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1 week from today and I'm scared like never before...


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So...I'm having surgery in a week and I'm a mess! My doctor says he will try and only take the upper right lobe and part of my wind pipe. He said it's going to be especially tough because of all the radiation scar tissue and if there is a lot of bleeding, he may have to take the entire lung. He is going in through my chest, like having open heart surgery. I don't know what to expect and I'm so so so scared! Any advice from you tough ones that have had surgery?? Help!

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I have followed your story from the VERY beginning and find it truly amazing. That you never had SCLC I find it difficult to forgive the medical comminity.

Now that aside, I had EXTENSIVE surgery from the front and believe me, recovery was not all that bad. Right now the worst residual effect is a numb breast which is a small price to pay, don't you think? I will remain hopeful that the lobe is all that needs to be taken. But if the lung must go, it is certainly doable. I am right there with you, Nancy, hoping and praying for only the very best results. Hope you can come and report good news very soon.


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Just read your post and can offer a little bit of insight. I had surgery in Dec. 05 to stop bleeding at the site where my tumor was. After they patched me up I had a recovery of about 3 months. Frankly, Nancy, it was a bit tough but with each day I could move a bit better. They gave me exercises to do to strengthen my chest muscles. I'm sure you'll get similar. Some days I just didn't want to do them, being sore and all, but I did. Went back to work for four months. Then began bleeding again. Drs. found I had a hospital based bacteria eating away at their work, so they went in again. Had two more operations to re-patch the area. That was in October. I have a visiting nurse who comes daily to change the dressing and surgeon states I'm healing well. I am sore in that area and also numb.

Chest surgery is not the easiest to endure, but many here have gotten thru just fine. Patience is necessary, though, because the healing process can be lengthy. I wish you all the best next week. Try not to worry too much, as you'll see the time will go quickly and you'll be on the mend. Prayers and hope for a swift recovery.

Joanie ((()))

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Nancy...my prayers will be with you for a speedy recovery ...I had surgery ...a right lung lobectomy...Not a piece of cake...but certainly doable...recovered quickly and stopped taking pains pill's the second day at home...I'm praying the surgery will be less than what the doc's think...Take care and God be with you...Will be waiting for some good reports...hugs...PamS.

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Nancy, I'll be honest. The surgery was very tough for mom and very scary for us as a family, but she came through fine and is doing very well today. It was very tempting for her not to move much because of the pain at first, but she found that pushing herself to exercise, even a little bit at a time, helped her make tremendous progress very quickly. Don't get discouraged afterwards. Give yourself time to heal and take baby steps.

You can do it and we'll be here to support you! Prayers for you tonight and during this week.

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Tips to make it go easier - (it's as easy as A-B-C)

Ask for the drugs when it hurts!

Be nice to the nurses, they are your link to drugs....and baths...and visitors

Call your General Practitioner and see about anti-anxiety medication or sleeping pills - you need to sleep BEFORE the surgery

Don't jump to cancer conclusions until you know for sure

Exercises - breathing exercises after surgery

Find a person to be your advocate, to go to all appointments and take notes

Get acquainted with your spiritual side, you'll be visiting

Help your doctor help you, follow all instructions and ask questions if you aren't clear

Ignore cancer statistics - they're outdated and dismal

Just try to relax

Kid around

Laugh - it feels better to hurt when you're laughing than to just hurt

Make the most of every day

Never give up

Obtain what you need to get you through (mentally/emotionally/physically)

Promise yourself you'll get better

Quit procrastinating

Rely on others - healing takes some time

Strength - you have it, find out how to get to it

Teddy Bear - to hold when you cough, sneeze or laugh

Understand you won't be back to 100% a week after the surgery

Value the talent your doctors have, but seek others if you aren't happy

Waiting is the hardest part

Xrays for the rest of your life (or so it seems)

You CAN do it

Zen - that inner peace, again...

Seriously, though, it hurts. One of the most painful surgeries there is, no doubt. Take the medication in the hospital, you are NOT a wimp if you need pain medication. Be nice to the nurses, they control the "temperature" of your stay - "please" and "thank you" go a long way. If you are getting bad care (i.e. a blood draw where they can't reach a darn vein) ask for someone else. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques help. Don't expect to sleep comfortable on your "normal side" anytime soon. Laughing hurts, coughing hurts, sneezing is a real bit*h...but laugh when you can, humor helps. Blood coming from anywhere is bad - let someone know immediately.

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Surgery scared me like I've never been scared before too. It was tough, but recovery was steady and truly, in a couple of months it was ok again. Now, almost 4 years later, it's just a bad memory for me with no physical side effects to speak of.

Good luck to you. You can do this.


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I can’t help with the surgery info, but I can pray. Would you post the day/ date and approx time of your surgery. I would like to set aside a special time of prayer for you.

ISAIAH 41:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you,

Do not be dismayed for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you:

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”.

Stay positive, :)


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Thank all of you so much! I can't help but tear up when I read your posts, all of you are so kind!

I haven't slept much in the past couple of days, I keep praying that I reach a level of peace soon. My surgery is scheduled for 2/2/07 at 11am. It's going to be at a hospital about 120 miles from home, so that really stinks. Hope the waiting room is a big one, thank God for all the family and friends that will be there for me!!!

Thanks again for your support and prayers!

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Try and take this fear and turn it into a positive. Plan your surgery from a good point of view. What I did was bought a party hat, and my girlfriend brought now some pom poms and I put the party hat on and she and my family cheered me on as they rolled me into surgery. (silly but true)

Surgery isn't fun, but the end results were pretty darn good for me. I'm still here 11+ years later.

They took my entire left lung out. I'm living just fine as a one lunger, and you can too.

You'll do FINE!

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Hi Nancy, I had the C-shaped incision in the back.

My concern would be that a doctor should be checking in on you every day in hospital. If it were closer to home, then you can be sure your lung doc or onc etc would be coming in to see how you are feeling. It looks like it will be only the surgeon, and those guys are so busy...they don't have time to spend on rounds the way they should.

So I guess I would ask which doctors will be checking in on you, how often, and what is the procedure should you wake up in the middle of the night in extreme pain. Will the nurses make you "tough it out" or will a doc be available to OK increasing your pain meds?

You will probably be in intensive care the first night, then in a regular room the next day. I hated being alone at night. Really depressing and scary. Lots of strange noises, people hacking and moaning etc. So hopefully they will have a couch in your room for someone to stay over night.

I remember I wanted my mom. I just knew I would feel better if she were there...like when I was four. :)

You might prepare a bit by thinking about any cold snacks that you enjoy....grapes, watermelon, pudding cups, etc. They will have some of these at the hospital, but they have a fridge near your room too. That way family can grab a quick snack for you anytime.

For me the whole time in hospital was very painful and very boring. Nothing to do, and I felt too crummy to watch TV or read. One of the hospital ministers visited me every afternoon to talk and pray. You might ask if someone from the chapel can come pray with you before you go in for the surgery. Then ask if they will come visit you in your regular room. Or a social worker if you prefer.

Nancy, I pray your surgery goes well and you have an easy recovery.


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Hi Nancy,

Just want you to know that I am thinking of you and I know you will be fine. Things always seem to be better than the worse one can imagine. You will be unfomtable for a couple of days in the hospital, with pain but they will take care of that. See is you can get an ipidural then you will be numb and will not feel the pain. When you return home you will feel more comfortable and will get stronger each day.

Joel went through a left lobe removable and just recently a wedge section on the good lung. He took his pain medicine and ate in small meals instead of big ones. To him it was not as bad as he envisioned.

Someone bought him one of those squissy pillows which he used when he had to cough. He held it to his chest and that seemed to soften the cough.

Good luck, I know how scared you are but like everything else, this will be behind you before you know it.


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Good luck on your surgery. I had sugery 3 times to try and remove my tumor. through the back, side and finally had a pneumonectomy to remove the left lung. They did a lot of that through the front and I also had a bunch of scar tissue as well due to my radiation.

If you have questions please PM me.. I'd be happy to talk to you about the details of my surgery.


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Nancy you are certainly in my thoughts and prayers as you go to surgery. I was told that surgery is what you want to be able to have when it comes to lung cancer. Try to think of the surgery and the recovery as something you must go through to get to where you want to be---CANCER FREE! Prayers


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I had extensive surgery in 2000. I waited for surgery by taking walks, eating really well (steak and green veggies), watching movies to keep from thinking about it all.

And I prayed, constantly, under my breath.

Day and night, esp at night. Esp when I got scared.

I went into my surgery with absolute faith in my surgeon, and put it all in God's hands.

Took it one minute at a time.

I had a special mug I bought, and some herbal tea for a special treat every night at 9.

Bought some good paperbacks, small ones, as I had front and back surgery and limited use of my left arm.

I did the exercises they asked me to so my shoulder didn't get too tight.

And I said please and thank you alot.

This is a good time to be alive and have cancer, the drugs and surgeons are so much more accomplished than they were twenty years ago, or 60 years ago when my grandmother had her double radical mastectomy and radiation.

An odd blessing , to be sure, but at least one has a chance to think, and to reach out to loved ones. Not like getting hit by a truck.

I won't say relax, but I will say please try not to tie yourself in knots. You can't spend your time hiding in fear, not even emotionally. So chin up, one foot in front of the other... and keep going!!

You'll be in our prayers...



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Thinking of you, Nancy, as 2/2 gets closer. Those days leading up to surgery were a time for us to reconnect as a family, face our fears, and pull together to fight them. It is something I look back at now with fond memories. I hope you're experiencing the same.

Good luck, I'll be praying for you.

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