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Everything posted by Irka

  1. Lisa, Yes, the waiting & worrying & every pain in between is dreadful. But you're doing great. And as I understood when I re-read your opening lines, the nodule did not "light up" on the PET & showed no growth in following April & Aug CTs. That's highly encouraging. If the CT you get in Feb shows any significant change, I think your pulmonologist might want to order another PET to follow up. In my case, my pulmo was following nodule(s) in my lungs for several years, some of which waxed & waned, so decided to hold off doing any biopsies. Unfortunately, we dropped
  2. I'll have CT in March, watching ~3 nodules. This follows right lung middle lobectomy (May 22, 2019) which had an adenocarcinoma, stage 1. Have been doing more or less o.k. not dwelling on upcoming CT March 2020 -- but I think I negative thoughts could start creeping in. Am seeing a therapist at the cancer institute, which helps a great deal. Also trying to stay busy, socializing with family & friends. Husband has prostate cancer -- in remission for the time being -- but we know it can rear it's beastly head any time. . .
  3. Thank you very much, Michelle. I'd been doing much better but had an auto accident yesterday. Something of a set-back but no major injury & no one else hurt. Just down in the dumps. I've put up a new post regarding this dreadful experience & hope you'll be able to see it. With gratitude, Irka
  4. My surgery was DaVinci robotic-assisted lobectomy, not VATs.  I was doing well in past couple of weeks, even back to the gym.  Yesterday, late afternoon I had an automobile accident!  I don't recall the details of how it happened -- I'm told I went through a stop sign!  They think I may have lost consciousness temporarily.  No one else was injured.  I suffered blunt impact to my chest, causing "chest contusions."  It was truly horrendous experience, and I'm going to stop driving.  I'll try to post on the main post page when I get a chance.

    1. BridgetO


      My goodness, how awful! I understand your decision to stop driving. I wish you all the best in your recovery. How are you doing now?

  5. Thank you, Tom. I am grateful to you & the many others here who are thinking & praying for me. I'll post here as soon as I can after it's over. Irka
  6. Tonight & tomorrow night at home -- Wednesday, May 22 at hospital by 10 & surgery at Noon! Thanks for all the support!!! Yes, I must get through it & dance first chance I get!
  7. Thanks, Michelle! So far, I'm hanging in & focusing on practicalities of preparation for the operation & hospital stay. I will definitely keep everyone here posted as soon as I can after my return home. Appreciate your prayers & encouragement. Irka
  8. Would be grateful to know how those of you who have had robotic-assisted lobectomies are doing. I am scheduled for robotic-assisted surgery on my right lung on May 22: Wedgectomy of likely cancerous nodule in mid-lobe, with biopsy, etc. Removal of large nodule in upper lobe & biopsy; second smaller nodule in upper lobe is in difficult location. If surgeon decides a lobectomy of middle lobe is required, will do that. If not, he will do a lobectomy of upper lobe as way of dealing with both the large & smaller nodule since the latter is in a hard place to get to.
  9. Thanks, Debbie. I'm happy for you that you're recovering so spectacularly! In my case, I should add that I'm almost 76 yo with some COPD, so I'm sure I won't be able to undertake anything like tennis. But it would be nice to be able to get to the gym sooner rather than later to rebuild my strength & body. May you continuing with your splendid recovery! Irka
  10. Thanks, Curt, for your heartening response. Yes, I have seen the wedge pillows advertised before & even considered getting one to help acid-reflux. The latter hasn't bothered me too much, so I passed. It's very encouraging to learn of your successful experience with VATs. I'll be having the robotic-assisted version called "RATs." But I don't want to use that acronym as I have a phobic fear of rats! Bottom line for me is that I have to steel myself & go through the step-by-step journey of treatment. I sincerely hope you continue to do well. Irka
  11. Your recommendations & reassurances are most welcome! I'm not sure I know what a wedge pillow is -- one with gradual elevation? or something else? Unfortunately, I'm a confirmed back sleeper, but I don't believe that will be possible if they go through my right chest & back. . . Just can't envision it. But maybe with pain medication I'll be knocked out enough to get some sleep!!! Ha, ha! With gratitude & hugs, Irka
  12. Thanks, Ro, for your reassuring words based on your own experience. That means a great deal. I do trust the doctor. He's also at a highly respected cancer facility & consulted on my case with 11 of his colleagues who agreed with this approach. I do try not to imagine the worst happening, but it's hard. I'm keeping busy & will focus on a step at a time, a day at a time. Hugs, Irka
  13. Hello friends, After reviewing my PET & CT scans taken in April & reviewing with multi-disciplinary cancer team, my thoracic surgeon has scheduled my lung surgery on Wednesday, May 22, at 11:50. Game plan so far. Step 1 - perform a "robotic-assisted wedge resection & lymph node biopsy" of the small nodule in my middle right lung that lit up on the PET at a rather high level (SUV 6.3). Because the needle biopsy in Apr failed, we have to get to this one to biopsy it on the spot. If it is cancer, he'll excise nodule & lymph. Step II - examine two considerably
  14. Hi Michelle, Your post is so uplifting! Your suggestions are very important as well. I didn't realize there are so many resources waiting for me. My oncology nurse navigator has already been in touch with me by phone & email. By the time we move in I'll have an appointment lined up, probably with a thoracic surgeon! I absolutely hate packing even for short trips never mind moving after nearly 40 years in the same house. So I must force myself to stop thinking about all I have to do and just do it! Thanks for your warm & heartening response. Irka (aka Irene)
  15. That's precisely what I'm doing now. I've been in touch with an oncology nurse navigator at the Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute. She's already begun the process to get me an appointment. Likely, I will start out by seeing a thoracic surgeon within a matter of days after we move! With information & encouragement I've gotten here & from the Lung Cancer Foundation's particularly significant input, I am relieved to say I now am on the path to obtaining the treatment I need. I know it's going to be a tough road ahead but I also know there are m
  16. My 3/20/19 biopsy was unsuccessful -- result, non-diagnostic. I'm in a Catch-22 situation of sorts. I have to figure out how to get an appointment with a thoracic surgeon at the Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute (quite a mouthful of words there). They require biopsy results faxed to them, but I have no biopsy results! I'll have to find a way around this!
  17. Your story is amazing!  How are you & your son doing at this point in time?  I'm optimistic all is well but would be pleased to hear from you.  I'm awaiting biopsy results & then likely will need some type of surgery.

    All best, Irka

    1. ColleenRae


      Hi Irka,

      I'm sorry for the late reply.  For some reason I'm not getting notifications from this site when I get messages (I used to!). I will need to investigate this!

      I also need to see what "your story" is here with Lungevity... I'm not sure if my story is amazing, but it's been helpful to have this site and to share questions, fears, experiences with others in this journey.  Thank you for your message and reaching out... and asking about my son and I.  We are doing fairly well. I think this whole cancer experience has really changed our way of thinking and experiencing life though.  My son is returning to college in a couple of weeks and I am going to try and see if I can either resume an online business I had or look for at least part-time work. I recently saw my surgeon (lobectomy last October) and he does not think I need another scan for 12 months. I'm nervous about waiting that long, so seeking a second opinion. I don't know how to regain what seemed like a "normal" life before all of this. It takes work, I think. It takes support from others (my son is very loving and supportive, but he's young and idealistic too!).

      I will try to see if I can find your posts and see what you are going through.  I'm sorry you are dealing with lung cancer, too, but glad you've found this site. There are some really great people here! Do you know when you will receive your biopsy results? This is good if you can get a biopsy... I was not able to due to the size and location of my tumor, so I took a gamble and had the lobectomy so they could biopsy the tumor. It was the best choice since it did turn out to be cancer.  I have another nodule in the left lung but my surgeon does not seem worried about it (but the radiologist is), so not sure how to handle that but ignoring it for now...ha!  Hope to read your story and comment after I have time to read your posts... Thank you for your message.


  18. We're moving to Lititz PA just 10 miles N of Lancaster PA. We've learned of a great cancer facility, the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute. It's part of Penn Lancaster General Health -- many of the doctors are from U of Penn. I'm optimistic that I'll get connected with good doctors there & my needs (as well as my husband's) will be met! Hoping you're doing well, Irka
  19. Happy you had such a good experience. The medical facility was be outstanding to have the pathologist present to confirm it was a recurrence & not something new. And to have the port inserted the same time! So, I wish you every success with the treatment. My biopsy procedure was a bit tricky. Quite small "target" near lung lining right middle lobe, had to go around rib, & could do only one "run" -- in & out. But she said she believed she got enough for the biopsy, not sure about biomarker test. In my case, the procedure was painful, but I withstood it! Won't get biopsy
  20. Thanks for sharing this important information. Since I didn't get a call-back today, I'm assuming it won't be scheduled until Monday at the earliest. The waiting is hard. . .
  21. Thank you, Shelkay & Michelle! Tomorrow, I expect to find out when mine will be scheduled. Friday at the earliest, probably Monday, which actually would be better. Our son & 26-year old grandson are arriving Friday morning to help us. They'll also take some furniture & kitchen stuff for the grandson's new apartment. They plan to leave early Monday. Well, I just have to try & settle down & do whatever I need to when the time comes. It's exhausting, frustrating, & plain no fun! Thanks so much for the support. Irka
  22. Hi Michelle, Thank you for reassuring me by relating your own experience. If I may ask, were they able to do a successful biopsy as a result? That's one of my concerns since I read sometimes it has to be redone. That won't happen in my case, I hope. I won't find out until tomorrow when it will take place. You're so right about the "when in doubt, throw it out." Irka
  23. Thank you, LexieCat! Doc's office is trying to schedule it close to where I live, which should help. I really am in a tizzy (understatement) because house is topsy-turvy with clothing & boxes everywhere & I'm not getting anything done for the move. Just frustrated & must settle down!
  24. I've just learned that I'm to have an interventional radiology CT-guided biopsy of a lesion in my upper right lung. It would be great to hear from others who've had this procedure. Also, is this as reliable in determining malignancy as having an endoscopic bronchoscopy ultrasound to obtain tissue for biopsy? Thanks in advance.
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