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Back From Surgery!!!


Gamblerpl

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I survived surgery!!! It was a whole lot easier on me than I thought it would be. I'm really sore tho,without the meds. I think I've tried to "recover" to fast and it hasn't even been a week!! All the test came back NED, but since the tumor had grown from 2 cm to 3 cms in a months time, my Dr wants to do a "round of Chemo" as a precaution. He'll go into more detail when I see him in two weeks..... Any body got any ideas as to what "a round of Chemo" consist of and is this a choice of yes I'll have it now, or I'll have it later, or is it DO IT NOW!!???

I really want to thank everyone for all the good advice and caring words before surgery. It really is such a relief to know there are people out there that understand our fears and questions. That didn't sound to good... it's a shame any of us have to be here.... but since we are, it great we can help eachother. Think that sounds a little better.... And they Super Glued me back together!!!! I think not haveing stiches or staples made this an easier surgery, too. The one big problem I had was the epidural didn't work after surgery and I was in A LOT of pain for a little bit, but it didn't take them long to get it under control.

I'm rambling and sore sitting here, I look forward to hearing from you and anyone who knows what "a round of Chemo" is????... :?

Hugs and prayers to all,

Paula

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Congrats Paula and thank you for the encouragement you give others. I am 55, too, and can just imagine having a surgery like that ... I am really glad you found out so early and took care of it.

Chemo - Do it now. Heck, do it as much as you can get. Like Lance Armstrong said in his book, "Whatever you are giving them, give me twice as much." A round could be 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month, depends on what drug they are giving you.

Again, congratulations!!! I love to hear good news. Margaret

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Hi Paula,

Glad to see you made it back! I was wondering how you were faring and it seems as if you did okay.

I find it ironic that the common terminology for a chemo concoction is " a cocktail" and that your doc is planning "a round of chemo"

"yes, I would like another cocktail, make mine extra dry this time, stirred, not shaken, and straight up....oh, and could you please get another round for my couched friends here...it looks like they could use it..

And oh by the way, make mine a double!"

All kidding aside, your doctor reminds me of my old boss. Very nice. He gets his point across in a sweet way, but doesn't give too much information. I don't know what his round would look like... or when the right time would be. But that's where the other's experience on this board comes in handy. I did recently attend a lecture where the speaker said that they used to do surgery only for early stage, but there were too many micrometastases and too many failures.. there are better results, they found, by following through with chemo. I think that "Kaffie" here just went through what you are in the midst of...."Kaffie...couldja help this here gal out?"

Take care of yourself and let me know if there's anything good on TV...

Cindi o'h

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I was dx in august w/stage 111-b, age 37, had resection on sept. 7. Rt. upper, like you. Also removed and resected portion of trachea where lymph node was resting and small tumor was growing. Surgeon got 'clean margins' and said I was 'cancer free'.

Onc had told me from the beginning that I would have chemo after surgery. So after 6 weeks recovery I had my first 'round' and was so sick I said NO MORE!!!!!! Why should I, the surgeon claimed me to be 'cancer free'. But, the onc and his staff begged me to let them try again, we're pulling out the big guns of anti-nausea medicine to try.

Anyway, the reason I tell you this is because after I announced I was through w/chemo I went home to try to prove my onc wrong. I tried to find evidence that doing chemo after surgery did not up my odds all that much, too make it worthwhile. But alas..........all I could do was prove him RIGHT!!! I try not to put a lot of stock in the numbers, statistics, etc. but it was clear to me that surgery followed w/chemo is really showing good results. I really had to get my mental state where it needed to be. Like my onc said, I have DECADES of life ahead of me. So the misery of chemo is short-lived compared to the rest of my life, right? I have to keep telling myself as tomorrow is when I go for my 2nd treatment. Keeping my fingers crossed that I'm not so sick this time.

By the way, I'm certainly not a doctor, but from what I have learned the standard course of treatment is 4 rounds of chemo. I have read Oncodoc reply to this as well but certainly talk w/your doctor about this.

Good luck and congrats on your surgery!!! I second all you said about the super glue and epidural. I bounced back in no time. You will too, but go ahead and enjoy the special treatment your getting now!!

Love to all here,

Melanie

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Paula, YAY!!! That sounds great. Keep up the good healing, ok?

I don't know from rounds ... rounds of golf or chemo or whatever. I managed to figure out I guess after a few times with the chemo, that one "set" of an IV and then pills was a round. DUH!!

My vote is that you go ahead and start ASAP. Sounds like that's important for just about all cancer treatment, unless for some reason they'd let you know otherwise.

Di

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Its great to hear that you have the surgery behind you. Although everyone looks at things differently, I would tell you to go for the chemo. Chemo and the side effects are usually only temporary. If it gives you a better chance for reoccurance, go for it.

Good luck on your decision and keep us posted.

Wendy

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Paula,

As you know I had the same surgeon that you did. He told me to see an oncologist, so I did. I went to Bruno Cancer Center at St. Vincents in B'ham. I saw Dr. James Cantrell. He discussed my case with a man from Vanderbilt and the two of them decided which chemo was best for my particular cancer. I started it 5 weeks from the date of my surgery..he wanted to start it at 4 weeks but we had a big trip planned and I wanted to go, so he agreed to wait one week. That was the spring and summer of 2003. He thought it best I follow chemo with radiation ...so 4 weeks after my last chemo, I started 37 days of radiation. I had 9 sessions...3 days one week, wait 3 weeks, three more days,...wait 3 weeks and 3 more days for a total of 9 treatments or 3 rounds. I seem to be doing well and hope you will consider chemo NOW. I am sure there are some good oncologists in Dothan.

I am so glad you are out of the hospital and didnt' have great trouble with the surgery. I am proud of you for working on increasing your breathing capacity. Continue to take care of yourself and do see an oncologist ASAP.

Nina

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Hi Paula,

You sound terrific. I thought I would share my husband's experience with you. He had his right lung removed in April 2001 after a stage 1 lung cancer diagnosis. His surgeon said he was cured, but he did call in the oncologist to talk to him about chemo follow up. At that time, we were told that surgery was the standard treatment, but a clinic trial chemo was being offered as a followup. My husband refused. He was in a very weakened condition at that time and felt he couldn't survive it plus no one could give us any proof that it would help. Well, in January of this year he was diagnosed a recurrence..... with stage IV lung cancer to the lung stump(where the lung was removed) , lymph nodes and adrenal gland. The oncologist said for him not to blame himself because the results of that trial had not been conclusive that it did indeed prevent recurrence, but there were some indications that it did.

What is the right answer? I don't know , but after going through this experience with him, I think I would choose to do the chemo and yes it does have to be done in a certain time frame after surgery. Don't know exactly what a round is, but I would think it would be best to ask your doctor for his definition of that. My best to you Paula. You sound like you have a wonderfully positive attitude. Keep it up.

Sue

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Paula: congrats on your passing through the surgery event. It soumds like you are on the road to recovery. I pushed the envelope on my recovery and I think it helped with my lung capacity after the operation. I never had chemo, but Iam sure they will wnat you to heal before you do chemo. Maybe in 3 months.

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Paula,

Congrtuations! You made it througha very scarey and tough procedure. That was the easy part. Now is the tough part, not to be full of doubt and fear of the unknown. You are a step ahead of the class, because you seem to have a great attitude! This board helped me through some pretty dark times, and it will help you too.

I had chemo before surgery 6 days on for 3 weeks to shrink the tumor and mediastinal lymph nodes. 14 months later, I embarked on a chemo trial following a pericardial window, which was put in to relieve the fluid build up caused by more tumors. The rounds of chemo are 3 weeks apart for 5 months. It can vary, but typicaly chemo is done every 3 weeks. God be with you throughout this journey!

Cheryl

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If you're a stage 1, my understanding is that the chemo is adjuvant--and is supposed to try to get rid of any micromets that may be in your system getting ready to spread. That being the case, I would say the sooner the better.

In my case, I had surgery on June 20 and started chemo on August 14, which I think was getting to the end of the interval they like to see between the two.

I had three rounds of chemo, which consisted of cisplatin/gemzar on week 1, gemzar only on week 2 and 3 and then a week off. This was to be repeated 3 times, but due to low blood counts it was more of the routine of cisplatin/gemzar week 1, gemzar week 2, off week 3. I had to get two gemzar weeks at the end to make up for those missed.

Good luck to you.

Cindy

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Paula,

Don't know how I missed your post, sorry.

I am stage 1A and no one even mentioned chemo to me but after reading that it can lessen the chance of recurrence by 5 - 10-% I decided to ask about it. I was told those figures are correct so I am taking 4 treatments, 3 weeks apart. I take Taxol and Carboplantin and so far have had 2 treatments. The only side effects I'm having are sore bones, if that makes any sense. My bones just feel sore but I can definately get by OK, it's not too painful to refuse chemo. I threw up a few times but that was because I forgot to take the anti nausea pills. Once I took one, the nausea went away quickly.

My understanding is that the best time to start chemo is when you are healed enough from surgery to withstand any chemo side effects, usually around 6 weeks. I had to wait longer because I ended up back in the hospital with some complications after surgery.

If I were to offer advice, I'd say go for it, give yourself every extra boost you can against recurrence. That extra 10% is huge when it's our lives we are talking about.

Good luck in your decision and I'm glad you got out of surgery with no complications. I was so afraid of chemotherapy I almost didn't take it. Don't be afraid of it, if you have bad side effects you can always stop but you will have at least gotten one treatment. Most people, including me, don't have side effects bad enough to quit. I feel like I'm doing everything I can to avoid recurrence and I hope you will to. :wink:

Kathy

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