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  1. Okay, your surgery is scheduled. This post is meant to provide you with information and tips to prepare for thoracic surgery, what to do in the hospital, and when you return home. I’m hoping that the information here will alleviate some of your anxiety and fears. You can do this; you will get through it! Be open to the support of family and friends as well as the folks here at Lungevity. We are here for you. Pre-Surgery o Eat healthily, get sleep, and also do some physical activity. It might just be walking, but the better your body works before surgery, the more quickly it can recover post-surgery. o Make sure you have someone to count on for your first few days at home. You'll be tired and likely in some discomfort, so having someone there to assist you when you need it can be a real help. If you live alone and have Medicare, you can ask your doctor for a home nurse to visit, check on your progress, and change dressings. In-home care also lets you ask questions about your recovery. o Get a wedge pillow. It will allow you to sleep in a more comfortable position, take the pressure off your back, and improve your ability to breathe comfortably. You may also want to keep a small pillow available to press against your body's surgery side when you cough. o Arrange the nightstand with things you may need, so you have them within easy reach. Remember stretching is something to avoid after surgery. o Make sure to fill your pain prescriptions and take them as recommended. Once you’re home, you'll need to be active, and it is harder to do to if you’re in pain. The meds are not a "forever thing," but are necessary to keep you comfortable enough to recover faster. o Have the numbers of your doctors readily available to call if you have questions or experience symptoms that concern you. o Pack your “hospital bag” bringing only the things you’ll need. Remember, a thoracic procedure requires a post-surgical stay of a few days before being discharged. In the Hospital o Show up on time. o On the day of surgery, after the surgery takes place, they will likely have you sit up, stand, or even have you walk to a chair to sit for a bit. It is important to get you moving and exercise your lungs. Remember the surgeon likely gave you a pain block, so it’s unlikely you’ll feel pain. o You should be given a Spirometer (if not, ask for one). Use it often; it will help to keep your lungs clear and rebuild lung capacity. o TAKE YOUR PAIN MEDS AS INSTRUCTED. The pain block will wear off within 12-20 hours after surgery, and without the additional pain meds, you will get uncomfortable quickly, so please take the pain meds as prescribed. o The day after surgery, you, your IV’s and chest tube/pump will go for a walk around the ward. Do not be an overachiever; do what is required and practice slow deep breathing when exercising. o If you miss bathing, the nurse can provide towelettes as a substitute. o Once you are stable, if your lung is not leaking air, and your body is properly absorbing post-surgery fluids, you’ll be set up for discharge. They’ll remove the chest tube, IV’s, and other paraphernalia they’ve attached, and you’ll be ready to go home. Home Post-Surgery o Have a plan to exercise. It should be walking; at first around your house and later outside (sunshine and fresh air are excellent tonics). But take it easy--this is not a sprint but a long race that you will win with each increasing step over time. o Continue to use your spirometer; it is your best friend for increasing lung strength and function. o You will be sent you home with pain meds. Take them as prescribed until pain is diminished. Pain restricts exercise and prolongs healing. o REST WHEN YOU FEEL TIRED. Sorry for the caps, but this is important. You've had major surgery and need time to heal, adjust to changes, and adapt to old activities. Be kind to yourself and give yourself grace until you’re strong enough to manage your new normal. o If you have any symptoms that concern you contact your doctor asap. For example, some people may hear/feel gurgling when breathing while it may be nothing it might be a condition (subcutaneous emphysema) that your doctor should be aware of. It can often resolve on its own, but keeping the doctor updated is a wise choice. o When you're feeling up to it, update us on our forum. Let us know how you're doing and ask any questions. We're here for you! Recovery differs for everyone; in my case it was about 6 weeks before I was almost back to routine activities after my Lobectomy. Please stop into the forum if you have questions. A good group of people will be there for you.
  2. Hello, A CT scan revealed a 5cm mass and 9mm lymph node in my mom's right middle lobe. My mom had triple negative breast cancer 13 years ago. The thoracic surgeon has recommended removal of middle lobe with no biopsy. His rational is: PET scan is informative but not 100%, esp as to lymph node involvement, if it turns out to be an infection then you'll have had a potentially unnecessary surgery but if it is cancer then you'll be glad you didn't waste any time. He thinks it unlikely it is breast cancer mets. Does this sound like reasonable approach? With lung cancer, is it best practice to remove as much of the lung as possible (as it is often with breast cancer) or usually just a lobe? He is suggesting that he biopsy the central lymphs as first step of surgery. Then it is unclear what he will do as I didn't quite understand him. It sounded to me that if they are negative for involvement he would proceed with surgery but if they are positive then he would stop the surgery and we would go to a med onc to discuss radiation/chemo. So, in addition to all of the above, I am wondering if best practices/research dictate that she should have surgery after central lymph involvement of not. It is so hard to even research this as we don't even know what we are dealing with as he is arguing for surgery first. Thank you for any thoughts on this.
  3. Hello all, I am new to the forum and pretty new to the cancer world. I have experienced very little with cancer as my loved ones that have been diagnosed in the past were older and chose not to be treated. My boyfriend (45 years old) started having "allergies" in Feb 20. By April 20 he had signs of sinusitis but refused to go to the doctor. May 20 he started wheezing etc when he coughed. Mid May he felt so bad he stayed in bed all day and finally agreed to go to an urgent care that evening. They diagnosed him with pneumonia/suspect COVID (he ended up being negative). He quit smoking that day (partly because he didn't even have energy to get out of the bed). 9 days later, he wasn't any better so he went back and they treated him again for pneumonia. June 10 he went back again because he still felt horrible (after I begged him to go) and they sent him to the ER because they "saw something they didn't like." Due to COVID, I was not allowed to go in with him but they started working him up right away. They did a CAT scan while he was in the ER and immediately decided to admit him to do a bronchoscopy with biopsy, which was done June 12. They discharged him that day with orders to get a PET scan. The biopsy came back as squamous cell carcinoma of the lung and the PET scan came back showing the tumor being 5.4 x 5.6 in the upper left lobe. We had issues getting him in with the Dr he was supposed to see so we contacted University of Md Baltimore Greenebaum Cancer Center. They immediately put us in contact with a thoracic surgeon, who we met with 6/24. He told us that my boyfriend needed to have surgery right away to remove the whole left lung. He also said he was passing the case off to a higher up in the hospital, who we met with virtually the next day. After that virtual appointment, they had my boyfriend scheduled for all types of tests pre-surgery. On 6/26, that doctor presented the case to the tumor board and another Dr spoke up about a trial that **MAY** be able to save his lower lobe of the lung. The main symptom that my boyfriend has had is severe coughing (no blood, just occasional sputum). He declines that he is SOB but he can't walk around the house one circle without stopping to catch his breath (which he also declines). We haven't spoke with the Dr that suggested the trial yet, that comes in two days, but we already have concerns. His Dr said it would be 2-3 months of treatment and then surgery to remove the upper lobe. This doesn't solve the problem of the cough. He has been bed ridden for a week now, as it is the only way to keep the cough halfway calm. We have tried cough drops, sugar free candies, warm tea with lemon/honey, gingerale, cepacol drops, throat spray, etc. My boyfriends inclination is to move forward with the surgery ASAP so that the cough is gone, and then go through treatment. Can anyone give any advise? For those that have faced the same decisions, what did you do and would you make the same decision again?
  4. I was recently diagnosed and my pulmonologist is pretty awful. He referred me to a surgeon but told me they might decline to do the surgery because my lung function is low. (39%). Has anyone had surgery like this with similar numbers?
  5. This post is just to demonstrate use of tags. Peace Tom
  6. Going thru the check list of what I need to do. Any advice on things I should or shouldn't take with me to the surgery? Following Doctors orders to the letter (almost). Should find out what time surgery is tomorrow. Right now all I know is its Tuesday and I'm third in line. Still not too stressed but expect to be by this time tomorrow. Thanks all Peace Tom
  7. 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 larger nodules in the upper right lobe that had much lower SUV on PET, but must be biopsied & results given on the spot, as well. Step III - if malignant, would try to excise the nodules and/or Step IV - if necessary, remove the upper lobe of my right lung. The only surgery I've had in my nearly 76-year-old life was a tonsillectomy at the age of 9! I am dreading this & am very scared. Not so much of the surgery itself, as the aftermath. Irka
  8. Here is the weekly clip report: Cure “Lung Cancer Care Becoming More Personalized and Trials will Too” https://www.curetoday.com/articles/lung-cancer-care-becoming-more-personalized-and-trials-will-too Cancer Therapy Advisor “Lurbinectedin Receives FDA Orphan Drug Status for Recurrent Small-Cell Lung Cancer” https://www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-nsclc-lurbinecedin-fda-oprhan-drug-status-treatment/article/786009/ U.S. News – Health “What to Know about Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines” https://www.nga.org/governors/addresses/ Healio “Minimally Invasive Surgery Effective for Early-Stage Lung Cancer” https://www.healio.com/hematology-oncology/lung-cancer/news/in-the-journals/{924a7fc0-fcda-4ffb-bad7-4f2cb101c1db}/minimally-invasive-surgery-effective-for-early-stage-lung-cancer Onc Live “Dr. Witsuba on Biomarkers for Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer” https://www.onclive.com/onclive-tv/dr-wistuba-on-biomarkers-for-immunotherapy-in-lung-cancer Drug Target Review “Reducing NOVA1 Helps prevents Tumour Growth in Lung Cancer” https://www.drugtargetreview.com/news/34089/reducing-nova1-lung-cancer/ Science Daily “Finally, a Potential New Approach against KRAS-Driven Lung Cancer” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180809093458.htm Oncology Nurse Advisor “New PDL1 Inhibitors for Non-small Cell Lung Cancer: Focus on Pembrolizumab” https://www.oncologynurseadvisor.com/lung-cancer/pdl1-inhibitors-for-nsclc-focus-on-pembrolizumab/article/787627/
  9. Hi, I am 62, male. I smoked 7 years, when I was in my 20's, then stopped for 35 years now. My father passed away in his 50's from lung cancer. I had pneumonia in October, 2017 and was hospitalized for 2 weeks in another country in Asia. They treated me with 3 kinds of antibiotic and I was well enough to come back to US. I bought back the X-rays and CT-scan they did in a CD with me. But the CT is not clear because the pneumonia was not fully cure when taken. As soon as I came back, I called my primary doctor for follow up. He asked me to do an X-ray (11/20/2017), and it showed 'basilar infiltrates'. He asked me to do a follow up X-ray in 2 months and it was done on 1/18/18. X-ray showed the same, 'basilar infiltrates'. My primary doctor then asked me to do a CT scan with IV contrast. This was done on 1/23/18. The radiologist report is below: "There is 1.3 cm round noncalciied pulmonary nodule in the superior segment of the right lower lobe (series 3 image 106). There are subjacent patchy reticulonodular and groundglass opacities and subsegmental atelectasis.... There is 11 X 15 mm right hilar lymph node (series 10 image 52). There is 9 X 25 X 17 mm pretracheal lymph node... Visualization of the upper abdomen demonstrates multiple hypodense hepatic lesions with the largest in the right hepatic lobe measuring 3.5 cm..." My primary doctor office called me the same night, and I asked for a referral of a lung specialist. They referred me to a Thoracic surgeon. I went to see the surgeon next day (1/24/18). During the hour of visit, he asked questions of my history, and family, and prior illness. He examined me and see if any pain (none) or lumps (none). He then focused on that I need a surgery to remove the nodule. He gave me orders to do blood test, pulmonary function test, and a cardio treadmill test. I finished all those tests this week. I am now waiting for my next appointment to see the same Thoracic surgeon next Wednesday (2/7/18). I am very worried that I have lung cancer already. I also worry about the surgery. I am not sure what type of method he is going to use. I hope it is VATS, but not sure. It has been very depressing 2 weeks, and I know I can not wait too long since nodules can double in size in 3 months. I hope I am fit for surgery and I also prepared a list of questions about surgery so I can ask him next Wednesday. I am worried about myself, my family. Not sure what my future would be. Frank
  10. I just read Tom G's comment in another topic about pain when flying after lung surgery. I'll be flying soon for the first time after my surgery and I wonder what other people's experience with this is. My surgery was less extensive than Tom's. It was a lower right lobectomy done laparoscopically in November. My flight is long, coast-to-coast. Advice and input appreciated!
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