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Three different opinions...We are going with the middle of t

Guest migizicny

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Guest migizicny

My Dad, 69, was diagnosed with NSCLC about 6 weeks ago. Since then, he has had all the usual tests. We met with a medical onc, CT surgeon with LC specialty, and another CT surgeon. All had varying opinions about staging and treatment and prognosis. We have decided to go with the middle of the road opinion, as this is at a major LC center in WI. He is scheduled for a preop visit tomorrow. If he has been cleared cardiac and the VQ scan looks ok, he will have surgery on Monday, July 31. He is looking at at least a lobectomy with a possible pneumonectomy. There is concern that the mass and affected node are close to the bronchial artery. He will alos be looking at chemo after. Not sure about radiation at this point. I guess the staging is Stage 3. Mass is 4.77.

Can anyone give me some insight on the recovery time from the surgery?? He is healthy except for the lung ca. Also, after the treadmill stress test on Tuesday, he suddenly developed upper left back shoulder pain and pain with taking a deep breath. Any ideas out there??

Thanks all.

A hurting daughter.

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Mig, surgery is only done when there is a chance the surgery will cure the cancer. If there is too much spread then only chemo and radiation would be used until either the tumor becomes operable and or there is no longer any distant lymph nodes involved..

My team saw in my Pets scans some highly questionable but early lymph nodes. Still they decided to operate. They gave me the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately the cancer had spread and has begun spreading again.

However, I am grateful and glad they went the most aggressive route. This gives the best chance for any future reoccurrence treatment strategies as well.

The first line of attack must be the most aggressive in order to hopefully stop the cancer as early as possible.

When asking for options, ask for the most aggressive.

We will pray for your Dad. This is a process he is going through. Read the SIg lines below the members' post. This gives you an idea of what may lay ahead. Many are fighting this horrible disease and many are winning.,

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Hi; I don't know about the pain acquired after the treadmill...maybe it is just muscular pain. I cut and pasted a post I did a while back below. If you do a search using terms such as surgery, lobectomy or pneumonectomy, you can find a lot of pertinent posts.

Posted 7-18-05

I had an upper left lobectomy in Jan 2004. In Feb 2005, I had the rest of my left lung removed..a pneumonectomy. Recovery from the lobectomy was not too bad, so I thought I knew what to expect when I had the pneumonectomy. But, I was surprised at how easily I got out of breath after the pneumonectomy. When I sat up on the edge of the bed for the first time the day after surgery, I was out of breath. I never had this happen after my lobectomy. I was on oxygen for 3 weeks after the day of my pneumonectony.

I had an epidural for pain. The anesthesiologist urged me to use the epidural. He told me that there are indications that those who use an epidural have fewer post op pain problems in the future. The epidural stays on for 3 days or so. Pain really wasn’t much of a problem for me as I recall. It was managed well. When I went home I took oxycontin until the pills were gone, and did not need any more after that. Now, at nearly 4 months after my penumonectomy, I have no pain at my incision except for a sore spot where an old suture is working its way out.

One problem with the pain meds is constipation and not being able to urinate. I knew more what to expect the second time, so I asked for laxatives early. At the first operation, I had to wear a catheter home. I found out that I had a staph infection in my urinary tract. I went to an urologist and had it cleared up within a week. At the second operation, I had the catheter removed after the epidural was removed, about the third day. I still could not urinate, and I had to have the catheter reinserted (big ouch) to void my bladder. It was just a temporary insertion. After, my bladder was emptied, the catheter came out. Fortunately, after that, I was able to urinate on my own. I was most happy about that. I remember carrying containers full of urine to the bathroom and would brag to the nurses about how much I had peed. So, after my second operation, the only thing I still had attached to me when I went home was oxygen.

I have a little stiffness, but my range of motion is good. I did physical therapy after my lobectomy, but I did not do it this time. I don’t think I need it.

When I got home, I got used to sleeping on my good side. I just used a regular bed. I was able to do light housework in 2 weeks. I went back to work in 4 weeks. I rototilled the garden and mowed the lawn at 3 months. Today, I split a little wood.

It is real important to cough the gunk up from day one and to use the spirometer thingy. I started walking as soon as I could. At first it was hard for me, because I would get out of breath. When I got home, I walked every day, around the block, carrying my oxygen with me. After I got rid of the oxygen, I started walking a half-mile and soon was up to a mile a day. I still walk a mile a day. I can walk a mile comfortably in 17 minutes. I can do it in 15 minutes if I make my little short legs go as fast as they possibly can. I can go up and down a flight of stairs over and over again. I was disappointed a couple of weeks ago, when I went out in the woods and discovered that I could not walk uphill on very steep ground without stopping after 10 feet. I am still on chemo. I have one more round to go, and will finish at the end of June. My oncologist says that I should be able to do better out in the woods after I regain my stamina. He says it takes up to 8 months after chemo before you get all of your stamina back.

I was very grateful that I was able to have the operation. I am cancer free now, and did the chemo just to make sure. I did not do it after my first operation. I was stage 1 both times.

I still have a slight urge to dry cough. It is more pronounced when I bend over. It was really bad about a month ago, but is mostly gone now and manageable.

I have been told that a pneumonectomy is the most major surgery you can have…piece of cake!, Well, doable at least.

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I am so sorry to hear about your dad.

I don't have any advice on the surgery or its recovery as it was never an option for my hubby. But from what I've seen the recovery for various people on this board has really varied greatly. It really depends on the person and the particulars of how the surgery went.

I will be keeping you and your father in my prayers and hope all goes well with a speedy and pain free recovery.

I noticed you said you were in WI. I live just west of Milwaukee. Where are you located? If you ever want to talk, or if you need anything, give me a PM and I'll give you my contact info.


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When I was first diagnosed and researching I discovered that the pnemonectomy was a very significant surgery. I decided that I would only have it if the chances were fairly high of a cure. Unfortunately, my staging ws IV, so surgery is not an option.

From others, it seems that while the operation is major, they have been able to deal well with the aftermath.

Good luck to your dad.


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Hi Migizicny, Sorry to hear that your dad has lc but the good news is they are going to operate. Sometimes it takes a few referrals to find a surgeon who will.

Don M gave good description above of the surgery. Does your dad tolerate pain meds OK? Poor tolerance of pain meds made my pain really bad.

My tumor was 10cm and I had a tiny margin of 0.1 mm so I started chemo and radiation about 5 weeks after surgery. Chemo and radiation were easier compared to surgery. From surgery to the end of treatments took about 3 months total.

This former farm girl from south of Eau Claire wishes your dad a successful surgery. :)


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