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I am Maryanne. My husband, was dx. on 10/18. He was stage 1B (tumor was big) but he had no signs.

He had hurt his back and we went to our primary doctor to see if he needed X Rays. Since we were both overdue with physicals, we decided set up the blood work while we were there. My husband who is a smoker, asked for a chest X ray. Like, I said he had no signs, in fact he really felt great. Just wanted an Xray because of the smoking....

The X ray showed a mass, then a CT and Pet was followed. It was big about 7ccm. His Pulmanary Doctor did a bronch. which showed up negative. But he did mention that the Broch. tube may not have got the tissues that he wanted as it was too big for that area. So that came out negative. So they followed up with a needle biospy which showed cancer.

He has a great team of Doctors. They work together as a team and have meetings on Wed. afternoon to discuss cases.

At first the surgeon thought he would have to take the whole lung. But fortunately. it tuned out to be just the upper left lobe. The operation took close to 7 hours, as it was lying on top of this aorta. They were not sure it if was attached to the aorta or on top of it. The surgeon had wait for the pathologist to tell them it was not attached. (whew.....) :roll:

He had to call in another surgeon and they both decided he could remove it. So it was done extremely slow and careful. They also took 2 biospys of his lymph nodes.

That was stressful, waiting for the results of that. That took about a week and a half. But that came out negative. :D So apparantely they got it all. I say apparently, because you never know with cancer.

He is going to have Chemo. as a preventive measure.

He has been home now 2 weeks and company has finally dwindled However, he is still hurting and still has trouble breathing. He is basisclly a very motivated person especially when people are around. But by ourselves lately, he seems to get depressed at times and hates the hurt and just wants it to do away. He lost about 15 lbs from not eating too much.

I keep telling him everything he is feeling is normal and how lucky he was to catch it in such an early stage.

He knows that, but it still frustrated and hurting. Now when I say hurting, I mean he is much better than he was when he first came home. He can cough now without too much pain. But it still hurts.

My other concern is, I hope he is not getting addicted to percocets. He has the least dosage, and was taking 2 every 4 hours but now he is down to 1, but sometimes takes it 3 hours because of the pain.

I just don't want him to get into any kind of funk... depression wise. He does computer work at home and has not touched it since he has been home. Is that normal? Is it just too soon? Is it the meds?

Iam afraid that when he goes on Chemo, he wont be able to handle the nausea.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks so much and bless you all!!


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Welcome to the LCSC family, you will find so much support here. There are also some people on this website who live in your neck of the woods. I myself am a former NYer :)

I think it is normal for your husband to be a little depressed, anytime anyone hears cancer, it is normal. Would he consider taking some depression/anxiety medicine to get him through all of this? My dad was firmly against ever taking it, but when my mom was diagnosed, I finally convinced him and both he and my mom started taking meds and it helped.

I know that you fear the worst with the chemo, but you will see that it usually is very tolerable. We were surprised with my mom that it was not as bad as we thought it would be.

Hang in there!

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Hello from another New Jersey person! I am in Burlington County, and have been dealing with this for 3 1/2 years. My surgeon was Dr Shrager out of U of Penn and Pennsylvania Hospital. My onc is out of Pennsylvania.

Glad for you that it was caught early, but I know I still worry. And two weeks post op I was still taking the pain meds. I would give it one more wee, for sure. They worked best for me if I took them pretty consistently--it seemed to keep the pain away.

And I did not sit at the computer for a few weeks. I was hard for me to sit upright for a while.


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Hello Maryanne.....Welcome to our group. Your husband and I have something in common....we're both staged at IB.... except his tumor was larger than mine. It's been over a year since my surgery and I tell you....I sometimes forget it even happened!! If that's a testament.....that's how fully he'll likely recover. Chemo is some work of course....But new anti-nausea meds work pretty well for most patients. The oncos give it in the chemo IVs and pills taken before and after your session take away the biggest stomach issues. It's not at all like it used to be. I didn't even lose my hair!! Work together to decide or stand beside your husband in whatever he chooses to do....since in the end....cancer treatment is usually a patient's innermost personal decision. Learn all you can about his cancer type and offered treatments. This is a wonderful place to do that you know!! High hopes are with you both to come through these times with love and with luck....

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HI Maryanne,

Welcome to a great place to learn about lung cancer from people who are there and have been there.

I hope that your husband will show up too.

I didn't have the surgery, but I have heard that it is a tough one. I wouldn't worry about him getting hooked on pain medication. From what I know, pain medication is warranted.

There have to be quite a lot of feelings that your husband is processing right now. Post surgical depression is not uncommon.

I would be surprised if anyone who was just diagnosed with lung cancer got up from the operating table, healed up and went about their daily business.

For the cancer survivor, everything changes. Nothing is ever the same anymore. So, he will go through changes and you will too. I think that it is sometimes more difficult for the loved ones because they are in a more powerless and unknowing position.

It sounds as if he is in good hands with his professional team. Come here often. You will learn a lot. And it will help you to get through the bumps.

Best wishes.

Cindi o'h

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Hi Maryanne,

I am just across the river from you, right outside Philadelphia.

The surgery is tough. I your husband using the spirometer (breathing machine) and walking? Both of these are very important in helping the recovery along.

We have quite a few members from this general area. Hebbie (Heather) is from your area of NJ and she organized a lung cancer walk this past Nov. which was so successful and raised a ton on $$$ for lc research.

This is a terrific site for support and information. Welcome and keep us posted.

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Hi Maryanne, the pain is more than you can imagne, I too took my pain meds sometimes alittle before it was time to try not to let the pain get me. Depressed, yep very much so for me, the fear of thinking you wont breathe right again is very depressing, I slept in a recliner for almost 4 weeks (not really sleep but dose off) between the pain, lack of sleep and not being able to breathe thats enough to depress anybody, Keep up with your encouraging words and tell you hubby to walk walk walk, that will help him the best, I can remember that during the first 3 weeks it took me 5 mins to get down the basement steps (12 steps) just because it hurt and I would get out of breath, now I running down them like I use to. There are still times I get short of breathe but everyday it gets better and better.

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Hi Maryann,

Welcome to the wives club no one wants to belong to. Your husband is very fortunate his cancer was caught early. You may want to ask your doctor about medication for the depression.

The chemo will not be a bad as you think. Keep reading here and you will get lots of information.


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Hi Maryann, Welcome and so glad they were able to catch it early for surgery and follow-up treatment. Stay with us best place, with the best people for support, caring and sharing. Road might seem hard now but as long as the means justify the end that is all that matters. Never know on chemo everyone is different and they have come a long way on chemo and meds to off-set it. To quote one of our wiser members (Frank) it is doable. Peace, take care and God Bless. Rich

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Wow!! Thank you all so much for responding so fast. You certainly have very encouraging words for us. :D

His surgeon and his Pulmanary doctors are a little concerned about his heart rate, It seems to be a little excellerated. So tomorow he is having a venilation and perfusion scan and a Venus doppler on his legs, just to make sure there are no blood clots.

This has been 3 weeks since the operation. When do you think he will be somewhat pain free and off the meds? He really has not done too much walking. I try to get him to walk around the house but he mostly just sits on the couch. He does use that breathing thing, but again not as often as he should. He does know that it is important for his lungs to use that. I am hoping when he feels better that he will go to the mall to walk around, as it it too cold out to do that here.

To Ginny: Yes, I have met Heather on another site. She is a beautiful young lady with a good soul!! I told her next Novemeber that I would like to get involved with her run for LC.

To Gail, It seems a lot of people went to U or P. I went to Cooper Hospital and the Docs are great there. When Joel (my hubby) goes for treatment, it will be only a few blocks from our house at Cooper Cancer Center.

A couple of questions, what is NED? I see that on peoples profiles but can't seem to figure that one out. Also, adrenocarcinoma is not actully the smokers cancer, and non smokers get that type of cancer. Squmash (?) is directly from smoking, so why is there so much adrenocarcinoma?

Joel found out his biological father (whom he did not know) died of Lung cancer and he stopped smoking in 1959. He died about 8 years ago for LC and was battleing it for 3 years. You can tell by this site, that so many people have a history to LC in their families.

We have to have more research done to find out if this is heridary. I feel everything is somewhere in our genes. Why do non smokers get it, while some people are heavy smokers go to their graves without getting that dreadful desease? I am tired of, "smokers get this and they should stop smoking". Well, that doesn't seem to hold true in so many cases. People gave smoking up years ago only to come down with it many years later. Which they are finding out more and more today.

People have to be aware that it is the number l killer of both men and women. We desparately need funding, research everything like other cancers get.

Anyway, thank you all for your encouragement. I know Joel will be fine. He just has to have patience.....


E-A-G-L-E-S....... GO EAGLES!!!!!! :lol:


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Dear Maryanne,

I'm glad you found the site but, like everyone else, sorry you had to. My husband was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma IB last April, but then surgery showed that it had spread to one little lymph node between the lungs, so now he's IIIA. It took him quite a lot of time to get over both the pain f rom the surgery and the depression/anxiety that naturally set in with the diagnosis. The first few weeks I had to urge him to walk around the house and use the breathing "thing" but after a month or so (and a prescription of generic xanax for anxiety/panic attacks -- which occurred almost every night --) he began to improve. I got him to take walks around our driveway and finally down in town, and one thing led to another. He got really good at the breathing apparatus and then discarded it, since he didn't seem to need it.

It took a good couple of months for him to really get back to his active self, and by that time he was beginning chemo. He had no trouble with chemo, except for some blood cell fluctuation, so he continued to be active during that entire time. Of course, his vanity was affected by the eventual hair loss even though people did tell him that he had a nicely shaped skull (he didn't want to hear that and didn't care the bald is fashionable these days). Now his hair is back, so he's much happier. I think that was the hardest thing about chemo for him -- so that's not too bad!

Radiation began in the fall,after the conclusion of chemo, and that, ultimately, proved more difficult--very fatiguing and esophagitis. But it sounds as if your husband doesn't have to have that -- and even though it was a little on the discouraging side, Len was never sorry that he did it -- glad to do anything to beat the beast.

Just keep encouraging him and let him know the stories you hear from here -- if he doesn't want to go on the computer himself (my husband didn't). That helped reassure him -- knowing that the post-surgical pain was common, that others had had the same reactions, etc., etc. After all, misery does love company.


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I'm kind of new here and still a little short on LC info, but I'm just a little ahead of your husband, time-wise, on the road to recovery. I had the center and upper lobes of my right lung removed on 11/19/04 and here are my observations as they may relate to your husband. Please all, correct me if I'm off on these issues.

- Take the Percocets, they are his friends. At one point, after aggravating my incision, my doctor had me taking 2 every 3 ours. I am off them and not addicted. A thoracotomy is apparently the most painful incision known to mankind.

- He needs to get off the couch and walk, do his breathing and, again, take enough pain medication so he can accomplish these tasks.

- I did pre-op chemo from July through October and did not get sick once. They really seem to be on top of that issue now.

- For some reason, sleeping propped up is better. If you try to sleep normally too soon it seems to twist the incision or something like that.

I am just about pain free now and was able to clear our recent snow on my own. It has been about 6 weeks for me and I guess I really turned the corner at about 4 weeks. I am primarily on Tylenol a this point and only use the percocets (one) if I overdid it during the day. In that case I may take one before bed. Oh, I'm 46.


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Hi MaryAnne,

My surgery was just two weeks ago tomorrow. I am off all medication with the exception of Advil as needed. I found that the more I walked and moved around, even though it hurt like the dikens, the better I felt the next day. I still get out of breath but the more I push myself the next day or two I see the pay off. The breathing machine is his ticket out of some of this so encourage him to do it the best he can. The coughing is really unpleasant but oh so important to do. I don't walk outside cause it's oh so cold here in New York but I have made a pathway about the house so that I can keep moving around.

My best to you and your husband on his speedy recovery.


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Pillows...pillows...and more pillows....they were my personal salvation after surgery. I hugged them...leaned on them....and surrounded myself with them. I was one of the lc patients who slept sitting up in the living room for 6-7 wks. I also used pain meds as needed....with no thoughts of dependance on drugs. When it hurts....use what the doc gave you. One thing....I found from the first day after surgery if I leaned my whole body toward the side of any impending cough.....it helped me to cough much easier. I also had alot of blood clots to expel...and that continued after I went home from the hospital too. So if it's happening to your husband...it's pretty normal. I hope these little snippets from everybody help your husband to relax and to know that reovery is imminent. Stay with the people on this board and keep your inquiring spirit. BTW...if you havem't yet found out..... "NED"=No Evidence of Disease....and also warrants a LCSC Happy Dance from many of our board members!!

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My husband has been undergoing treatment with chemo for 16 months now - I always heard that there was so much nausea with chemo. My husband has had very little nausea - the nurses give him some anti-nausea solution in his port prior to the chemo and that really seems to help. the only thing he has had a problem with is his red cell count gets really low and he is very tired all of the time, probably because of his low red count. Anyway, you are very lucky that you caught it early. I'm sure he is going to be just fine.

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Hi Maryanne,

I would just like to welcome you. I don't think I can add anything that hasn't already been said. Just that healing takes time and it does help to move and walk some each day. Sometimes, medicines can cause symptoms of depression. I know my husband is very sensitive in this way. He gets especially depressed while on decongestants, antibiotics and pain medication. Every person is different. I'm not saying that is the cause because there can be many. Just not feeling well is depressing in itself. You should feel very good knowing his cancer was caught early. Will keep you in my prayers....

God bless,


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Dear Mennie,

Hello and Welcome! I'm sorry you had the need to find us, but I'm also glad you did.

Your amoung friends and most of all most of us are pro's at this cancer stuff! :roll: However, I'm sure we would all rather be pro's in some other sport, or what have you!

I just wanted to touch upon one of your comments that your husband has been on Chemo for 16 months you said??? How can that be when he was just dx.d with lung cancer in Oct? I'm a little confused!

As for your husband not getting sick from Chemo, that only indicates one thing to me, and that is, "we can't beleive everything we hear"! Meaning, believe it or not, the MAJORITY of people do NOT get sick from Chemo. And as for the nausa drugs, they have been around longer then I have been a LC survivor and that's 9-1/2 years now. They give those meds to pretty much all patients going through chemo. It's pretty much the NORM (as we would call it)!

Also, I might add, that being your hubby is just beginning his healing process I would suggest he take it ONE DAY AT A TIME, or better known as BABY STEPS! Having this kind of surgery is NOT as easy a surgery to heal from as MOST surgeries are. And I might add, that Katie, who mentioned she is off all meds 3 weeks after surgery is an EXCEPTION to the RULE, and GOOD FOR HER! However, that's not the case for most people. And pushing yourself to do things can also lead to serious trouble. So, I would ask that you not push him and let him go at his own speed for now. As for the Pain Med's, I was on mine for a couple months. Don't EVEN worry about addiction. That's the least of his worries now. The doctor's all monitor his drug intake, and they keep a close eye on this stuff. My Doctor told me he would give me the GOOD stuff for about 3 to 4 months, but, after that, he would cut me off! :shock::roll:

Pain Med's are given for the PAIN, and that's exactly where those drugs are headed. They take away the pain. So, relax and let him just take it easy for a while. I might suggest you go over the Board and read some of the stories here. I'm sure you'll find a lot of good information and helpful hints from all the wonderful people on this board.

Take care, and Best Wishes,


My husband has been undergoing treatment with chemo for 16 months now - I always heard that there was so much nausea with chemo. My husband has had very little nausea - the nurses give him some anti-nausea solution in his port prior to the chemo and that really seems to help. the only thing he has had a problem with is his red cell count gets really low and he is very tired all of the time, probably because of his low red count. Anyway, you are very lucky that you caught it early. I'm sure he is going to be just fine.
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i had thorocotomy 11/24 with removal of part of upper right and part of lower right lobe with clean nodes. hopefully, all was excised. while everyone has a different experience, i would offer the following:

1. i slept in a recliner for weeks and finally got into bed without pillow support for the first time 3 days ago. one of those airplane around your neck kind of pillows was helpful.

2. i'm still taking vicodin every 3-4 hours with ibuprophen. i have tried to not take it and it is not worth it. i'm taking a sleeping pill too.

3. i started back at self employed work for an hour or two per day after 4 weeks but find that if i am out and about a lot i need naps.

4. walk as much as possible as it is good for everything.

5. i started doing "gentle" yoga at 4 weeks at a class through the cancer center. it is good for the body and mind. i found that by carefully moving i could pretty much move pretty well and i got over fear of movement and holding. there is a lot of soreness beneath the skin though and i think it is going to take several months to fully heal so i am going to take it easy.

6. my lady and i started a little counseling. the american cancer center book on couples notes that relationships can fall apart over cancer issues and it is probably a good idea to do a little relationship work when ready.

7. being a support person requires a whole set of attitudes and you might consider taking with professionals or support groups about yourself and your own feelings.

best of luck! i hope you and your fella have a speedy recovery. perhaps this can be a life enriching experience if you approach it from the right point of viewl.

love, ken

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