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Update - any post-lobectomy advice?


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We're baack! (sorry, sleep deprived and a little goofy right now)

All your prayers helped, b/c we got the best outcome we could have hoped for - the mediastinoscopy was negative, the left lower lobe lesion turned out to be a granuloma, and Dad got his right upper lobectomy. We got the final path today - cancer in the RUL lesion as suspected, but nothing in his lymph nodes. He's potentially curable!

Surgery was three and a half hours long, but Dad did OK. He talked to my mom normally on the phone this morning, but when we went to see him in the afternoon he was pretty goofy. I'm hoping it's just a combination of anesthesia and pain medication - he's got an epidural drip for pain control with fentanyl. The nurses said he walked down the hall with PT in the a.m. He's got chest tubes in both sides, poor guy, but the one on the left should come out tomorrow. He's coughing some but can't really muster a strong cough yet - no surprise since they sliced and diced both sides of his chest. I'll tell him the pillow idea tomorrow.

Any other suggestions of things to watch for or things to make him more comfortable? I'm happy the surgery went well but I'll be happier still when he comes home safely.

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Glad to hear the surgery went so well and that the results are great. The next few weeks will be tough but each day should be a little easier.

Don't wait until tomorrow for the pillow. Make sure your Dad uses the pain meds before he even needs them. Walking and uses the spirometer are very important in helping recovery along.

Keep us posted.

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What great great news----you must be so relieved---

I was one of the lucky ones and did not really have a hard time after surgery with pain (at least that I can remember!) I also had a 9 day stay in the hospital because one of my draining tubes was leaking and it took them that long to find it! So I think the 9 day stay helped me heal so I was mobile when I got home---

but rest is really important---, have him take a couple of naps a day -and try and do a little walking daily. Also make sure he keeps doing his breathing exercises ---it really helps (I forget the name of the contraption they give you)

The incision caused a little pain and my surgeon said a heating pad helps ---

Best wishes to you and your Dad

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Yep; I was home in 5 days after thoracotomy. I musta been goofy for the first 2days, cause I dont remember much until the third day, heh. They weaned me off the epidural catheter pump and sent me home with heavy duty pain meds. (Oxycodone) Pain was major issue for me for first 6wks. I think. And yea, ya gotta hug that pillow or cushion when coughing.

I was still sleeping in the recliner chair until just few nites ago..(6mos. now), and can still only sleep propped up in the bed similar to the chair position. On my back only. No rolling around on those sore ribs yet.

Anyway, it does get better, just slowly, takes a lotta patience, etc. Good to hear it went well tho, gotta get the beast outa there, for sure. Hang in there and good luck. Rich B.

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Congratulations on the good outcome. I did not know eirher the extent of my cancer when I went in to surgery but had the best possible outcome as your dad did. As others have said, the coughling, the walking, and the spirometer use are important. I hope your dad has a speedy recovery.

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