Jump to content

Surgery Update


Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone,

I am home briefly from the hospital and I wanted to touch base with the great folks here. I welcome all newcomers and hope the information I share can be helpful, even though I am new at all of this..

My husbands surgery took place Thursday afternoon, btw, his name is Robert, I call him Rob and my name is Cynthia.. He went in around 11:45 and the last call I got from them was at 1:30 that said the surgery started around 12:30 and everything was fine. Well about 3:45, I started calling the outpatient desk, (where we were admitted through) to find out what was going on. I was in another waiting area of the hospital and they said they could not find me, but they surgery was over and the doctor would be coming out to talk to us. Well he didn't show up until about 5 p.m, and you can imagine my mind was working overtime.

He said the surgery was really difficult due something that had to do with my husband previous radiation of his right lung. There was a lot of scar tissue, also while just getting in recovery my husbands blood pressure and heart rate dropped extremely low and they had to bring it up with medication. He said the epiisode lasted approx 1 min and he called in the cardiologists. The suspected tumor was NSCL, and the surrounding area looked clean to the eye, however he removed some lymph nodes along with the upper left lobe the final pathology report on them probably won't be ready until Monday. That will determine if he will need chemo later, which is the same statement the oncologist said.

My husband was in ICU until Saturday evening, he is in a lot of pain, more than he imagined (his words). He has an epidural and is getting morphine via IV for breakthough pain. He has been complaining of being hot (and has a fan going all the time). He is retaining fluid, his arms are blown up like the Hulk and he is drinking lots of water and gingerale, (constantly thirsty) they brought him food Saturday afternoon for the first time, but he won't eat, says he is not hungry. He has the hospital bed in the sitting position all the time and he is not sleeping good at night. His sister stayed all night with him Friday night, and I stayed all night last night, but had to come home this morning for a break. He is coughing up and suctioning out stuff that looks like tissue, this is all really hard to take. He is in and out and disoriented about time and who/has visited and when. I suspect the pain medication is causing that. The cardiologist said the heart scan does not indicate a heart attack took place (during the episode) however, there is a bit of a chemical that showed up in his blood that follows a heart attack, so after this is all over (the lobectomy healing) they want to do a stress test and see if there is any blockage.

For some reason he doesn't like to be left alone, (in the hospital) but I don't get much sleep while there with him and I need to come home after being there all day. He is a night worker so his body time clock works opposite of mine and he is up nights wanting water, turn the fan on, turn it off, look at this, help me suction this, all these directives he is giving at night, is wearing me out.

I came home this morning for a few hour break, I need to be rested up to help him when he comes home. His sister came from Indianapolis to be here for the surgery, however, she is going to leave after they take the chest tubes out. She wants to make sure he is out the woods before she leaves, but he wore her out Friday night also when she stayed with him

When he is feeling good he is a happy loving person, but when he is not feeling well or really tired he turns into a "grumpy old man". So you can imagine what he is like in the hospital. For those of you that don't know, remember we just remarried (last Feb) after 15 years apart. During his first bout with lung cancer, he was alone (and I didn't know about it). So all this is new to me. I am trying to be patient as I love him dearly, but if this keeps up I am going to need an anti-depressant (LOL).

They moved him out of ICU, but kept him on the same floor because they want to continue to monitor his heart. After the surgery to see him on the life support equipment was very disturbing, then he could not talk, he was strapped down, because he was trying to pull tubes out. Tears were running down the side of his eyes it was painful, but the second day he was doing his own breathing and now it is just the other issues I discussed earlier.

Hopefully I will sign back on Monday evening, I will get through this with all the knowledge you all pass on to me. I hope my trials and tribulations will help someone else, knowing what to expect takes some of the fear out of most situations.

God bless you all and I will be in touch soon, please keep us in your prayers as I will keep you all in mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


your husband's hospital stay and operation seems a lot harder then what mine went through. mine was up and walking the next day in his room and eating good. everyone goes through this a lot differently. i would spend the days with him from morning until night (put the dog in daycare) then i would go pick up the dog at night and go home. We caregivers need our rest in order to carry on each day.

Hopefully things will get better each day. It is not easy watching the one you love being in discomfort and pain but that is all part of healing after the operation. My husband had his whole left lung removed. He had pain meds in the hosp and they did not bother him but the pills from the pharmacy for pain took his breath away when he got home so he could not take the different kinds they tried to give him. So watch out for that.

We all are grumpy when we don't feel good. We learn as caregivers to not listen to any hollowing that the patient does while sick because they would not be like that if they were not ill. the caregiver must ignore a lot of hurt and not take it personally so just hang in there and things can only get better with time. GOD BLESS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry your husband has had such a rough time. No doubt about it, a thoracotomy (the surgical opening of the chest) is very painful. However, an epidural usually works wonders in relieving this pain. If his pain is unrelieved despite morphine for breakthrough, something is wrong. The epidural may have been placed improperly, so it's not doing its job. Or maybe they just need to adjust the epidural infusion rate. Talk to the nurses about this. If you don't get satisfaction that way, demand to talk to the anesthesiologist who put it in, or the "pain team" if there is one. Untreated pain causes more than unnecessary suffering - it actually impairs healing. I hope you get results soon!

The other tip that might be helpful is to ask for something to help him sleep. He could be disoriented merely from lack of sleep. Usuall, disorientation is multi-causal; drugs, sleep deprivation, metabolic changes, etc. Good news is it will go away as his condition improves.

Lastly, is there anyone else in your support network who can stay a night or two with him? Your rest is important now, and will be important when he goes home, too. So work on creating a network of people who can give you a little respite.

Good luck! I hope the nodes are all negative!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Cynthia,

I just wanted to say how sorry I feel that your husband is having such a rough time with his post operative recovery.

I will be praying for his rapid improvement and long term good health and cure. I will also be sending out good vibes and prayers for you to maintain your strength and health. I know it seems impossible to take care of yourself on top of all you have in front of you to care for him. But, please try and get some sleep, eat, and take a few moments to compose your sanity. Let others help you whenever they may offer. Seek out the help of family and friends when you need it. Don't be afraid to ask for help.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest pepperpike

Hi Cynthia,

Sorry your husband's recovery has been so difficult. I had my whole lung removed, so I didn't have tubes. The doctor's told me a partial lung removal is much more difficult than a total removal. The tubes are painful.

I pray for his healthy recovery and for you to have the strength to take care of both of you while he recovers. I know how difficult the next few weeks will be.

I would advise that you encourage your husband to take the pain meds provided. Using energy to fight pain wastes valuable healing energy. Rest without pain is the most healing moments for him. It would probably help him to be less grumpy also.

Keep us updated. We're here for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.