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DX: Lung Cancer


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I have always felt guilty joining LCHELP without having been diagnosed with lung cancer. I never felt that anyone could relate to my input as I wasn't a survivor and my thoughts and advice weren't coming from experience. Yesterday I was told I have lung cancer.

After many false alarms throughout 2004 this one wasn't. I am thankful for the fact I have been watched so closely and this is caught in the early stage. There is no other involvment other than the mass at the top of my left lung and surgical removal is the plan assuming I can get through the PFT . I have asthma and am a former smoker. I quit about 3 years ago.

I think my lungs are strong enough to withstand the surgery. They are confident I am fine, I am the one with the doubts. It will just be the portion of the effected lung not the entire lung. I recall the surgeon saying 18% ( couldn't round it off t0 20%). I do like the surgeon and have been with my pulmonary doctor for some time now. The plan is that I will be operated on the week between Christmas and New Years.

They said a week in the hospital , a month recovery, and 3 months to where I was feeling myself. I don't have to be a rocket scientist to know this is going to hurt. I have trouble with paper cuts.

I read a recent post that said all the emotions could be wrapped up into the word fear. That would be me. More than anything, I think I am just afraid and I haven't a clue as to why. As I am telling my Family one by one I feel as though I am hurting them but they are forming this emotional circle around me and protecting me with their support and love.

My husband has been amazing through this and has made the ultimate promise to put something on my feet in the hospital cause he knows when I wake up my feet will be cold!!!

Now I know and the fight begins.


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I'm not going to lie to you, it's going to hurt. Sounds like you have a medical team that is on top of everything so pain management should be discussed early on.

From experience, if you are on any sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medication, make sure your surgeon knows and orders it for you in the hospital. I had withdrawals because that didn't happen.

Keep on top of the pain, for the first days in the hospital, don't do a "self-test" to see if you can go without the drugs. Once the pain has a foothold, it's hard to get back on top of it. When you get home, same deal for at least a week, THEN begin to wean. Do not be afraid to call your doctor for more medication if you need it. In the hospital, work through the nurses.

If the fear is immobilizing you, call your doctor for some anti-anxiety medication. I took Xanax daily from diagnosis until surgery.... The fear is something you will need to work through, but you probably won't have time between now and surgery. Postpone it with chemistry when possible so the monsters don't drag you under the bed.

If you are a member of a church, have them pray for you during your surgery and recovery. Never underestimate the power of prayer - it can be tangible. (I'm a former "non-believer"...my grandmother's funeral was the day of my surgery and the minister asked for prayers....my co-workers and my husband's co-workers were also aware and I could FEEL the "cocoon" of prayer...an epiphany for sure.)

You will be fine. You will get through this. You will heal. You will get on with life and living. This is just a speed bump on the race of life.

Hang in there,


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I'll tell you what my surgeon told me. He said,"it is going to be rough, but WE will get through it." It did take some time but it did get better and better. It was rough for a couple months but after that things slacked off a bit. I am 18 months out and occasionaly I still feel the effects. Hang in there and be thankful you are able to have the surgery. I understand this is the best option for complete cure and that some don't have this option.

Come back and post when you are able and keep us updated. Wishing only the best for you.

Merry Christmas.

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Surgery is no fun, that's for sure, but it's good that you are able to get it, pending the pft. I did what Becky did, both for the pain and for the anxiety. There is no sense in suffering needlessly with this. And I mean physically and emotionally.

Tell them in the hospital if you have pain, they need to make you pain free. And, when you get home, take the pills and then after a week or ten days, see where you're at by reducing gradually.

For the stress and emotional suffering, I took medication and saw a therapist for about the first year. That was the best thing I did.

And now, about 18 months out, I feel really, really good and am a grateful survivor.

Good luck to you.

Keep us posted.


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Best wishes and prayers for a smooth surgery. Q pumps are nice ( local anesthetic around the incision) and also an epidural pump ( anesthetic into the spine to numb the area)or a PCA pump ( drugs like Morphine you can punch a button and give yourself when you hurt) . The surgery time will pass and become history. It is good to celebrate that you will have surgery and get the "beast" out. Please keep us posted on how you are doing, perhaps you have a pal that can post for you when you are in the hospital. Take care. Donna G

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So much to grieve and so much to celebrate at the same time.

"I told you so." ususally feels so good. Not in this case, huh! "I told you so, I knew it was lung cancer........" It is too confusing. I am sorry that you have to go through this. You already have the support of the members of the board rooting for you.

Becky said it. I could feel the power of prayer too! I depended on it and asked for it and never turned it down. Still don't. There is actually scientific evidence that even distant prayer helps to improve outcomes!!

Remember, if you can have a part of your lung out, you are one of the luckier ones. I like that you have a surgeon who is humane. I like that you are not falling into this blindly. You have so much going on that puts you ahead of the game.

I found myself a great support group. We meet for 2 1/2 hours weekly. It is one of the best things that has ever happened to me in my life. I thought that I could tough out the daily emotions, the disappointments, the highs and lows all by myself. And I did pretty well for awhile. But why? Life is so much better with trusted listeners. And I learn from listening to others too.

You already know to come here often. I hope that you will feel more and more like you belong here. And any questions or comments that you have, you already know are welcomed by all.

All my best for the easiest surgery possible.

Cindi o'h

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Kate, there is cause for fear because this is all such a shock. When I was first diagnosed, I used a visualization of a scale -- one side was dread, the other side was hope. As I'd do something for the first time, (first chemo, first chest radiation, etc.) they would gradually move to the "hope" side of the scale, because they were things that were helping me, even though I'd dreaded having to go through them.

Eventually, the scale became over heavy on the hope side which is a good thing! You'll get there too, but it will take some time. I'm pulling for you, and you will have my best thoughts and prayers coming your way.


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I'm so sorry you now have a confirmed reason to be a part of our family. You WILL be able to do this!!! So glad it has been diagnose early and that you are a candidate for surgery. The family support and emotional circle of caring will be invaluable. Blessings to your sweet hubby. Sending positive vibes your way!

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