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I am a newbie here and a bit scared at the moment. I am very close to having a wedge re-section done on my lower right lung lobe, very close to the outside rim of the lung.

I am a 5+ years BC survivor,(Invasion Ductal BC) who had 4 lymph nodes of 17 removed with cancer in them. At the time I was staged at 2b. I had a lumpectomy done but the margins where not good enough for what was needed. So a month later I had a mastectomy done. Had 4 rounds of AC and 36 Rounds of radiation and then put on Arimidex for 5 years.

I never missed one therapy session of either the chemo or radiation. All my doctors where surprised and thrilled, as I was. I came through with flying colors. But after carefully watching previous nodules that I have in my lungs, liver and kidney, for the past 5 years this past January one nodule quickly grew from under a centimeter to 1.6 centimeters. My oncologist was worried and had a pet scan ordered. Only the fast growing nodule lite up but so did a nodule on my liver but did not light up very bright. So they are not sure what is happening with that one. The one on the right lung will be removed the 10th of July...no biopsy was ordered as both my Oncologist and Thoracic doctor, have agreed that they want to remove the nodule before it goes back into a regrowing cycle.

Needless to say I am overwhelmed with this news. I knew that the chances that a metastases might happen but both doctors are not sure they are from the BC but possibly a new primary lung cancer. I thought for sure they would at least do a biopsy but evidently they do not feel one is necessary. I had a dedicated liver scan done today and I am praying that this is not another cancer showing up.

I am afraid of this type of operation and have been told that I will be very sore for the next one to 2 months, because to take out the wedge of lung where the nodule is, will require breaking one of my ribs. Has anyone gone through this operation.? What can I look forward to? I have been keeping myself busy as not to dwell on that which can not be changed but as the time gets closer to the operation, I feel so alone and afraid. My husband does not want to talk about this, my children do not want to talk about this and neither do my friends. All I get is you are going to be fine. Your a strong woman and will get through it. NO I am NOT supper woman, at least not with this cancer. I feel like I am Typhoid Mary. I have never cried for myself or asked why me but today I find myself feeling very angry about having to deal with another round of cancer and angry with my family for not wanting to sit down with me and talk with me about my feelings I am having this time around. What am I suppose to do.This Tuesday I will once again pretend that I have nerves of steel just to make everyone happy.

Thanks for reading my post and any information you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe 4th of July holiday. :D

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Glad you found us. You really need a support group - this can be a lonely journey without one. We'll help you. Yes, you'll probably be sore for a couple months, but pain pills will help you alot. Take them before the pain really gets going. It takes a while to get your strength back, but it does happen. Are they thinking chemo, too? The biopsy before surgery probably doesn't matter. I've never had a biopsy and I've had 2 surgeries. They'll send whatever they find to pathology and will get a report telling what it is.

Relax if you can. This isn't going to be fun, but it will be ok. Keep "talking" to us.


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Welcome to the board. We have other members that are both breast cancer and lung cancer survivors-- and many that have had surgery. I am sure they will give you lots of advice. If you read through here you will see lots of posts from others that had surgery.

This is hard on family members too. Your family is scared to death right now and afraid for you. Don't feel you need to hide your feelings from them, that isn't going to help them or you.

I am glad you found us, please come back and post after your surgery and tell us how you are.


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Hi Valadi,

I have had breast cancer with surgery as well as a new primary on my lung with surgery.

For me the breast cancer was very early stage, with not clean margins for the surgical biopsy, so they had to go in a second time and get more tissue and sample some lymph nodes. The second time it was all clear, so I just had to have radiation and take tamoxifen for five years.

The lung tumor came a couple of years later, with a questionable routine chest x-ray during a followup with my breast surgeon. That led to a ct and a pet scan and then surgery.

There is pain with this surgery, but if you speak up, they will make you comfortable. Also, when you leave the hospital, take your pain medications faithfully. Pain can hinder the healing process, so don't let that happen. Don't let this pain get ahead of you. It will subside, and after a couple of months, I was really fine.

You are not alone in this, there are others here besides me who have had breast cancer and lung cancer. Please feel free to contact me by PM any time for any reason. I'd be happy to lend any support I can.


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Welcome Valadi: I hope your surgery goes well.

I think you should be able to have Video Assisted Thorascopic Surgery (VATS). There is no rib breaking in that kind of surgery and the incision is smaller and the recovery time is weeks instead of months.

If you are having a full, open thoracotomy which often results in a broken rib, there is one advantage to that in that the surgeon can feel around your lung with his fingers to find any hard densities that a scan would miss and that could not be be discerned with VATS equipment.

Don M

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Valadi welcome and you have found a great place to share with folks that truly care. I have a group of friends and some family members that prefer to ignore the "big stinky elephant" that is setting in the corner of the room. I can come to this message board or better yet drop into chat on a Tuesday evening and the people truly do understand. They tell me they be having a "Survivor" chat group which I think would be phenomenal. Stick around and keep us advised on your type of cancer, progress, etc.

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Hello to all,

I am overwhelm as to all your wonderful post. I feel like I have found a new friendship group that I can be me in. Thank You all for all your information, prayers and blessings that you have offered me. They mean so much and really has help me get ready for this operation. I will be thinking of you also when they are ready to put me to sleep and will be saying a little prayer of gratitude for your kind generous support.

I am just now getting a chance to read all your profiles and getting to know a little about you all.

I will start one about myself as soon as I am feeling up to using the PC. My husband made sure that I would have a PC near me when I feel up to using it and got a laptop for me to use. It was such a big surprise that for once in my life I was unable speak. Miracles do happen. :)

Don M...I think the Thoracic doctor did mention going inside the area and looking though a camera to do the resection but he also did mention he will have to break the rib. It may be because of where the lesion or tumor is sitting. He said something about it being on the lower right lung near the rim of the lung and that it looked to have smooth walls, which he thinks is a metastasis for my past BC.

I would be love to not have the rib broken. Maybe a miracle will happen and I won't have to have it broken.

chloesmom... I am so sorry that you also had to suffer through BC. In the past 5+ years from my DX of BC I have meet at least 7 or more women and believe it or not a man, who lives right down the street from me,who also have had to go through the ordeal of BC. Not a nice thing to hear.Saddens me every time I hear of another person and cancer. I will definitely take my pain meds right on time. While in the hospital I will be using an epidural to deliver the pain meds directly to the body. Like you, I do believe it does nothing for the healing process if we are always in pain. I have RA too and I have learned the hard way that no mater how much we hate to take those darn medications, if we don't, we can and will cause a lot of damage to our joints and suffer from some pretty painful flares. I am a woos when it comes to pain, so I am very diligent about taking my meds.

Muriel...I am not sure about having Chemo. It more likely will depend on what the pathologist finds from the cancer they are taking out. My oncologist did say that after the operation I will be going to have some injectable hormonal therapy given, if the cancer is a metastasis from my prior BC. I think it also will depend on what they see on the liver scan I just had Tuesday or what stage of cancer I am in, if the cancer is a new primary lung cancer.

ernrol,beatlemike,fillise,trish2418 and Ry...Thank You all for your very kind welcomes, prayers and information. I appreciate that you took your time to come to my recue. I was so afraid and felt so alone but I can genuinely say that I do not feel that way now. Your messages of hope have help me to calm down and and accept the operation as the gateway to continue living. You all have been through so much and I have so much to learn and I can not think of of a better group of people I would like to learn from.

I will try to come back and post a bit more before I go in for the surgery next Tuesday. Please be kind to yourselves and God Bless you all and may each day of your world be as special as you all are. :D


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Hi, Valadi, and welcome to the LCSC! I had a thoracotomy last year, and the pain was not nearly as bad as I had expected. I never had any pain at all while lying or sitting in a stationary position -- only while coughing or moving to get off or back on the bed. They took the epidural out of my back a couple of days after the surgery and substituted oral medication. A five-day stay was programmed, but I was able to go home after four days. I do have some suggestions for things you can do NOW to make it easier for you when you go home:

1. Make some advance preparations for sleeping. I found it MUCH easier to sleep in a recliner chair than in a bed, mainly because getting up from or back into the chair did not involve any rolling to the side. If you have a favorite recliner chair you might consider moving it to the bedroom now so any furniture rearranging can be done while you're still able to participate.

2. As you go about your daily routine now, take notice of the items which you are frequently taking from shelves, cabinets, or drawers, and place these items in accessible locations that don't require any bending down or reaching up. When you get home from the hospital you'll be able to carry on many of your normal activities without needing help.

3. Stock up now on the medications, food items, and supplements you and others have found most effective for preventing or relieving constipation. Many (if not most) pain medications tend to cause constipation, and I believe it's as important to stay ahead of that as it is to stay ahead of the pain itself. Just my opinion, of course.

Best wishes for an easy surgery and quick recovery -- give us an update as soon as you're able, which should be very soon after you get home! :) Aloha,


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Hi Ned

Nice meeting you. Sounds like you made it through the Op with flying colors. I hope I have the same good results.

Thank you so much for your great helper hints.

I ask the surgeons RN if there was anything I needed to do before hand to get everything together before I come home from the hospital and I even asked if I could go up the stairs to my bedroom and she said there really wasn't much that needed to be done and yes I could use the stairs. Which I was not allow to use when I had the mastectomy done. I had to sleep down stairs

After reading your hints, I went and put everything right at my arms reach. and made a list of things I will need after surgery. I can not thank you enough for suggesting using a recliner to sleep in for a few weeks. I was wondering how I was going to get out of the bed with out either hurting myself or causing myself undo pain. The recliner sounds like the best idea.

It's nice to get help from people who have been where I am going. Makes me feel more relaxed and hopeful.

It is so nice to hear that you are doing great and I will pray that you will continue to do so. :D .

As soon as I feel up to it I will make sure I come in and let you all know how I am doing and I am looking forward to those survivor chats on Tuesdays.

God Bless you and everyone on this board.

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Hi Valadi,

Welcome to the forum. You have already received a lot of good advice from others, especially Ned. I did the same for moving things within easy reach. I wished I had a relciner. If you do not have a recliner use pillows to find what is comforable for you.

I am 7 weeks post lobectomy, right lower lobe. They did not break a rib, but did use a rib spreader. If you do as other have suggested with the pain and laxative meds you should do fine. I am going back to work this Monday.

You will be in my thoughts and prayers for a succesful surgery and quick and uneventful recovery.

I understand the frustration with your family. Try to be patient as they seem scared, but do not hide your feelings to spare them. That will not help any of you in the long run.

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