Jump to content

SOB--does it ever improve?


Eileen4

Recommended Posts

Hi again everyone,

I had my lobectomy on July 10th, upper left lobe. I spent only 3 days in the hospital and was sent home in what I thought was amazing condition. However, since Monday this week, I've noticed that the SOB has been getting progressively worse, even though I am not overdoing it. On Sunday last, I may have caused some stress on my internal wounds and wonder if this could be the cause. If anyone who's had lobe removal could fill me in on what to expect re SOB, e.g. does it EVER improve or is this it? (4 weeks after surgery). I just find it strange that mine has become worse, not better. Thanks for your help in this. (BTW, my PFT results prior to surgery were almost "perfect".)

Eileen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Eileen,

First - Yes your breathing should gradually improve over time. Walking helps.

As far as your shortness of breath getting worse - this I think is a good reason to call your doctors office. It is the weekend, but there should be someone on-call. You could be having some fluid build up in your lungs, pneumonia, or who knows what, but I am pretty sure your docs will want to know about it. And you will feel better if they do too.

Now try to be good and spend the weekend peacefully, that means no rototillering the garden, no riding 4-wheelers and no horse back riding. :D

Barb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eileen,

I agree whole heartedly with Barb- get on the phone and call your doctor, weekend or not. He needs to know what is going on with you, your SOB should not be getting worse, it should be progressively getting better.

Not meaning to scare you or anything, but please don't wait till Monday. I'm sure that whatever is going on is not anything too bad, but you need to check it out asap.

Let us know how you're doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 weeks after a lobectomyis not a long time, remember. I was out of work for 8 weeks, and for good reason!

Were you in the heat this week? That absolutely affected my breathing. I also was on an inhaler for a good part of that first year.

And I learned, through 3 surgeries, that different parts of the surgical site contine to heal, causing different sensations/symptoms, at different times.

And yes, you could be over doing it :wink:

gail

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you guys! I saw my PC on Monday this week and he sounded my lungs. Said they were OK. It was really later that night and especially the next day I noticed the breathlessness. I did call into Moffitt on Wednesday and they said perhaps I should have an X-Ray done. I think I'll wait until tomorrow and if still the same, then I'll call in.

I just really hope that this is nothing and that the SOB will definitely improve in time. Also, my breast is absolutely painful so I'm guessing there's a lot of nerve damage done during the lobectomy. Does this also heal through time?

I didn't post right after my surgery because I was awaiting the biopsy results which were very good (1A). BUT...when they took the PET scan prior to the surgery and the formal report came in, there was a "focal point" noted on my colon. (They weren't too concerned, figuring it might be an infection or polyp). I had a colonoscopy last Friday and guess what--YUP--a secondary, primary cancer. I have surgery for it on 8/16. I was so happy about my lung results, only to find out about this 2nd cancer 5 days later. I was, needless to say, very floored and have had a hard time keeping positive since. One was bad enough for this girl...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so sorry to hear this Eileen. It's got to really suck. You must be very rare case. On the other hand this is a second primary cancer, not lc spread....that's something to hold on to.

You know - shortness of breath or chest pain could mean you are collecting fluid or blood in the chest or heart area. I don't want to scare you, but like Debi said you should be getting better, not worse. You had one lobe removed, that shouldn't be making you extremely short of breath unless walking up stairs etc.

I hope you are OK Eileen. Does your scar go under the left breast? Is that where the pain is?

Barb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes Barb, it does suck. But it could be worse, so I'm holding onto that thought.

My scar is under my arm only, about 4" down from the armpit. Most of the pain and discomfort I feel though is in the breast, which is very tender to the touch as well. That surprised me as I thought the pain would be more in my side and back.

Well, I guess everyone's experience is just different and it's hard to gauge what's "normal" or what can be expected after this surgery. I'll give the ACS a call today--they have a 24/7 number to call and can perhaps put me in touch with someone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eileen,

The pains you are feeling that are not in your chest will probably come and go and move. I had my lobectomy over three years ago and STILL have pains in the area of my scar and my right breast off and on. I do get short of breath - feels like an elephant standing on my chest - with high humidity and extreme temperatures. NO exertion is needed to feel like I'm just not getting enough oxygen in there...

If you feel concerned, call a doctor. Sometimes, just having a doctor confirm it's nothing going on helps you to establish what is "normal" and what isn't. Sharp, shooting pains through the chest cavity are not normal, but aches in the area of the scar or in the line of the nerve wrap area are.

The nervous system is complex, not just a bunch of straight lines from the brain to a certain spot. View it as a major power station with powerlines that branch and not always in the straightest lines.

The nerves are still healing from your surgery. There will be other symptoms that follow these pains, wait until the itching starts - you'll never figure out where the trigger is because you will scratch where you feel the itch but it will never "quench" the itch. Sometimes, rubbing the bottom of my foot on the floor helped with that - go figure!

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

a lot of nerve damage done during the lobectomy. Does this also heal through time?

Eileen, it will improve over time, but never go away. Nerve endings form little scar tissue growths called neuromas that send off weird signals: burning, shocking, stabbing pains. And these neuromas never really go away. What you have is called "post-thoracotomy syndrome", so it's common enough to have a formal "medicalese" name.

Someone mentioned walking - a good exercise, to be sure. Easily moderated so you can slow down if you get tired. Do be cautious not to overdo it. You can improve your chest muscle strength with breathing exercises and shoulder/upper body exercises. Try lifting a can of food over your head with each arm while watching t.v. - simple and effective. This can help improve range of motion on the side where you had your surgery, too. Again, don't overdo it; you will have to slowly regain strength and range of motion on that side.

Best wishes to you for a fast recovery, Teresa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I certainly hope that your shortness of breath improves. I did breathing exercises (Pranayama Yogic Breathing. You can get a DVD or find information on the internet) and that helped me alot after my surgery. It sure is the pits about your second primary, but the good news is that it is not a met. Will continue to keep you in prayer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know, my lung cancer was only found because I had been a breast cancer survivor. So one could say that having breast cancer saved my life.

And for you, having lung cancer helped find you colon cancer. Not what you would wish for, but better found sooner rather than later right?

gail

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi guys,

I didn't get any email notification that anyone had posted back following my last post, so have just now read your replies. Thanks all.

Gail, was your lung cancer a secondary cancer or a met?

I was told by a tech yesterday at the hospital that they cannot say 100% certain that this is a 2nd primary until they get it out and bio it, so there is a chance it "might be a met". Sheesh, NOT what I needed to hear! Some things you're better off just not hearing.[/i]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would call the doc. You don't want anything to get out of control. There is so much going on in your body right now, you need all the strength you can get...SOB is a pain in the butt, so call the doc and see what the word is there!

Take care!

jen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Eileen,

Sorry to jump in here late. My thoughts were along the same as Gail's regarding How "lucky" to find a met because of lc....!

I haven't heard of mets to colon though I suppose it's possible. I think the way they figure out if it's a met is the tumor make-up. The path puts it under a scope.

One brother had colon cancer first and just surgery to cure it, but two years later ended up with advanced sclc and quickly succombed to it. Dang it. (He was too large fit inside an scan unit so it went undetected)

It may feel as if you are getting hit from all directions right now. Later,(maybe even much later) you will be able to find the glory in the sequence of events. For now, just take it one step at a time and one day at a time. And remember, we are here for you the entire way!

Cindi o'h

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.

Guest
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. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.