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Curt

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  1. Like
    Curt got a reaction from TJM in Surgery March 12   
    @LyndaT the ventilator was also my biggest fear.   I read somewhere that there was the chance you could be on one post surgery and was so scared of waking up with a tube down my throat.  I went into surgery not knowing if I actually had cancer and was scared I’d wake up and not be able to communicate to find out.  I asked my surgeon and he looked at me funny.  He said it was incredibly unlikely that would happen.  He said a very low chance and only if my lung didn’t re-inflate.  He also said if I had to be I’d be sedated and wouldn’t know it was in.   I woke up after surgery feeling great.  When they told me it was cancer I was actually joking around with the doctors and my family about it.  The drugs were doing their job.  It hit me like a ton of bricks later that night, but the initial shock and emotion wasn’t what I was expecting.  That came after the drugs wore off.
  2. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Terry S in 1 Year Today   
    @Terry S those first few months after surgery were tough but it gets better.  Take it one scan at a time.  I’ll be looking for your NED post next December.  
  3. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Scruboak in 1 Year Today   
    @Rower Michelle baseball practices started in January 😡 .  I need to start a whole other board for my thoughts on that.   A years has made quite the difference.  Kind of hard to believe it went by as fast it did.  
     
    @Lisa L yours have to be benign.  There is no way both of us are in the minority.  If it weren’t for my family history I’d probably still be watching mine.  
     
     
     
  4. Like
    Curt got a reaction from LouT in PET scan this morning   
    I’d write out a list of questions and bring it with you   Write down the answers    You won’t remember a word the doctor said after you leave    Some doctors are ok with you recording the conversation   Ask if they are ok with it.
    What type of surgery they are recommending and why?
    Exactly what they plan to remove and why.
    How what they plan to remove will affect him near and long term.
    How many of these surgeries have they performed?
     
    What if any long term quality of life changes are possible.
    Recovery time?
    How long in the hospital?
    Do they anticipate the need for any follow up treatment?  
    Any need for pre op treatments?   Sometimes people will get radiation to shrink a tumor of it is in a difficult spot.
    How do you contact them to ask the questions you forgot to ask or get clarification on something?   
     
    Surgery is a great option to have   Its scary, but not nearly as scary as you are probably both imaging it is.
    Hang in there    
     

     
     
  5. Like
    Curt reacted to LUNGevityKristin in Surgery March 12   
    Lynda, if you want to be matched with a peer mentor you can speak with one on one, LUNGevity has the LifeLine program that will match you.  Just in case you would like a little extra support. 
    https://lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/support-services/peer-to-peer-mentoring/lungevity-lifeline
  6. Like
    Curt reacted to Terry S in 1 Year Today   
    Curt:
    I had a lobectomy (stage 1a NSCLC) just this past December (2019) and I pray to be able to post those exact same words next December!  It's so helpful to see where someone else is further down the road than myself. 
  7. Like
    Curt reacted to TMC in PET scan this morning   
    Thank you Curt!!! 
  8. Like
    Curt reacted to TJM in 1 Year Today   
    Congrats. Half way to the promised land. 2 years no recurrence and, bingo....those Google Stats really start working in your favor!
    Happy for you
    Tom
  9. Like
    Curt got a reaction from TJM in This feels stupid...but its not   
    That’s a lot Tom.  The universe definitely has a way of piling it on.  I always hate when people say it’s testing us.  I’ve taken enough test sin my life, but sometimes it does feel that way.  I hope for some sunny spring time walks for you, your wife and your puppy in a few weeks.
  10. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Tom Galli in Support Lungevity When You Shop On Amazon   
    If you use the below link when you shop on Amazon .5% of your purchase will be donated to Lungevity.  Your purchases won’t cost more than normal and you can use the link every time you shop on Amazon.  It a a really easy, cost free way to support a great organization.   Based on the boxes that show up on our porch each day I’d say my wife is on a one woman mission to cure cancer though shopping.  Who’s with her?   
     
    http://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-4433410
  11. Like
    Curt got a reaction from May2 in Surgery March 12   
    @LyndaT apparently the French are overly cautious.  What a terrible thing to have happen before your surgery.  I can tell you that is not the norm here in the state’s.  You should plan for as many massages as you want after you recover from surgery.  I had a lot of the same questions you had before surgery.  I was also terrified.  Don’t be.  You have already gotten some good insight and advice. 
     
    I had a VATS surgery exactly (Yes exactly To the date) one year ago today. Robotic surgery has a lot of the same benefits as VATS in terms of it being minimally invasive, having a shorter recovery time and being an affective treatment.  It is preferred for surgery where lymph nodes are involved.   The biggest difference is VATS uses instruments to assist a surgeon where robotic is done more by the robot and assisted by the surgeon.  The biggest reason it’s not done more often is because it is more expensive than VATS (so less hospitals can do it) and less surgeons are trained on it.  It is worth knowing how many of these types of surgeries your surgeon has performed.   If it’s quite a few you should feel pretty good about being able to get it.  I know this in no way feels like you are lucky, but when it comes to how to treat lung cancer you are considered lucky if you can get surgery.    
     
    When I woke up from my VATS surgery I felt great.  No pain at all.  I had the surgery at 7 pm, woke up around 10 pm, went to sleep that night, woke up the next morning, ate some breakfast and went for a walk around the hospital wing.  The walk was a slow gingerly walk but it was a walk.  I was very scared to get too out of breath but was really supposed at how little my breathing had changed.  I felt so good that I let my pain medication laps later that day.   It turns out the pain meds were the reason I was feeling so good.  When I went longer than I should without taking the meds I was in pain.   They got it under control but I got a good talking to from the nurse about letting them know if I was feeling ANY discomfort.   They had to give me some pretty powerful narcotics to knock the pain back.   Once it was back under control I was ok and didn’t neglect to tell them after that.    
     
    The most uncomfortable and painful part is the drain tube that you will have in.  That tube will drain fluid from your chest.  It can be removed as quickly as the following day,  I’ve heard of others going home with it in.  Your chest cavity being clear of air pockets will determine when that happens.  Mine was removed Friday morning, I had surgery Tuesday night at 7 pm.  I went home 6 hours after it was removed.  I was really afraid of getting it removed.  The nurses kept telling me it was nothing but I was still scared.  It turned out to be really minimal.  The sensation is weird, not painful.  I felt almost immediate relief when it was out.  
     
    Coughing and sneezing will hurt.  I carried around a small firm pillow and squeezed it whenever I had to do either.   Coughing is good for your lung recovery.  You’ll need to do it.  I also slept with the pillow so it propped up my arm off my incisions.  
     
    I was exhausted after surgery.  More tired than I’d ever felt before.  I went home on Friday and for Saturday and Sunday I would go from my bed to an arm chair next to my bed.  I’d walk up, have breakfast, walk, sit in the chair for a little bit then go back to bed.   I took a lot of naps the first ten days.  I normally don’t nap.  I was able to go back to work after about two weeks but I would get tired after a few hours and go home.  My energy level was back to normal within a month to six weeks.  Give yourself the time and rest you need to recover.  
     
    I found it comfortable to sleep proppped up.  Either with a firm foam wedge pillow in bed or a recliner.  If you are going to be home alone being in a recliner may make it easier on you.  Getting in and out of bed was hard the first few days.  I’d say if you go home for the weekend have someone there with you the first day or so.   After that you’ll be ok to do normal things.  You won’t be able to lift heavy things for a few months so you’ll need help with laundry and heavy shopping bags.  
     
    I know this is scary.  I was petrified.  I had visions of waking up with a tube down my throat on a ventilator and walking around the rest of my life wheezing and on oxygen.  None of that is even remotely the case.  My breathing is back to pre surgery levels.  I have some numbness around where the tube was.   I’m told that may or may not go away.  When I sneeze it still feels tight.  Overall I feel great and am cancer free one year later.  It was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be.  You’ll do fine.  
     
    Any other questions...or fears just ask. 
     
      
     
     
     

     

     
     
  12. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Scruboak in 1 Year Today   
    Exactly one year post lobectomy and cancer free.  It’s strange how scared I am to write those words for fear that I’m going to “jinx”it.  One year later I still have a little bit of numbness on my side and it still feels tight when I cough and sneeze.  Minor given the circumstances.  I feel grateful for where I am.  I have a follow-up CT scan next month and I’ll be nervous.  Part of my new normal.
  13. Like
    Curt reacted to TJM in This feels stupid...but its not   
    Thanks both. Think da lord was testing my little pup. He is wide awake now and obviously feeling better and I think over the hump.
    He has no clue how close to "let him go" doc he got. Occasionally faith is rewarded?
    Thinking name change in order. Be "Lucky" something?
    Tom
  14. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Tom Galli in Surgery March 12   
    @LyndaT apparently the French are overly cautious.  What a terrible thing to have happen before your surgery.  I can tell you that is not the norm here in the state’s.  You should plan for as many massages as you want after you recover from surgery.  I had a lot of the same questions you had before surgery.  I was also terrified.  Don’t be.  You have already gotten some good insight and advice. 
     
    I had a VATS surgery exactly (Yes exactly To the date) one year ago today. Robotic surgery has a lot of the same benefits as VATS in terms of it being minimally invasive, having a shorter recovery time and being an affective treatment.  It is preferred for surgery where lymph nodes are involved.   The biggest difference is VATS uses instruments to assist a surgeon where robotic is done more by the robot and assisted by the surgeon.  The biggest reason it’s not done more often is because it is more expensive than VATS (so less hospitals can do it) and less surgeons are trained on it.  It is worth knowing how many of these types of surgeries your surgeon has performed.   If it’s quite a few you should feel pretty good about being able to get it.  I know this in no way feels like you are lucky, but when it comes to how to treat lung cancer you are considered lucky if you can get surgery.    
     
    When I woke up from my VATS surgery I felt great.  No pain at all.  I had the surgery at 7 pm, woke up around 10 pm, went to sleep that night, woke up the next morning, ate some breakfast and went for a walk around the hospital wing.  The walk was a slow gingerly walk but it was a walk.  I was very scared to get too out of breath but was really supposed at how little my breathing had changed.  I felt so good that I let my pain medication laps later that day.   It turns out the pain meds were the reason I was feeling so good.  When I went longer than I should without taking the meds I was in pain.   They got it under control but I got a good talking to from the nurse about letting them know if I was feeling ANY discomfort.   They had to give me some pretty powerful narcotics to knock the pain back.   Once it was back under control I was ok and didn’t neglect to tell them after that.    
     
    The most uncomfortable and painful part is the drain tube that you will have in.  That tube will drain fluid from your chest.  It can be removed as quickly as the following day,  I’ve heard of others going home with it in.  Your chest cavity being clear of air pockets will determine when that happens.  Mine was removed Friday morning, I had surgery Tuesday night at 7 pm.  I went home 6 hours after it was removed.  I was really afraid of getting it removed.  The nurses kept telling me it was nothing but I was still scared.  It turned out to be really minimal.  The sensation is weird, not painful.  I felt almost immediate relief when it was out.  
     
    Coughing and sneezing will hurt.  I carried around a small firm pillow and squeezed it whenever I had to do either.   Coughing is good for your lung recovery.  You’ll need to do it.  I also slept with the pillow so it propped up my arm off my incisions.  
     
    I was exhausted after surgery.  More tired than I’d ever felt before.  I went home on Friday and for Saturday and Sunday I would go from my bed to an arm chair next to my bed.  I’d walk up, have breakfast, walk, sit in the chair for a little bit then go back to bed.   I took a lot of naps the first ten days.  I normally don’t nap.  I was able to go back to work after about two weeks but I would get tired after a few hours and go home.  My energy level was back to normal within a month to six weeks.  Give yourself the time and rest you need to recover.  
     
    I found it comfortable to sleep proppped up.  Either with a firm foam wedge pillow in bed or a recliner.  If you are going to be home alone being in a recliner may make it easier on you.  Getting in and out of bed was hard the first few days.  I’d say if you go home for the weekend have someone there with you the first day or so.   After that you’ll be ok to do normal things.  You won’t be able to lift heavy things for a few months so you’ll need help with laundry and heavy shopping bags.  
     
    I know this is scary.  I was petrified.  I had visions of waking up with a tube down my throat on a ventilator and walking around the rest of my life wheezing and on oxygen.  None of that is even remotely the case.  My breathing is back to pre surgery levels.  I have some numbness around where the tube was.   I’m told that may or may not go away.  When I sneeze it still feels tight.  Overall I feel great and am cancer free one year later.  It was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be.  You’ll do fine.  
     
    Any other questions...or fears just ask. 
     
      
     
     
     

     

     
     
  15. Like
    Curt reacted to Rower Michelle in 1 Year Today   
    I remember those early posts Curt, what a difference a year makes.  Try not to worry about those upcoming scans (yeah I know we all do). Pretty soon baseball season will be here and the boys will be joyfully running you into the ground!  Carry on! 
    Michelle
  16. Like
    Curt reacted to Lisa L in 1 Year Today   
    Curt I remember hanging on your every word because our stories were  so similar.  You were brave enough to have the surgery and I was thinking the whole time it was Benign,  you were shocked and reading it so was I.  You are an inspiration to me dude and I’m still too scared of surgery  and to  do anything but watch and wait.  I have a lot of faith in my pulmonologist and he is very frank with me, I was supposed to get a ct scan end of this month but my insurance is going by the model of no uptake on pet and two scans  with no growth so I will wait until end of June which he is ok with and frankly so am I.   He thinks because of the pet and scans it could very likely be cancerous but yet so slow growing that it probably won’t affect me in my lifetime...I mean I’m in my early 50’s so I hope not but I want to always get scanned just in case anyway glad you are doing good.  Love and Light ❤️
  17. Like
    Curt got a reaction from PaulaC in 1 Year Today   
    Exactly one year post lobectomy and cancer free.  It’s strange how scared I am to write those words for fear that I’m going to “jinx”it.  One year later I still have a little bit of numbness on my side and it still feels tight when I cough and sneeze.  Minor given the circumstances.  I feel grateful for where I am.  I have a follow-up CT scan next month and I’ll be nervous.  Part of my new normal.
  18. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Rower Michelle in This feels stupid...but its not   
    That’s a lot Tom.  The universe definitely has a way of piling it on.  I always hate when people say it’s testing us.  I’ve taken enough test sin my life, but sometimes it does feel that way.  I hope for some sunny spring time walks for you, your wife and your puppy in a few weeks.
  19. Like
    Curt reacted to TJM in Surgery March 12   
    Lynda,
    Take a deep breath.  I just had that surgery 4 weeks ago.  I was discharged the next day. It is a safe and effective surgery and it is the very best treatment that you can possibly get for Lung Cancer.  Thank the spirits that you have this option.
    To answer a few of your questions (and a bit of advice)
    Surgery prep is a breeze.  Should be relaxing and before  you know it you will be awake again and it will all be done.
    When you come out of sedation you won't be feeling any pain. In fact, if they do the job right you should not feel any pain for quite awhile.
    Once they wean you off the more powerful pain killers you will have some pain where they made the incisions and even more so where the drain is inserted.  But they will provide you with good medication and you should not feel much pain at all.  in fact, zero pain except for when you make a move or cough, and even that is not bad.
    Do not fall behind on the pain.  If you are in pain, ask for medication.  Zero reason to be in pain. Don't be shy.
    Talk to them about taking laxatives before surgery and right after surgery.  I did  not follow up good enough on that and it is my only real complain right now - digestion has been my only minor issue, and it may have more to do with the tumor they took out than anything.  If you don't urinate for hours after the surgery just let the nurse know.  They were a bit behind on asking me that so my bladder got pretty full! 
    Since you are not set up really well at home try to stay in the hospital as long as you can.  Within a day or two (depending how good your lungs are now) you will be up and walking and should be able to take short stair climbs etc.  I was pretty mobile right away.  In fact, my wife blew out her right knee three days before my surgery and couldn't walk - so I was taking care of her!
    You really could use help, but assuming no complications you can take care of the basics.  Bathroom, feeding, shower, dressing - but you will want help with shopping and cooking and any heavy stuff at all.
    You will be hearing from others who have had this surgery not that long ago who I am sure will add and improve on what I have suggested.
    By the way - rule number one when traveling in Europe, always lie when you are in France......
    Get ready to get the vile thing out you.  You can handle it!
    Tom  
  20. Like
    Curt reacted to Steff in 358 Days Post RUL Lobectomy - Diamond Head   
    Awesome Curt! I had to stop a million times on that hike and I have all of my lung lobes! -It may have been partially due to the several Mai Tai's I had the night before, but this hike is not for the weary! Great job! And no matter how hard the journey was, the view is worth it!
  21. Like
    Curt got a reaction from Steff in 358 Days Post RUL Lobectomy - Diamond Head   
    I convinced my wife to hike up Diamond Head Volcano in Oahu yesterday.  First I didn’t see any diamonds.  Second it has been dormant for 150,000 years.  Can you call a lake a lake if it hasn’t had any water in it for 150,000 years?   What about a volcano that doesn’t have any lava?  Anyway that’s not the point.  The point is 358 days after I had my upper right lobe removed via lobectomy I hiked to the top of a volcano.  It’s not a big volcano, but it’s a volcano.     760’ at the highest peak.  We were told it would be about a half hour to get to the top.  My brain said we’d be there in 20 minutes.  45 minutes later we made it to the top.  About 15 minutes in I got scared.  The feeling that maybe I shouldn’t be doing this, maybe I couldn’t, set in.  My brain isn’t use to telling my body to pace itself.  It just runs off up a volcano without a thought in the world.  But then my body tells my brain that I need to slow down and pace myself.  There were some spots that added to my concern.  I got short of breath and had to stop a few times.  About two thirds of the way up there is a 225’ long walking tunnel.  The air felt kind of tight in there.  Maybe it was just Claustrophobia. As soon as I got out of the tunnel I was confronted with 99 steps, felt more like a ladder.  After that a few flights of spiral stairs in an old military concrete building.  Then the final 76 steps to the top.  Most people say the view at the top is worth the effort.  For me the view was secondary to the accomplishment I felt getting up there at all.  
     
    If I can do it so can you. Mahalo!



  22. Like
    Curt got a reaction from ColleenRae in 358 Days Post RUL Lobectomy - Diamond Head   
    I convinced my wife to hike up Diamond Head Volcano in Oahu yesterday.  First I didn’t see any diamonds.  Second it has been dormant for 150,000 years.  Can you call a lake a lake if it hasn’t had any water in it for 150,000 years?   What about a volcano that doesn’t have any lava?  Anyway that’s not the point.  The point is 358 days after I had my upper right lobe removed via lobectomy I hiked to the top of a volcano.  It’s not a big volcano, but it’s a volcano.     760’ at the highest peak.  We were told it would be about a half hour to get to the top.  My brain said we’d be there in 20 minutes.  45 minutes later we made it to the top.  About 15 minutes in I got scared.  The feeling that maybe I shouldn’t be doing this, maybe I couldn’t, set in.  My brain isn’t use to telling my body to pace itself.  It just runs off up a volcano without a thought in the world.  But then my body tells my brain that I need to slow down and pace myself.  There were some spots that added to my concern.  I got short of breath and had to stop a few times.  About two thirds of the way up there is a 225’ long walking tunnel.  The air felt kind of tight in there.  Maybe it was just Claustrophobia. As soon as I got out of the tunnel I was confronted with 99 steps, felt more like a ladder.  After that a few flights of spiral stairs in an old military concrete building.  Then the final 76 steps to the top.  Most people say the view at the top is worth the effort.  For me the view was secondary to the accomplishment I felt getting up there at all.  
     
    If I can do it so can you. Mahalo!



  23. Like
    Curt reacted to TJM in Cancer Type Missing from Posts   
    Steve. Best way is to tag the original post. Have to tag the new post. I will do an example shortly. Only original post can be tagged. Can use multiple tags 
    I try to be diligent but am not 100%
    Peace
    Tom
  24. Like
    Curt reacted to TJM in My new pal   
    Loving my new pup. Full of curiosity, caution, wonder, confidence, fear....but guessing mostly happiness.
    My family gave me a special gift. Lost a lifelong friend Bucky a few months ago, gut punched by lung cancer diagnosis two months ago. Gut punched on pathology two weeks ago. Saved by a canine  cell mass called a puppy, that is younger than my tumor......4 short days ago. Priceless.
    Peace
    Tom
  25. Like
    Curt reacted to Susan Cornett in 358 Days Post RUL Lobectomy - Diamond Head   
    Curt - that is so awesome!! Congratulations!
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