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Deb W

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  1. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from Tom Galli in Post op   
    Fantastic news!
  2. Thanks
    Deb W got a reaction from Steff in Wedding bells   
    Congrats!
     
  3. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from Roz in Post op   
    Hi Kinsbourg,
    I had an upper left lobectomy March 22.  I had VATS robotic surgery.   I went for short walks the first week home and gradually increased them.  I started playing tennis again in June and play a couple of matches a week now combined with other exercise on alternate days.  After surgery, I never thought it would be possible to do all the things I did before.  The doctors told me I would, but I didn't really believe them!  Managing energy is still a challenge for me at times.  I can never seem to tell in the moment when I've overdone it and then I pay the consequences of feeling extremely fatigued later.  I am getting to know my limits a  little better as time goes by.  Wishing you all the best on your upcoming surgery.
  4. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from LouT in Got a call on my first scan result   
    That's great news Lou!
  5. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from LouT in The Results are in!   
    Great news Michelle!
     
  6. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from LouT in Post op   
    Hi Kinsbourg,
    I had an upper left lobectomy March 22.  I had VATS robotic surgery.   I went for short walks the first week home and gradually increased them.  I started playing tennis again in June and play a couple of matches a week now combined with other exercise on alternate days.  After surgery, I never thought it would be possible to do all the things I did before.  The doctors told me I would, but I didn't really believe them!  Managing energy is still a challenge for me at times.  I can never seem to tell in the moment when I've overdone it and then I pay the consequences of feeling extremely fatigued later.  I am getting to know my limits a  little better as time goes by.  Wishing you all the best on your upcoming surgery.
  7. Like
    Deb W reacted to Rower Michelle in White House Petition for Lung Cancer Funding   
    Hi All, 
    The ALK Positive Outreach Group has initiated a petition to the White House to support additional funds for lung cancer research.  Please consider signing and posting on your social media counts. 
    Thanks!  
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/1-16-americans-will-be-diagnosed-lung-cancer-only-6-federal-research-dollars-used-lung-cancer-research-0
     
     
  8. Like
    Deb W reacted to Curt in Post op   
    Hi Kinsbourgh.  I had a right upper lobe lobectomy on February 26.  It was done via VATS.  They get you up and walking in the hospital the day of or the day after.  The big milestone is getting your chest tube removed.  That provided a lot of relief for me and was when I was allowed to go home.  One thing I learned the hard way is to keep up with your pain medication.  I felt pretty good after my surgery and let my pain medication wear off without saying anything to the nurses.  Turns out I was feeling pretty good because the pain medication works.  It took a little while to get the pain back under control.  The nurses were not happy with me.  Mine was removed and I was discharged from the hospital after three days.  Once home I spent three or four days going from my bed to an arm chair next to my bed.  I found that a wedge pillow was helpful while I was in bed and that carrying a small pillow under my arm was helpful with keeping my arm off my incisions on my right side.  It also helped to squeeze it when I had to cough, sneeze or hiccup.  All three of those hurt, coughing is good for recuperation though.  I walked a lot before and after surgery.  I used the spirometer breathing device a lot as well.  It was a week before I stopped pain meds and just used Tylenol, two weeks before I was up and moving around, three before I went back to work for a few hours a day and four before going back full time.  Fatigue was a big thing for me.  I was really surprised with how tired I was.  I’d never felt that level of fatigue before.  I had a lump/tickle in my throat that made me cough for a few months.  I thought it would never go away but it did.  Ricola helped while I had it.  I do still have some muscular pain in my right chest when I cough, but it’s not bad and aim sure it will go away.  Generally I had visions of being handicapped by this surgery.  Always being out of breath and not being able to do the things I’d done before.  It takes a while but I’ve gotten back to it all.  I coach my kids baseball teams, play sports with them, swim laps in the pool, run, bike all without issues.  My lung capacity is back to where it was prior to surgery.  It is a slow recovery, takes time and some effort but you do recover.  What I imagined and the reality were very different.  It is not as bad as you are imagining.  If you work at it you will recover and be back doing the things you do now within a few months, unless you run marathons.  You may not run any marathons for a while.  Hang in there.  You’ll get through it.  Post any questions or concerns here.  
  9. Like
    Deb W reacted to BridgetO in Post op   
    hi Kinsbrough,  Curt and Deb have given you some very good information. My experience was not too different. I had VATS lower right lobectomy in November 2016. My surgeon told me that I probably wouldn't notice a difference in my abilities, unless I was planning to run a marathon, which I wasn't. He was right. 
    I was released from the hospital the day after my surgery with the chest tube in place. It seems like  hospitals have different policies- it used to be that they would always keep you in until the tube came out. My tube was in for 10 days because of an ongoing air leak. I did fine at home. I was able to walk around the neighborhood with the tube and its bag and valve covered by a big raincoat. The tube was uncomfortable and could be really painful if I moved the wrong way. I was relieved to have it out and I didn't need any opiate pain meds after i was out.
    One thing I would recommend is that you get a wedge pillow-- Sleeping with your upper body elevated makes it easier to breath after surgery. I tried at first propping myself up with regular pillows but ended up with a stiff neck. The wedge pillow solved the problem. I got mine from a store that sells medical devices, but you can also find them online.
    As surgeries go, the VATs lobectomy is fairly easy. I wish you all the best. Let us know if you have any specific questions.
    Bridget O.
  10. Like
    Deb W reacted to LouT in Post op   
    Kinsborough,
    Welcome to the forum.  Sorry you need to be here, but glad you found us.  My situation is not too different from Curt's (including not taking my pain meds, so be vigilant and take them as prescribed).  In my case I had a lobectomy (VAT's) of the lower-right lung on May 2nd of this year.  Well, it's almost three months now and I am back to doing 5 miles/day on my treadmill along with a pretty good weight workout afterward.  I do notice some changes, but I had already been diagnosed with mild COPD (Gold, Level A, which indicates small impact and little chance of worsening) so I do sometimes feel a difference, but that seems to be diminishing over time.  I will say that for the first 5-6 weeks I had times when I needed to lay down and take a nap or just rest after doing anything strenuous.  I don't feel that need anymore and the most lingering thing I have is areas around my rib cage where I have numbness, occasional burning feeling, pain and/or some combination of the three.  My doctor had already told me to expect some of that and that it would take extra time (up to months) for all of that to go away.  Otherwise I feel very good.  I go for my first follow up scan in August (fingers crossed) and then a scan every six months for the first two years.  If no recurrence then it will move to an annual scan. 
    Hang in there and you may be surprised that the surgery is not as terrible as you expect it to be (that was my case).  Take your time recovering and stay as active as you can without overdoing it.  
    Let us know how it goes once you are able and I'll keep you in my prayers.
  11. Thanks
    Deb W got a reaction from Rower Michelle in The Results are in!   
    Great news Michelle!
     
  12. Like
    Deb W reacted to Rower Michelle in The Results are in!   
    All good news to report, before the doc closed the door, he said, everything is looking good.  My brain MRI is normal, the CT shows continued shrinkage, the spinal mets are healing quite nicely.  Docs literal words were "so we stay the course".  
    Next scan in three months, this time, my scheduler has the scan the day before the appointment, so NO WAITING.  Thanks for helping me get through this one.  I still have this ridiculous headache, so Flonase can finally get going.   
    Rowing for me this afternoon!  Woo hoo!   
  13. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from BridgetO in Post op   
    Hi Kinsbourg,
    I had an upper left lobectomy March 22.  I had VATS robotic surgery.   I went for short walks the first week home and gradually increased them.  I started playing tennis again in June and play a couple of matches a week now combined with other exercise on alternate days.  After surgery, I never thought it would be possible to do all the things I did before.  The doctors told me I would, but I didn't really believe them!  Managing energy is still a challenge for me at times.  I can never seem to tell in the moment when I've overdone it and then I pay the consequences of feeling extremely fatigued later.  I am getting to know my limits a  little better as time goes by.  Wishing you all the best on your upcoming surgery.
  14. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from Curt in Post op   
    Hi Kinsbourg,
    I had an upper left lobectomy March 22.  I had VATS robotic surgery.   I went for short walks the first week home and gradually increased them.  I started playing tennis again in June and play a couple of matches a week now combined with other exercise on alternate days.  After surgery, I never thought it would be possible to do all the things I did before.  The doctors told me I would, but I didn't really believe them!  Managing energy is still a challenge for me at times.  I can never seem to tell in the moment when I've overdone it and then I pay the consequences of feeling extremely fatigued later.  I am getting to know my limits a  little better as time goes by.  Wishing you all the best on your upcoming surgery.
  15. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from Rower Michelle in Post op   
    Hi Kinsbourg,
    I had an upper left lobectomy March 22.  I had VATS robotic surgery.   I went for short walks the first week home and gradually increased them.  I started playing tennis again in June and play a couple of matches a week now combined with other exercise on alternate days.  After surgery, I never thought it would be possible to do all the things I did before.  The doctors told me I would, but I didn't really believe them!  Managing energy is still a challenge for me at times.  I can never seem to tell in the moment when I've overdone it and then I pay the consequences of feeling extremely fatigued later.  I am getting to know my limits a  little better as time goes by.  Wishing you all the best on your upcoming surgery.
  16. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from Claudia in Diagnosis by surprise   
    I had my annual check-up and told my PCP that I had pulled a muscle in my mid-back.  She ordered an x-ray and then a CT....bronchoscopy....PET.  Diagnosed with Stage 1B.  Had absolutely no symptoms.
  17. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from Tom Galli in New Symptoms That Feel Like the Old Ones   
    Thank you.  I'll see what the oncologist says.  My thoracic surgeon doesn't have the best personality, but very skilled.  So, I am hoping to find an oncologist with some level of compassion and warmth.  
    I do think this mid back muscle pain is probably caused by exercise or over use.  I think I'm so sensitive to it because that back pain is what prompted my PCP to order a x-ray and then came the cancer diagnosis.  The fact that the pain went away after surgery made me think that the mid back pain on the right was somehow related to  cancer.  So, when the pain came back I immediately thought of a possible recurrence.  By the way, I used to be a regular user of lidocaine patches prior to surgery and I'm back on them again!
    I've gone from a person who used to be very unconcerned about aches or pains and now I seem to be noticing every little thing.   I really hope I like the oncologist and feel comfortable with him.
     
     
  18. Thanks
    Deb W got a reaction from Rower Michelle in Hoping for a false alarm....   
    Sounds like you have a good doc Michelle.  Hoping all goes well with the scans.  🙏
  19. Like
    Deb W reacted to Rower Michelle in Hoping for a false alarm....   
    Yeah that’s right!  My brother in law is visiting this week. He inspected my trike tires and said the tires are too low- duh. I just thought I was slow.  After that adjustment I’m pretty close to my pre cancer speed!  Row camp is next weekend, it’s going to be quality over quantity! 
  20. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from Marianne1 in Can't seem to shake anxiety   
    Hi Marianne,
    I understand.  I will be having my 1st post op scan in October.  I would say that the worry of recurrence is there, or at least in the back of my mind daily. 
    If you are able, exercise is helpful for low mood and anxiety.  Good nutrition is key as well.  However, If you are experiencing loss of sleep, poor appetite and low mood for more than a couple of weeks, it might be beneficial to have a medication evaluation.  Medication can be a wonderful support as you go through this process.   


  21. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from Tom Galli in Can't seem to shake anxiety   
    Hi Marianne,
    I understand.  I will be having my 1st post op scan in October.  I would say that the worry of recurrence is there, or at least in the back of my mind daily. 
    If you are able, exercise is helpful for low mood and anxiety.  Good nutrition is key as well.  However, If you are experiencing loss of sleep, poor appetite and low mood for more than a couple of weeks, it might be beneficial to have a medication evaluation.  Medication can be a wonderful support as you go through this process.   


  22. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from Curt in Can't seem to shake anxiety   
    Hi Marianne,
    I understand.  I will be having my 1st post op scan in October.  I would say that the worry of recurrence is there, or at least in the back of my mind daily. 
    If you are able, exercise is helpful for low mood and anxiety.  Good nutrition is key as well.  However, If you are experiencing loss of sleep, poor appetite and low mood for more than a couple of weeks, it might be beneficial to have a medication evaluation.  Medication can be a wonderful support as you go through this process.   


  23. Like
    Deb W got a reaction from LexieCat in AWOL, but back with good news   
    So happy for you Lexicat!
  24. Like
    Deb W reacted to LexieCat in AWOL, but back with good news   
    First things first--oncologist appt. after latest scan this morning.  All clear!  Originally the thought was that now, after two years post-surgery and cancer-free, the scans would drop back to yearly.  Onc tells me, though, that guidance has changed and now some recommend one more year of 6-month scans.  He prefers to take the conservative approach, so it will be six months for another year.  BUT he tells me this 2-year milestone is HUGE and he doesn't expect any further issues.  He also said there was a chance insurance would insist a 6-month scan not necessary at this point, and he wasn't particularly concerned about that--in that case, he said, a scan in a year seemed fine to him.
    Sorry I haven't been around for the past several weeks.  Very busy both with work and with my latest obsession with the political process (which I won't get into here, other than to say there's a certain young Mayor from South Bend who is AWESOME).  I'll try to stop by as I am able to, but overall I'm happy to develop some new interests.  I barely thought about cancer until this morning--again, my lovely doc told me "Everything looks GREAT" before the door closed behind him.   
    Hope folks here are doing well--I'll try to catch up on the latest.
  25. Thanks
    Deb W reacted to CarissaDore in Communicating with your healthcare team   
    Never take no, or inaction (a form of “no”), as the final answer. Keep fighting. Your life is the most important to YOU! Don’t give up. If one doctor tells you to give up, find another. Keep fighting.
    Research your doctor. What do others say about him? Where was he educated? Is he interested in research? Is he with a private practice or a university hospital?
    Not all treatment facilities are created equally. The US News and World Report publishes a list of best hospitals every year. The National Cancer Institute designates certain hospitals that have been proven to deliver cutting-edge cancer treatments to patients. Other hospitals also deliver excellent services, but if you are uncomfortable with the treatment you are receiving, keep looking for a facility in which you have confidence.
    You know your body best. If something doesn’t seem right, make sure your doctor knows. And takes it seriously.
    Keep in mind that your oncologist works for you. If, at any moment you decide he is not doing an adequate job for you, fire him. You do not have to continue trusting your life to him if he loses your faith. Your medical team holds your life in their hands. Find the ones you trust completely.
    Try to maintain as normal a life as you can. Eat as healthily as possible. Drink plenty of water. Exercise as much as you are able. Smile, even if you don’t feel it. Watch happy movies and laugh. Cancer is an awful disease and none of us want it. But, it doesn’t have to consume your every thinking moment. And, it shouldn’t.
    A common emotion that is experienced by most individuals at some point or another, fear is considered to be a normal, natural part of life.  However, fear can lead people to experience a wide array of physical and mental changes, and irrational or intense fear may interfere with a person’s happiness, sense of security, and ability to function effectively.
    Consult with mental health Counselor.
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