it when referring to a biopsy (as opposed to a needle biopsy).  
    I was back to work (desk job) just a couple of weeks later, and after a couple of months was feeling almost completely back to the way I felt before the surgery.  The fact that you work out regularly should help a LOT.  I'm much more sedentary, but even so, I was walking a couple of miles a day, several days a week, only a few weeks afterward.  I notice no shortness of breath, either.  You might notice some difference, but it's not likely to be much.  
    I'd suggest using the time between now and May 2nd to get whatever help you need lined up, as well as doing whatever needs doing for the next few weeks. Also suggest you pick up a wedge pillow--it will make sleeping more comfortable the first couple of weeks to be slightly elevated.  You might cough quite a bit for a few days.  Actually, the sore abs from coughing was the greatest pain I had after the first few days.  But the coughing is encouraged, to help keep your lungs clear.  They will give you breathing exercises--suggest doing those religiously, and also getting up and around as soon as you feel up to it.  My bet is you'll be able to do just about anything non-strenuous within a week or two--walking, driving, etc.  
     
  3. Like
    Curt reacted to LouT in My Introduction   
    LexieCat,
    Wow, you recovered very quickly.  I'm so glad to hear about the walking as well.  I do 5-6 miles/day about 6 days a week and do weights 5 days/week.  I've read some posts where people were runners and are working back to that.  The wedge pillow is a great idea, thanks for that.  I've been told (by surgeon's pre-op nurse) that he gets his patients up day of surgery to walk to and sit on a chair.  Sounds rough, but she echoes what you are saying, that it's all about keeping the lungs expanded and working.  The surgeon told me that I shouldn't drive for the first three weeks, but it is nice to hear you were able to do so a week or two afterward.  My wife goes for treatments and I wouldn't want to send her in an Uber.
    I do have another question and it's about pain meds.  How long afterward did you find you needed them and how did you avoid digestive slowdown (something I had a problem with last time) while taking them?
    Thanks again for the info.  Now, I just need to stop waking up all night long.  As Curt said this is the most stressful thing. 
    LouT
  4. Like
    Curt got a reaction from LouT in Lower Right Lobe VATS Resection Recovery Experience   
    I commented on your other post but didn’t give much detail on my experience with a VATS lobectomy.  I had Stage 1 NSCLC Adenocarcinoma.  I am a 43 year old male in average physical health.  I had my surgery six weeks ago.  The recovery time is different for everyone.  I was really surprised how little difference I noticed with my breathing after surgery  when not being very active.  When I would go for walks I would notice it a little more.  Six weeks later I can be mildly active without an issue.  The biggest thing is when I do lose my breath it is harder to catch it.  I was in the hospital for three days.  I had the surgery at 4 pm and they had me up and walking the following day.  You will have three incisions on your side. One just under your armpit, one a bit lower than that for a chest tube and one on your back.  The incision for the chest tube was the most uncomfortable for me.  Once the tube was removed a lot of the discomfort was gone.  That incision still has some nerve  discomfort, not pain.  The incision under my arm had the most swelling and was the most painful.  That took about four weeks to feel better.  It was hard to put my arm down at my side completely.  I was back to work after four weeks.  Some suggestions and things to know.  
    1. Exercise as much as you can pre surgery.  It will help build your lung capacity   
    2. Walk as much as you can after surgery.  It will help build your lung capacity, reduce swelling and speed your recovery   
    3. Use the spirometer breathing machine before surgery and after.  It helps build lung capacity before surgery and after it helped dry my lungs of any fluid.  
    4. You will want to be propped up after surgery when in bed.  I used a wedge pillow.  I needed it for two weeks   
    5. Have an arm chair close to your bed at home so you get up out of bed and spend most of your time in it or walking around.  I did that for about a week before venturing onto the couch.  
    6. Get a small pillow that you can squeeze when you have to cough or sneeze.  I didn’t cough much right after surgery but they encourage you to in order to clear some of the fluid from your lungs that builds up during surgery.  I also held the pillow under my arm when walking around to keep my arm from resting on the incision.  I needed that about three weeks.  
    7. I have a lump/tickle in my through that caused me to cough more now than at first.  After two weeks I felt some pulling inside when I coughed.  I cough now without any issues.  
    8. You will be tired for a while after surgery.  In the days after surgery I slept a lot.  In  the weeks after I took a nap every day.  At this point I don’t need any naps but sleep about an hour more a night than I use to.  
    Generally the surgery was not as bad as I thought it would be.  There was discomfort and pain but it was manageable with medication.  I was feeling a lot better after two weeks, four weeks I was out and about with some milder pain and discomfort and six week later I have some mild nerve discomfort and I’m about 80% back to my presurgery stamina.  I’ve made sure I am as active as possible.  The only residual things are the lump/tickle, some coughing from that and the need to be conscious of my breathing when active to make sure I don’t get too out of breath.  It’s more difficult to catch my breath.  I walk a mile and half on the treadmill, coach my kids baseball teams, go on bike rides with them and I played dodge ball and kickball with them last weekend. It has not changed my life in any discernible way.  I don’t require any follow up treatment.  Just periodic scans.  
    I was scared before surgery too.  Now that I’ve gone through it I’m glad I decided to do it.  It is the most affective treatment for early stage lung cancer.  
  5. Like
    Curt got a reaction from BridgetO in Lower Right Lobe VATS Resection Recovery Experience   
    I commented on your other post but didn’t give much detail on my experience with a VATS lobectomy.  I had Stage 1 NSCLC Adenocarcinoma.  I am a 43 year old male in average physical health.  I had my surgery six weeks ago.  The recovery time is different for everyone.  I was really surprised how little difference I noticed with my breathing after surgery  when not being very active.  When I would go for walks I would notice it a little more.  Six weeks later I can be mildly active without an issue.  The biggest thing is when I do lose my breath it is harder to catch it.  I was in the hospital for three days.  I had the surgery at 4 pm and they had me up and walking the following day.  You will have three incisions on your side. One just under your armpit, one a bit lower than that for a chest tube and one on your back.  The incision for the chest tube was the most uncomfortable for me.  Once the tube was removed a lot of the discomfort was gone.  That incision still has some nerve  discomfort, not pain.  The incision under my arm had the most swelling and was the most painful.  That took about four weeks to feel better.  It was hard to put my arm down at my side completely.  I was back to work after four weeks.  Some suggestions and things to know.  
    1. Exercise as much as you can pre surgery.  It will help build your lung capacity   
    2. Walk as much as you can after surgery.  It will help build your lung capacity, reduce swelling and speed your recovery   
    3. Use the spirometer breathing machine before surgery and after.  It helps build lung capacity before surgery and after it helped dry my lungs of any fluid.  
    4. You will want to be propped up after surgery when in bed.  I used a wedge pillow.  I needed it for two weeks   
    5. Have an arm chair close to your bed at home so you get up out of bed and spend most of your time in it or walking around.  I did that for about a week before venturing onto the couch.  
    6. Get a small pillow that you can squeeze when you have to cough or sneeze.  I didn’t cough much right after surgery but they encourage you to in order to clear some of the fluid from your lungs that builds up during surgery.  I also held the pillow under my arm when walking around to keep my arm from resting on the incision.  I needed that about three weeks.  
    7. I have a lump/tickle in my through that caused me to cough more now than at first.  After two weeks I felt some pulling inside when I coughed.  I cough now without any issues.  
    8. You will be tired for a while after surgery.  In the days after surgery I slept a lot.  In  the weeks after I took a nap every day.  At this point I don’t need any naps but sleep about an hour more a night than I use to.  
    Generally the surgery was not as bad as I thought it would be.  There was discomfort and pain but it was manageable with medication.  I was feeling a lot better after two weeks, four weeks I was out and about with some milder pain and discomfort and six week later I have some mild nerve discomfort and I’m about 80% back to my presurgery stamina.  I’ve made sure I am as active as possible.  The only residual things are the lump/tickle, some coughing from that and the need to be conscious of my breathing when active to make sure I don’t get too out of breath.  It’s more difficult to catch my breath.  I walk a mile and half on the treadmill, coach my kids baseball teams, go on bike rides with them and I played dodge ball and kickball with them last weekend. It has not changed my life in any discernible way.  I don’t require any follow up treatment.  Just periodic scans.  
    I was scared before surgery too.  Now that I’ve gone through it I’m glad I decided to do it.  It is the most affective treatment for early stage lung cancer.  
  6. Like
    Curt reacted to PaulaC in Sandbox   
    What did they decide against ? 
    I did the same treatment plan last summer.  Radiation with Chemo cocktail. It shrank the tumor and killed the cancer in my lymph nodes. I was able to have a left upper lobectomy in October to remove what was left after my treatment. 
    So far I’m still NED and hoping you can achieve the same results. 
  7. Like
    Curt reacted to Arthur in Lower Right Lobe VATS Resection Recovery Experience   
    Thanks Curt for taking the time to explain all this. It is very helpful.
    Arthur
  8. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Lisa L in Lower Right Lobe VATS Resection Recovery Experience   
    I commented on your other post but didn’t give much detail on my experience with a VATS lobectomy.  I had Stage 1 NSCLC Adenocarcinoma.  I am a 43 year old male in average physical health.  I had my surgery six weeks ago.  The recovery time is different for everyone.  I was really surprised how little difference I noticed with my breathing after surgery  when not being very active.  When I would go for walks I would notice it a little more.  Six weeks later I can be mildly active without an issue.  The biggest thing is when I do lose my breath it is harder to catch it.  I was in the hospital for three days.  I had the surgery at 4 pm and they had me up and walking the following day.  You will have three incisions on your side. One just under your armpit, one a bit lower than that for a chest tube and one on your back.  The incision for the chest tube was the most uncomfortable for me.  Once the tube was removed a lot of the discomfort was gone.  That incision still has some nerve  discomfort, not pain.  The incision under my arm had the most swelling and was the most painful.  That took about four weeks to feel better.  It was hard to put my arm down at my side completely.  I was back to work after four weeks.  Some suggestions and things to know.  
    1. Exercise as much as you can pre surgery.  It will help build your lung capacity   
    2. Walk as much as you can after surgery.  It will help build your lung capacity, reduce swelling and speed your recovery   
    3. Use the spirometer breathing machine before surgery and after.  It helps build lung capacity before surgery and after it helped dry my lungs of any fluid.  
    4. You will want to be propped up after surgery when in bed.  I used a wedge pillow.  I needed it for two weeks   
    5. Have an arm chair close to your bed at home so you get up out of bed and spend most of your time in it or walking around.  I did that for about a week before venturing onto the couch.  
    6. Get a small pillow that you can squeeze when you have to cough or sneeze.  I didn’t cough much right after surgery but they encourage you to in order to clear some of the fluid from your lungs that builds up during surgery.  I also held the pillow under my arm when walking around to keep my arm from resting on the incision.  I needed that about three weeks.  
    7. I have a lump/tickle in my through that caused me to cough more now than at first.  After two weeks I felt some pulling inside when I coughed.  I cough now without any issues.  
    8. You will be tired for a while after surgery.  In the days after surgery I slept a lot.  In  the weeks after I took a nap every day.  At this point I don’t need any naps but sleep about an hour more a night than I use to.  
    Generally the surgery was not as bad as I thought it would be.  There was discomfort and pain but it was manageable with medication.  I was feeling a lot better after two weeks, four weeks I was out and about with some milder pain and discomfort and six week later I have some mild nerve discomfort and I’m about 80% back to my presurgery stamina.  I’ve made sure I am as active as possible.  The only residual things are the lump/tickle, some coughing from that and the need to be conscious of my breathing when active to make sure I don’t get too out of breath.  It’s more difficult to catch my breath.  I walk a mile and half on the treadmill, coach my kids baseball teams, go on bike rides with them and I played dodge ball and kickball with them last weekend. It has not changed my life in any discernible way.  I don’t require any follow up treatment.  Just periodic scans.  
    I was scared before surgery too.  Now that I’ve gone through it I’m glad I decided to do it.  It is the most affective treatment for early stage lung cancer.  
  9. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Tom Galli in Lower Right Lobe VATS Resection Recovery Experience   
    I commented on your other post but didn’t give much detail on my experience with a VATS lobectomy.  I had Stage 1 NSCLC Adenocarcinoma.  I am a 43 year old male in average physical health.  I had my surgery six weeks ago.  The recovery time is different for everyone.  I was really surprised how little difference I noticed with my breathing after surgery  when not being very active.  When I would go for walks I would notice it a little more.  Six weeks later I can be mildly active without an issue.  The biggest thing is when I do lose my breath it is harder to catch it.  I was in the hospital for three days.  I had the surgery at 4 pm and they had me up and walking the following day.  You will have three incisions on your side. One just under your armpit, one a bit lower than that for a chest tube and one on your back.  The incision for the chest tube was the most uncomfortable for me.  Once the tube was removed a lot of the discomfort was gone.  That incision still has some nerve  discomfort, not pain.  The incision under my arm had the most swelling and was the most painful.  That took about four weeks to feel better.  It was hard to put my arm down at my side completely.  I was back to work after four weeks.  Some suggestions and things to know.  
    1. Exercise as much as you can pre surgery.  It will help build your lung capacity   
    2. Walk as much as you can after surgery.  It will help build your lung capacity, reduce swelling and speed your recovery   
    3. Use the spirometer breathing machine before surgery and after.  It helps build lung capacity before surgery and after it helped dry my lungs of any fluid.  
    4. You will want to be propped up after surgery when in bed.  I used a wedge pillow.  I needed it for two weeks   
    5. Have an arm chair close to your bed at home so you get up out of bed and spend most of your time in it or walking around.  I did that for about a week before venturing onto the couch.  
    6. Get a small pillow that you can squeeze when you have to cough or sneeze.  I didn’t cough much right after surgery but they encourage you to in order to clear some of the fluid from your lungs that builds up during surgery.  I also held the pillow under my arm when walking around to keep my arm from resting on the incision.  I needed that about three weeks.  
    7. I have a lump/tickle in my through that caused me to cough more now than at first.  After two weeks I felt some pulling inside when I coughed.  I cough now without any issues.  
    8. You will be tired for a while after surgery.  In the days after surgery I slept a lot.  In  the weeks after I took a nap every day.  At this point I don’t need any naps but sleep about an hour more a night than I use to.  
    Generally the surgery was not as bad as I thought it would be.  There was discomfort and pain but it was manageable with medication.  I was feeling a lot better after two weeks, four weeks I was out and about with some milder pain and discomfort and six week later I have some mild nerve discomfort and I’m about 80% back to my presurgery stamina.  I’ve made sure I am as active as possible.  The only residual things are the lump/tickle, some coughing from that and the need to be conscious of my breathing when active to make sure I don’t get too out of breath.  It’s more difficult to catch my breath.  I walk a mile and half on the treadmill, coach my kids baseball teams, go on bike rides with them and I played dodge ball and kickball with them last weekend. It has not changed my life in any discernible way.  I don’t require any follow up treatment.  Just periodic scans.  
    I was scared before surgery too.  Now that I’ve gone through it I’m glad I decided to do it.  It is the most affective treatment for early stage lung cancer.  
  10. Like
    Curt got a reaction from LexieCat in Lower Right Lobe VATS Resection Recovery Experience   
    I commented on your other post but didn’t give much detail on my experience with a VATS lobectomy.  I had Stage 1 NSCLC Adenocarcinoma.  I am a 43 year old male in average physical health.  I had my surgery six weeks ago.  The recovery time is different for everyone.  I was really surprised how little difference I noticed with my breathing after surgery  when not being very active.  When I would go for walks I would notice it a little more.  Six weeks later I can be mildly active without an issue.  The biggest thing is when I do lose my breath it is harder to catch it.  I was in the hospital for three days.  I had the surgery at 4 pm and they had me up and walking the following day.  You will have three incisions on your side. One just under your armpit, one a bit lower than that for a chest tube and one on your back.  The incision for the chest tube was the most uncomfortable for me.  Once the tube was removed a lot of the discomfort was gone.  That incision still has some nerve  discomfort, not pain.  The incision under my arm had the most swelling and was the most painful.  That took about four weeks to feel better.  It was hard to put my arm down at my side completely.  I was back to work after four weeks.  Some suggestions and things to know.  
    1. Exercise as much as you can pre surgery.  It will help build your lung capacity   
    2. Walk as much as you can after surgery.  It will help build your lung capacity, reduce swelling and speed your recovery   
    3. Use the spirometer breathing machine before surgery and after.  It helps build lung capacity before surgery and after it helped dry my lungs of any fluid.  
    4. You will want to be propped up after surgery when in bed.  I used a wedge pillow.  I needed it for two weeks   
    5. Have an arm chair close to your bed at home so you get up out of bed and spend most of your time in it or walking around.  I did that for about a week before venturing onto the couch.  
    6. Get a small pillow that you can squeeze when you have to cough or sneeze.  I didn’t cough much right after surgery but they encourage you to in order to clear some of the fluid from your lungs that builds up during surgery.  I also held the pillow under my arm when walking around to keep my arm from resting on the incision.  I needed that about three weeks.  
    7. I have a lump/tickle in my through that caused me to cough more now than at first.  After two weeks I felt some pulling inside when I coughed.  I cough now without any issues.  
    8. You will be tired for a while after surgery.  In the days after surgery I slept a lot.  In  the weeks after I took a nap every day.  At this point I don’t need any naps but sleep about an hour more a night than I use to.  
    Generally the surgery was not as bad as I thought it would be.  There was discomfort and pain but it was manageable with medication.  I was feeling a lot better after two weeks, four weeks I was out and about with some milder pain and discomfort and six week later I have some mild nerve discomfort and I’m about 80% back to my presurgery stamina.  I’ve made sure I am as active as possible.  The only residual things are the lump/tickle, some coughing from that and the need to be conscious of my breathing when active to make sure I don’t get too out of breath.  It’s more difficult to catch my breath.  I walk a mile and half on the treadmill, coach my kids baseball teams, go on bike rides with them and I played dodge ball and kickball with them last weekend. It has not changed my life in any discernible way.  I don’t require any follow up treatment.  Just periodic scans.  
    I was scared before surgery too.  Now that I’ve gone through it I’m glad I decided to do it.  It is the most affective treatment for early stage lung cancer.  
  11. Like
    Curt reacted to Tom Galli in Introducing myself...   
    Welcome Arthur,
    Glad you joined us.
    I was diagnosed with NSCLC -- squamous cell -- at stage IIIB and had a complete pneumonectomy the old fashioned way, with a conventional J-shaped incision along my right side.  I had surgical complications followed by four recurrences but achieved NED -- no evidence of disease -- after cybersurgery in March 2007.  That was 15 years ago and my message to you is if I can live, so can you.
    Many here have had successful VATS resections and I'm sure you will connect with them soon.  This is a great place for questions.
    Stay the course.
    Tom
  12. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Rower Michelle in Lower Right Lobe VATS Resection Recovery Experience   
    I commented on your other post but didn’t give much detail on my experience with a VATS lobectomy.  I had Stage 1 NSCLC Adenocarcinoma.  I am a 43 year old male in average physical health.  I had my surgery six weeks ago.  The recovery time is different for everyone.  I was really surprised how little difference I noticed with my breathing after surgery  when not being very active.  When I would go for walks I would notice it a little more.  Six weeks later I can be mildly active without an issue.  The biggest thing is when I do lose my breath it is harder to catch it.  I was in the hospital for three days.  I had the surgery at 4 pm and they had me up and walking the following day.  You will have three incisions on your side. One just under your armpit, one a bit lower than that for a chest tube and one on your back.  The incision for the chest tube was the most uncomfortable for me.  Once the tube was removed a lot of the discomfort was gone.  That incision still has some nerve  discomfort, not pain.  The incision under my arm had the most swelling and was the most painful.  That took about four weeks to feel better.  It was hard to put my arm down at my side completely.  I was back to work after four weeks.  Some suggestions and things to know.  
    1. Exercise as much as you can pre surgery.  It will help build your lung capacity   
    2. Walk as much as you can after surgery.  It will help build your lung capacity, reduce swelling and speed your recovery   
    3. Use the spirometer breathing machine before surgery and after.  It helps build lung capacity before surgery and after it helped dry my lungs of any fluid.  
    4. You will want to be propped up after surgery when in bed.  I used a wedge pillow.  I needed it for two weeks   
    5. Have an arm chair close to your bed at home so you get up out of bed and spend most of your time in it or walking around.  I did that for about a week before venturing onto the couch.  
    6. Get a small pillow that you can squeeze when you have to cough or sneeze.  I didn’t cough much right after surgery but they encourage you to in order to clear some of the fluid from your lungs that builds up during surgery.  I also held the pillow under my arm when walking around to keep my arm from resting on the incision.  I needed that about three weeks.  
    7. I have a lump/tickle in my through that caused me to cough more now than at first.  After two weeks I felt some pulling inside when I coughed.  I cough now without any issues.  
    8. You will be tired for a while after surgery.  In the days after surgery I slept a lot.  In  the weeks after I took a nap every day.  At this point I don’t need any naps but sleep about an hour more a night than I use to.  
    Generally the surgery was not as bad as I thought it would be.  There was discomfort and pain but it was manageable with medication.  I was feeling a lot better after two weeks, four weeks I was out and about with some milder pain and discomfort and six week later I have some mild nerve discomfort and I’m about 80% back to my presurgery stamina.  I’ve made sure I am as active as possible.  The only residual things are the lump/tickle, some coughing from that and the need to be conscious of my breathing when active to make sure I don’t get too out of breath.  It’s more difficult to catch my breath.  I walk a mile and half on the treadmill, coach my kids baseball teams, go on bike rides with them and I played dodge ball and kickball with them last weekend. It has not changed my life in any discernible way.  I don’t require any follow up treatment.  Just periodic scans.  
    I was scared before surgery too.  Now that I’ve gone through it I’m glad I decided to do it.  It is the most affective treatment for early stage lung cancer.  
  13. Like
    Curt reacted to LexieCat in Lower Right Lobe VATS Resection Recovery Experience   
    Hi, Arthur,
    VATS surgery is, as surgeries go, a virtual piece of cake.  My C-section hurt more and required a longer time to recover from than my VATS (mine removed the upper left lobe).  Actually, removal of the lobe, if the nodule is found to be cancerous, is the BEST way to completely eliminate the cancer.  My doctor did the wedge resection first to examine the nodule and then removed the remainder of the lobe (same surgery--they looked at it while I was still in surgery).  
    Have you had a biopsy, or is there another reason they think the nodule is likely to be cancer?  Have you had a PET scan?  Sometimes (as in my case) they do the lobectomy without a biopsy due to the very suspicious appearance of the nodule (mine was spiculated).  Yours is quite a bit larger than mine was, though, so maybe they are going by size.  
    My surgery was almost two years ago.  I was out with friends at a concert two weeks after the surgery.  I was taking long walks around the same time.  I have NO shortness of breath or any other lingering problems.  I feel great, and because my tumor turned out to be Stage 1b adenocarcinoma, all I need to do is go for scans every six months.  After this July, assuming that visit goes well, the scans will drop back to annual.
    Cancer is always scary to deal with--especially lung cancer.  But yours is still small and an early "catch," it appears, so you may be one of the very fortunate.  One of the reasons lung cancer is so deadly is that it is often not found until there are symptoms, which means the cancer has already spread.  
    Feel free to ask any questions.  But seriously, the surgery itself is nothing to get too stressed out about.  You will be back to normal in no time, most likely.
  14. Like
    Curt reacted to BridgetO in Lower Right Lobe VATS Resection Recovery Experience   
    Hi Arthur and welcome,  My experience is pretty similar to LexiCat's. I had a lower right VATS  lobectomy in November 2016. My single nodule was smaller than yours. I was told it couldn't be biopsied by needle or bronchoscope because of the location, and also because of the location they had to  take the whole lobe and not just a wedge. The surgeon and the pulmonologist ageed it had the appearance of cancer on the CT scan . I had a PET scan but nothing lit up-- I understand this isn't unusual for small, slow growing tumors. Diagnosis after surgery was adenocarcinoma Stage 1a.
    I was discharged from the hospital the day after the surgery, with a chest drain tube in place because I had an air leak. Some hospitals prefer to keep people in until the tube can come out. My tube was in for 10 days. The tube was uncomfortable, but I learned how to move carefully to avoid most pain. I was out walking around the neighborhoos  a couple of days after the surgery. My pain was minimal after the tube was out.
    My surgeon told me that, unless I was planning to run a marathon, I probably wouldn't notice a difference in my lung capacity. This has been true. My lung sounds a little funny at times but it seems to work just fine. I'm fairly active, but not at all athletic. I walk a lot. I am "retired", sort of, but have been working part time recently. I was 72 at the time of surgery and didn't have any health problems, other than some long term side effects from treatment for  a prior unrelated cancer.
    I don't feel like I'm at all debilitated. I hope this info is helpful to you. 
    Bridget O
  15. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Tom Galli in Introducing myself...   
    Hi Arthur.  I had a right upper lobe lobectomy via a VATS surgery six weeks ago.  I had an 8mm nodule that they felt was suspicious enough to warrant a resection.  At the time of the resection they tested the nodule and found it to be NSCLC Adenocarcinoma.  Have they done a PET scan? 
  16. Like
    Curt reacted to Seventhson in Neuroendocrine lung cancer .   
    When they started to give me meds to put me asleep that’s the last I recall in surgery. My blood pressure dropped and I had a swollen upper lip and very sore throat from a quick intubation. But it has cleared up . I hope yours does as well. Good to know you are still recovering as well. I have more pain. I think it is probably nerve pain. If it persists or worsens I will go to out pts and get a chest exray. But overall I am doing really good. I found I have overall had much less pain than I expected. I think in time we will both heal totally and do great. So glad you doing good and getting out being active. Good for you. 
  17. Thanks
    Curt got a reaction from Seventhson in Neuroendocrine lung cancer .   
    I’m also doing good. Im glad to hear you are.  I’m not short of breath during normal activity.  I’ve been really surprised by that.  I climbed five flights of stairs in a parking garage the other day.  That got me short of breath.  I played dodge ball (I wasn’t doing much diving) with my kids yesterday.  That also winded me.  It’s definitely harder to catch my breath once I get winded.  Most of the pain from the surgery is gone.  Just some nerve sensations that feels like a mild sunburn.  Most annoying thing at this point for me is a lump/tickle in my throat that causes me to cough.  I’m really self conscious abut coughing.  I feel like people are wondering if it’s a symptom.  
  18. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Roz in Time for Pet Scan   
    Excellent!
  19. Like
    Curt reacted to PaulaC in Time for Pet Scan   
    Tom I’m going too!! We have a trip to Alaska in May for my daughters graduation,  going to try a 5k run in May and we’re taking a cruise out of Galveston in August. 🎓🏃🏼‍♀️🛳
  20. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Barb1260 in And the results are in! Now a new symptom?   
    Sounds like good need to me. 
  21. Like
    Curt reacted to PaulaC in Time for Pet Scan   
    Just got home from oncologist and great results. The scan looks clear with exception of a spot on my vertebra that’s been showing on scans but doesn’t show up on bone scan. Dr thinks it’s scar tissue but will continue monitoring it. 
    Im free for the summer! Next scan in October. 
  22. Like
    Curt reacted to Shelkay1 in BRAF Mutation   
    I talked with a rep at the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation on Tuesday, I'm the 1st BRAF V600E patient she has encountered. She is going to do some research for me on this mutation and possible trialsb she gave me the name of someone at Penn Medicine who is familiar with and has treated patients this mutation. She also gave me the name of a nurse navigator I can use. Where I'm currently going does not use nurse navigators & I've felt like I just get pushed from one doctor to the next and have no one person to help guide me along. I'm actually looking forward to my 2nd opinion appointment on Friday. If anyone out there reading this has the BRAF V600E mutation, I'd like to hear from you & learn of your treatment experiences. 
    Thanks! 
     
  23. Like
    Curt reacted to Rower Michelle in Introduction   
    Hi Pamela-
    I’m an ALKie too.  I was diagnosed Stage IV last September at the age of 51.  I had some spinal lesions & hot spots on my rib & hip.  So far I’m doing well on Alectinib.  
    My doctor’s advised me to file for disability & focus completely on healing my body.  I left a high profile executive position.  Each day I look at as an adventure.   
    There is an ALK Facebook Page (I don’t do FB) that you might find helpful as well.  You may want to look at ALKpostive.org.   
    This is a wonderful community- everybody here gets it!  Looking forward to learning more about your journey.  Your post is my inspiration for today.  
    Welcome! 
    Michelle
     
  24. Like
    Curt reacted to Steff in Introduction   
    Hi Pamela, welcome here. And I'm happy you found us. I think you are a great example of a showing people that you can still do the things that you love in spite of lung cancer. You are an inspiration! I look forward to hearing more of your journey.
    I wanted to let you know since you are in the DC area that LUNGevity has an international lung cancer conference coming up at the end of April. I attended with my mom last year for the first time. As a caregiver I got so much support and my mom as the cancer Warrior met so many supportive and loving people who are going through the same thing as she is. If you can make it, I think it would be a great place for you to get support as well and also share your story. If you check out LUNGevity main website you can find information about the conference.
    Once again, welcome!
    Take care,
    Steff
  25. Like
    Curt reacted to Pamela Dee in Introduction   
    I am a 59-year-old resident of the Metro DC area. I was diagnosed with stage 3 NSCLC ALK+ adenocarcinoma in February 2013, which after three years metastasized to my brain. I've had chemo and radiation for the lung cancer and surgery and two rounds of radiation for the brain cancer. Through it all, I have remained generally healthy, active, and in good spirits. I have a full-time job and try to stay active with several community organizations. I love to travel, sometimes just to see new places, and sometimes for ski and bike trips. I have supportive friends and family but have gone through much of my cancer ordeal on my own because most of those people don't live close by or they also work for a living. This has generally worked out fine for me. Ironically, the longer I deal with it all, however, the more I feel like I need more support than I did when I started out. I especially would like to be able to share with and support others who are going through the types of challenges I'm dealing with--something I've found is often difficult for people who haven't had cancer to understand. I'm looking forward to being part of this group.
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