Jump to content

Husbands surgery and hospital on-going to 28 days!


Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone and especially Marci good news :lol: on your surgery and your being home already. May you continue healing at such a rapid rate. I came to this board in May and my husbands surgery was done June 26, he stayed in the hospital for 21 days came home last Thursday with one chest tube still draining, one was removed the beginning of the 3rd week in the hospital. He was home for less than 24 hours and I had to take him back to emergency as his feet were swelling and he was out of breath :!: .

Turns out he went into congestive heart failure and he was readmitted to the hospital on Friday and is still there. Yesterday they did a heart catheterization(sp?) to check for coronary artery disease and he did not have any. Thank God!! on top of the lung cancer he did not need another major health issue. He does have atrial fibrillation which causes the heart to beat rapidly and irregularly. He had a lobectomy of the left lung and was originally diagnosed at Stage 1, but after the surgery and examination of the lymph nodes was diagnosed at Stage 11a, so he has to follow-up with some chemo later. Yesterday we both were in tears about different things. I think I am just burnt out from being at the hospital everyday since June 26 and I have lost 3 family members in a 30 day period.

He was feeling depressed and thinking there was something wrong that the doctors were not telling him. He felt he was not healing up because there is probably more cancer, (even though they have drained some of the fluid off the right lung and it was negative for cancer cells). Finally today the fluid is down to 150cc of output and they say as soon as it is under 100 they can remove it. They are kinda saying because he previously had chemo and radiation his body chemistry has been altered and it will heal at its own pace. Today the RN from the Heart Smart classes came in to talk to us and told him, his congestive heart failure is related to the previous chemo also and he will be subjected to it during periods like this, but he still needs to watch for the signs when it is happening and get to the doctor right away.

They are going to send us to a class for diet and exercise information in August, but she also told him to count his blessings and not be focused on that chest tube container, because he is still able to walk around and has a lot to be thankful for. I was soooo glad she talked to him, because his conversation yesterday was so negative> :x I was prepared to come in there today and tell him, I cannot fight this disease for him, he has to fight it himself and if he keeps sleeping because he is depressed, he is not going to win the battle. I went to the hospital for 5 hours today and I am not going back, it is wearing me out. I have not had one complete day at home since June 21st. No wonder I was a blubbering mess yesterday!!!

Our oncologist is great, however he is on vacation for 2 weeks, he doesnt know my husband was readmitted yet. Does anyone know how long they wait after the surgery to start chemo, my husband said if they start it too soon he won't heal up from the surgery, so they have to wait until he is completely healed?? Is that true???

Can't cancer cells be growing now?? Or won't it matter if they are, cause the chemo will get rid of them??? He has had a couple of doctors saying, well you have been dealing with this cancer since 1997 and my husband is saying no I haven't that cancer was cured in 1998. We were not together then and I am now believing that he doesnt connect the two at all. Is that a form of denial. This is a whole new primary does that mean, he could get recurrences of this primary and is there a possibility that he could get a recurrence of the cancer from 1997-1998 in the right lung?? Will chemo wipe out that possibility if he gets it now for this cancer??

Is chemo just specific for certain areas of the body or does it work for the total body??? I know this is a book about now but I need to get this all out. This whole situation has been overwhelming, it has set us back financially, I want to go to work, somewhere, now but I will need to be here for him. He was suppose to be back to work 4 - 6 weeks after June 26, now it will be 4 - 6 weeks after he is discharged, so that sets us back more. Plus I don't know if he will be able to work while he is getting the chemo?? I am 50 and he is 51, no where near the age to get social security and the 50% he is getting from his job, is not nearly enough.

How have some of you other couples dealt with this situation, if you don't have anyone else that can be home to help your mate out, what did you do for finances?? I am a hair stylist but he allowed me to be a homemaker, this time because when we were married before, he didn't provide for the family like he should have. He was making it up this time by allowing me to stay home, as I have worked since I was 14 years old.

Now I feel I must get back in the workforce or we will go under fast, but I am also torn because he needs me to?? Please any suggestions out there??

Well I guess I have "vented" enough. I wish I could get on line more to welcome newcomers and say hi to all that posts but time doesn't allow it. But believe me when I do get a chance to sit at this computer I do spend a lot of time browsing through all the post and praying for those here dealing with this god awful disease. Please continue to pray for us and that this hospital stay ends soon, and one last thing, will the HMO, we have cut us off if this bill ends up way too much???? Geez, I don't even want to think of that happening!!!!! I am going to change that thought right now..

Take care everyone and I would love to hear from some of you...

As Ever


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest marciaatl

Cynthia, I am sorry to see you going through such pain, but I think it is good that you had the courage and honesty to send that post.

Sheesh! I think you've been handed more than enough! :?

I am very new to this whole situation, and have been very lucky about some aspects of it, too, but I'll throw in my two cents where I can.

I had surgery 14 days ago (lobectomy of upper right lobe), for a Stage IA tumor. As far as chemotherapy, two oncologists have told me that they want to start chemo after surgery "soon", which means at about 4 weeks. Actually, the one I chose had me make an appointment with him at 4 weeks after the surgery date, and that first appointment is just to talk and figure things out. I have also been told by a cardiologist friend (I know, you think - how does he know - but I suppose they all talk to each other at meetings or something) - that I will feel 90% better at two weeks out. I think that I do - in fact, have started to ease off on the narcotic pain meds already in favor of the more everyday ibuprofen.

I believe that the chemo will address cancer cells wherever they are, and whether they've been growing two weeks or more . . . but how about calling the oncologist's office and insisting on speaking to someone in his place? An assistant? Another doctor to whom he is referring calls?

My family has been lucky - I have enough paid time off to handle this. And he has returned to work, so what we did was ask a friend from our congregation to go through a list of about a dozen folks who really meant it when they said they would help out. She coordinated all of these folks, day by day, so that I have someone with me from about 9 am to about 4 or 5 pm, and then someone else drops dinner off. Also, my 13-year-old son is good company (when I can tear him off the computer). I hope that you can identify a circle of support for you that includes friends and neighbors like that.

How about finding a support group for you, as a caregiver/family member? If there is one in your community that is free, connected to a cancer center or hospital, you could drop in on them once a week or so, and that might help. You cannot help to take care of your husband, if you are not taking care of yourself as well.

Hang in there and do look out for yourself - try soothing music, inspirational quotes or reading, a pastor you like or even a walk to listen to the birds. Hang in there!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a completion pneumonectomy on May 19th, and will be starting chemotherapy in about 2 weeks. I was told by the medical oncologist that if the purpose of chemo is to (hopefully) kill off any microscopic cancer cells it should be done within 3 months of the surgery. He also stated that we have to be healed before they can begin the chemo. Makes sense. Chemo knocks our immune systems out, making us more susceptible to infection. I, for one, would not want to have a raging infection in my body after thoracic surgery. The not so raging infection I picked up 3 1/2 weeks post surgery was plenty bad enough.

Anyway...I hope this helps. I'm sending my prayers for things to begin to improve for you both.

Fay A.

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.