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advice with lobectomy pain


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Hello everyone. This is the first time I have posted a question but I read every ones post daily and it has been such a positive experience for us.

My wonderful husband, age 58, Joe, was dx in July 2006 with 3A-aden./lymph nodes and stated not a surgical candidate. He began chemo and radiation combined in August and we finished in late October. We have gone through what most have experienced with all this stuff and it was not easy. But, guess what, after all the treatment, our radiologist made him a surgical candidate, praise the Lord. So on November 27 he had his upper left lobe removed and lymph nodes and with a pet/ct scan in January 24, we are now cancer free, now a survivor. He will have pet/ct every 3 months, so our next one is in April.

My question is an easy one. Has anyone out there had chemo/radia. combined, which almost killed him and then surgery? Now that he is ned, which is a blessing and we thank God everyday but the pain from the surgery is so unbearable. It has now been 4 months since surgery and the pain is not any better, a small price to pay, we know but maybe someone has gone through the same thing. Joe does not do pain meds because of the side effects, tried but they really did nothing except causes other problems. The only med Joe takes now is Zanax at night to help him rest and sleep, which is wonderful. He does exercise and stays up all day but the pain stresses him so much during day, when he lays flat the pain is less but we know you cannot lay down all day. He has not been able to go back to his job yet but we hope in April, he is going to try. He has had no symptoms to indicate that something else is going on from the lobectomy but one must wonder.

We are still in our planning mode to retire in 4 years.

If anyone can comment on the lobectomy pain, I would sure like to hear it. Maybe there is something that worked for you and maybe it will work for him. I have told him that what he has gone through these last 6 months is trauma to the body and it will take maybe another year to recoup from all that was done to his once healthy body.

Thank you for listening and I pray for everyone on the website each day. The power of prayer is what got us to where we are now, Thank God for being cancer free. Thanks-Kathy and Joe Toma

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Hi Kathy.....I'm afraid that I don't have any info as far as pain control, but I wanted to say that I was so happy to hear of your husbands wonderful outcome. I love to hear good stories! I hope that something can be done soon to make his pain more tolerable. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Shelley

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I was staged 3A. I had 6 weeks of daily radiation concurrent with weekly chemo (carbo/taxol). I had surgery,an upper right lobectomy, followed by two more but stonger infusions of the same chemo drugs. I was very painful and sore for a long time. The only exercise that I did for a long time was to walk. You have to give the incision time to heal. I do not like to take pain pills. I took the over the counter Alleve and that helped alot. For the first year after my surgery, I was sore and numb. My surgery was in July,2005. I went back to work teaching high school at the end of August, 2005. I was still very sore and had to think about my movements before I made them, even things like writing on the chalkboard, or opening my car door in the morning. I had to open my car door with my left hand for a long time. I now have a little numbness and the pain and soreness has subsided.

Take care. Hope this helps. By the way I have had clean CT scans since my surgery. Carol

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I didn't sleep in my bed for almost a month after surgery - I slept on the reclining sofa. When I finally moved back to sleeping in my bed, I made a "nest" of pillows to prop myself up so I was as close to comfortable as possible.

I took Advil for the pain when I quit taking the pain pills. Somehow, the Advil seemed to work better - go figure!

I would suggest if he is tired during the day, he take a nap. I had four months off work after my surgery, and when I started back, I did not start back full-time. In fact, I worked two hours in the morning, had a four hour break and worked two more hours in the afternoon - and I NAPPED during that break...

He should continue to exercise with the #*$^ spirometer to expand his lung tissue. Walking is good, stairs are horrible.

Good luck to the both of you!


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Hey Kathy,

It's so good to see you here posting!!! I wanted to tell everyone on here what a wonderful person you and Joe are.... The love you two share and the way you two connect is amazing to me. I really appreciate all of the help with the event and thank you from the bottom of my heart for paticipating. Joe made it real for alot of people. You two have a very special place in my heart and always will. I would love to find a time to visit with you two and sit and talk. Let me know what your schedule is like or when you guys may have some free time. I'm sorry to ear that Joe is still dealing with pain. I know through faith and hope he will be better soon.

Please know that if you two should ever need me, I'm just a phone call away.

I tell you the truth, if you have faith like a mustard seed, you can move mountains."

Matthew 17:20



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Hi Kathy,

I enjoyed reading about Joe’s success over cancer but sorry to hear he is still suffering so much pain. Like Carrol and Becky, my pain was easily managed with Alieve just a few weeks after the surgery. Chronic pain can be very depressing; your surgeon or PCP should be able to refer Joe to a pain management specialist. They may be able to offer some non-drug therapies to help alleviate his pain.

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Thanks for replying, it helps to know others go through the same thing. Oh, yes pillows are a godsend and I have a bed elevator, called a genie, that raised our bed and what a savior it was for Joe.

We go to the pulm. on Tuesday, maybe he will offer some positive advice other than drugs. Joe says he can tell something is missing in his chest, just like you have a leg amputated.

Jamie, thanks for your wonderful kind words, and yes we need to get together. We pray so hard to take his pain away, so maybe soon it will be diminished.


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Hallo Kathy:

I was in pain after my lobectomy for about 8 months, and then one morning I realized it was much less. I can still feel it at times and think that certain movements might aggrevate the site even now, 2 years later. It does get better though.


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