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icbn

Left Lung Removed What is long term Recovery

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My signature below shows time frame. The whole left lung was removed 9/7/05. Rib cage is still fractured and they crushed the chest nerve, but pain is not a problem for me.

All has gone well in recovery except extreme shortness of breath. My Oncologists asked if I were unusually short of breath after the least bit of exercise and I said yes. He said it is more psychological than physical. The brain doesn't register the lung inflating and over compensates. He said this clears up in 8 weeks or so.

My question is it has been over 8 weeks. It is A little better on breathing but still gasp if I walk upstairs for instance. What has been other's experience with whole lung removal?

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hello.

glad you found us.

Sorry cannot help with the breathing issues asso with lung removal....still got both of mine.

There will be someone along to help out though, I just know it.

Welcome! This is a good group for shared experiences, optimism, and hope.

Cindi o'h

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Welcome icbn,

I am new as well, have no answers to your questions.

Hang on though, many will come. You have arrived to a place of many caring, loving, people who will help you with answers.

Reeling? I do understand, I am also.

Many Blessings,

~skye~

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This is the place to be!

I had a lobe removed in 2001, and had breathing issues for a long time. I was on an inhaler for the first time ever for at least a year. I only hit it now and then when allergies are acting up.

Did you see a pulminologist? I saw one for the first 2 years. He just made me feel better.

Stay close

gail

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I only lost one lobe but there are several here who are one lungers. David P has been one for over 25 yrs, Connie B for over 10 years. From what I hear it takes time but exercise helps, especially swimming or water aerobics. They help increase lung capacity. Welcome and best wishes. I posted recently from a seminar I went to that it takes on average 7.8 months to recover from an open thoracotomy even if they take one lobe. Best wishes Donna G

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Welcome icbn,

Glad to have you here with us. My husband, Mike had his right lung removed 4 1/2 years ago and during all this time , shortness of breath was caused on several occasions for various reasons. There is no one set answer to the cause. I do agree with Gail that you might seek the help of a pulmonologist if you don't already have one. Mike goes to his with all of his breathing issues.

Sue

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icbn,welcome to our support family.You will find many knowing and caring people here.

I had my left lung removed in June 2003.I still have trouble with SOB (shortness of breath)although it has improved over a long period of time.

I think it is fair to tell you that you will have to most likely get used to a new normal in most things.It is good to remain active and do all you can however you will probably have to do them slower and in a different manner.Be patient as it takes a long time to recover from this surgery.

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I had my left lung removed 6/2003. I tried climbing stairs to the 2nd floor after 3 months. I found out that it was not possible. I can pretty much climb all the stairs I want now....slowly but I can do it. It does take time to heal. I get extremely winded while doing certain things. Taking a shower is bad for me. I need to sit down as soon as I get dried off. Also after carry a box in the house from the truck.

What I am trying to say is that after 2 1/2 years you will never be 100% again. Some people are different then others. I would highly recomend physical therapy. It did wonders for me. While never going away, the SOB will get better as time goes on.

BTW, if I had it to do over, would I have lung removed? You betcha. I have been cancer free for 2 1/2 years now. Good luck and stay here with us and we will help you on this journey.

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My Mom had her left lung removed in Feb 2001 and still has shortness of breath. Bruce is right on with the physical therapy - it helped my Mom tremendously and she also worked with a pulmonologist.

Are you on supplemental 02? That sometimes helps until you can get enough energy to start doing day to day activities with out severe SOB.

Best wishes to you - I hope you get some relief soon!

Much Love,

Amy

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Hi And Welcome to the place NO one wants to hang out at. But, I am glad that you found us.

8 weeks REALLY???? :shock: Wow, I have never heard that one with anyone who has had a lung removed. :?

But, I can tell you everyone is different and it takes a LOT longer then 8 weeks to get over the shortness of breath. It's took me 2 years to where I felt almost back to normal. You will never be where you were before the surgery, but you will get better.

DavidP was 18 when he had his lung removed, so he had age on his side.

I was 43 when I had my left lung removed. After the first year of my dx.s I started to do more excerise and that's when the shortness of breath started to get better for me. I did the treadmill and that was my saving grace.

I still get winded, but NOTHING like it was 10, 9 or even 8 years ago.

Your still in the healing stage of this journey, and I wouldn't push things too hard just yet.

Good luck, and I hope you'll stick with us.

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Wow. You guys are great. What great feedback.

I always assumed I'd have some SOB forever. But from what the doctor told me I had to wonder if there was a precipitous increased capacity after the first few weeks.

I see now that there is not.

Thanks so much for your answers and concerns. This is truly a grand group of friends.

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icbn,

I had my lower and middle lobe of my right lung removed in February of 2003. After all the "initials" and all the healing (cripes, the HEALING - from numb to itchy to sore to itchy to numb...brother!), I have to admit I'm still short of breath when walking on an incline or up stairs and making the bed. It has to be all that bending that does me in, I can't seem to get through two sheets and two pillowcases without a break in there somewhere. I can walk, but pushing a lawnmower wears me out somethin' fierce.

I've also found that it's very hard to breathe in the wind, when it's extremely hot or cold, or when it's very humid.

Of course, considering the options out there, what's a bit of hindrance while walking when I have the ability?

Welcome to the family. Sorry you had to find your way here, but glad you did. Pull up a chair, lots of stories around you.

Take care,

Becky

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I only had one lobe removed, but for the first few months I had shortness or breath. My doctor told me before surgery that if I did what he told me after surgery I would get all of my lung function back.

Here's what he told me--EXERCISE! He said that from the very beginning and still says that every time I see him.

I think the recovery varies with everybody. I was one of the fortunate people and went into surgery with 90% of my pulmonary function intact.

I feel that my lung function is back, but it didn't happen right away and I think once we've had this surgery, we need to be persistent or we can lose our lung function much more drastically than other people.

Maybe you should see a pulmonologist, but it's not really that long after your surgery, and I would highly recommend walking or swimming if you can.

Cindy

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I had a half on my left lung removed.

My doctor told me to expect to be SOB for

several months and it could easily take up to

a year for me to feel like my old self again.

He was right, be patient, it will come

Welcome to our family

Kathy

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That's what I love about this board - I get so much more REAL and USEFUL information from others here than I get reading a ton of medical journals. Hope you are feeling a little less anxious about things now that you've heard other people's experiences.

Sending caring thoughts and strength your way. Sorry you had to be here, but glad to know you!

Leslie

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Joel had an upper lobe removed. He is doing really well. He still gets SOB even though his breathng rate is high.

He also gets SOB when climbing up steps.

Everyone is different. But he is much better than right after the operation.

Maryanne

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I had the rest of my left lung removed last February. I feel good now. My lung capacity is diminished though. If I walk briskly up a flight of stairs, I will pant a little. I can no longer walk up very steep hills in the woods any nore without stopping to catch my breath every 10 steps or so. I walk a mile every day on flat ground in 20 minutes or less. I don't get winded doing that. I can run my chain saw and cut wood just as before. I can run a tiller in the garden. I can mow the lawn. I guess I can do most things 2 lunged people normally do. I probably could not run very far very fast any more, but I have not tried. I try to do something aerobic every day. I had chemo after my last surgery, and my oncologist says that the chemo affects my stamina and it could take me a year to fully recover. I finished chemo last july. I may get more back, but I think it would be marginal at this point.

I pushed myself quite a bit in terms of exercise for recovery. I think it helped.

Don M

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sorry to come to this so late, but welcome. my mother (a recent one-lunger) is getting a great deal of help from physical and pulminary therapy. she's also considering taking voice lessons, not because she can sing (god help us!) but so she can learn more about using her breath differently.

hang in there,it's still new for you. there are tons of people on this board with amazing stories of recovery after pneumonectomies.

xoxo

amie

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