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The road we will travel...


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My husband Jack had his bronchoscopy and mediastinoscopy done this past Thursday. He is recovering well although he is still sore and still has a little swelling around the incision site. The doctor said all lymphs looked good, although the report will be the final say. Said if we wanted surgery to remove half the left lung that he would not say no. Lots to pray and ponder on.

Because of other health issues (atril fibrillation & circulation problems) and the fact that he has already lost the upper lobe of the right lung we feel he would be left with limited pulmonary function if we did the surgery so we have chosen the radiation route. We have a followup x-ray and appt. with surgeon on August 1. He is getting with his pulmonary doctor here to get him set up with radiation oncologist at the cancer center in our town.

He was coughing a good bit before this surgery last week and is still doing so. Coughing up a good bit of fleem especially early in the morning. No fever.

Still just feeling a little washed out from the surgery. Those of you who have had these two procedures - were you tired for a few days? How long did it take to feel more energetic? Also did you have coughing? He will not be returning to work until Wednesday as his shift is off today and tomorrow.

Also, with the radiation - what can I plan to expect and how can I best help him get through it in the best way possible?

Something else I wanted to ask -

We used to go to the beach every year in spring and fall. Due to the death of my father, moving, mother's heart surgery, and money issues we haven't been able to go for 6 years. We have saved the money this year and first of the year had made reservations on a condo for Sept. 22-26. We had to put a $250 deposit. It is about 5 hours away from where we live to Panama City Beach, FL. We live just west of Atlanta, GA. Do you think this will be doable with his radiation treatments? Or should we go ahead and cancel? We have until 2 weeks before before we lose our entire deposit.

Thanks so much for support and help. It is wonderful to be able to talk to others who have gone through similar experiences. I wish and pray for all of you the very best.


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I think you need to at least call and talk to the rad onc about the vacation. I don't know how many treatments he'd be getting, when they'd be starting, etc. The doctor should be able to help you. I think, if you're in the middle of radiation, the doctor will not want him to miss treatments, but that might vary by situation.

Good luck, I hope you get to go on your trip.


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Hi Shirley, I've been thinking about you and glad to hear your husband made it through the bronchoscopy and mediastinoscopy. And good nodes, that IS great news. :)

In all three of my bronchoscopies the cough went away within a few hours. So I think it is unusual to cough so long.

They probably take Saturday and Sundays off on radiation. But he won't want to miss treatments during the week - as I remember they told me it was vital not to miss radiation treatments.

Radiation will burn/melt some of his lung tissue too and it can cause shortness of breath. Also radiation can "spray" into the heart region which can cause heart problems.

Prayers for you and your hubby,


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I can only share with you the reasons that I chose for my treatment and what the radiologist told me. I can not tell by your posting if Jack has had chemo and how he reacted to it. I had chemo only the first time and went into remission for almost 2 years. The doctor said that he could hit the spots and kill them. He said aggressive chemo may remove the spots they can see as well as ones they can’t see. He said the radiation may mean my chemo would not be as aggressive or possibility of having to delay or reduce chemo because of low blood count.

I have decided to go with the chemo for now. I have confidence in this radiologist. He did intern at M.D. Anderson. He said I make my living by treating with radiation, so he would not tell me to not get it now unless he believed it.

I know the feeling of trying to figure out what to do. I just went through it. I think if I had any questions about what he said, I would have gone for a second opinion.

I don’t mean to confuse you more, but I thought it would not hurt to hear what someone else did and why. Keep us posted.

Stay positive, :)


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With Jack's first lung surgery no follow up treatments were recommended. They just took he lobe and there was no lymph node involvement. This mass is not a met it is another primary.

Chemo has never been mentioned to us by the surgeon -only radiation was mentioned as our other option to the surgery. We have our follow up x-ray and visit with the surgeon on August 1. The surgeon is in a town about 1.5 hours away. He was contacting Jack's pulmonary doctor here to set up with the Cancer Center in our town which is state of the art and from what I understand has wonderful doctors. We have not met with any kind of cancer doctor or radiologist as of yet. Just waiting to hear something.

Thanks for all the support! I am having such a hard time right now because I want to be very upbeat and postivie for my husband, but inside I am only feeling fear and sheer terror.

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Hi Shirely, I know...it is living nightmare for both of you. You are right though, you have to be the cheerleader to remind him of the good things like those clean mediastinals. That was really good sign.

A new secondary is not so bad, but his heart is the complicating factor...

Did bronchoscopy yield a pathology report on what type of new lc he has?


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We haven't been told what kind of cancer yet.

The first time it was NSCLC. We will go back to the

surgeon next Wednesday, August 1, so maybe we will know more then. It just seems like "hurry up and wait" and I want to start zapping this thing.

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Hi Shirley,

I hope by now his cough is better. He has been on my mind and I am so glad that surgery is behind him now.

I don't what to tell you about his treatments but keep a positive attitude that there will be shinkage and they can opearate. Do you know anything about how much lung they would have to remove this time?

I know cyberknife was mentioned before. I am bringing this up again as it is an alternative to not having to remove more lung. What concerns me though is his heart condition. You certainly have your plate full.

I am sorry about the plans for your get away vacation as it is long overdue. If you cannot go then just plan to go after all this is under control.

I am sorry for all you are going through. This disease sucks big time. But we must get him better! That is first and formost.

I will hold Jack in my prayers.


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Thanks, Maryanne!

We only had the bronchoscopy and mediastinoscopy this time. Because of the location of the mass they would have to remove half (upper lobe) of the left lung. He is already missing upper lobe of right lung. He could not loose that much lung without being on oxygen 24/7 and he wouldn't be happy with that. Then there were the risks of surgery also and the fact he might not be able to come off the ventilator.

The other option given to us was radiation. That is what we are going to do. We are waiting until after our appt. with surgeon in Rome next Wed. (Aug. 1) when he will release him to one of the radiation oncologists here at the cancer center where we live.

After the radiation the surgeon said that he would not be a candidate for any surgery even if it shrinks the mass because of the damage done to the lung by the radiation.

I will feel better when we have had a chance to meet with the oncologist and we get going on this thing. It has been too much waiting for me.

The surgeon said after the surgery that the mediastinal lymph nodes look good - but we will get the final report at the meeting Wednesday as well as hopefully finding out the type of cancer we are dealing with this time. The primary in his right lung 2 years ago was NSCLC stage 1.

He worked his regular 12 hour shift at the jail the last two nights. (6 p.m. - 6 a.m.) He was very tired this am and had to get up early due to a coumadin check at his cardiologist at 1:30. He will work Monday night and take off Tuesday night because we have to go to the surgeon appt. in Rome on Wednesday. He won't go back to work until Friday.

Thanks so much for the prayers and support. It means so very much.


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