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Caregiver of Husband (NSCLC-IA)


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About me:

wife / caregiver

Seeking info about post-op lobectomy; signs of problems, when to call the chest surgeon, etc.

About patient:

Husband: age 47

Health: No prior lung problems; mostly healthy (somewhat ow; smkr w/ persist prod cough {>yr}; umbilical hernia {>yr}; mod-sev low back pain {>yr})

How found: 06/07; visit Dr for umbilical hernia (still has); dr req full workup/check since never done; incl chest xray; found spot; referred to lung spec.

Diagnosis: 07/07; NSCLC - adenocarcinoma - stage IA

Where: UR lung; tumor in back lung wall less than 3 cm; spiculated

Treatment: 09/07; VATS UR lobectomy - no follow-up treatments

Re-scan: 12/07; clear

Fam Hist: Father (age 71) SCLC (diag: 05/06) in remission 1.

Post-OP Problems:

  • 1. persistent and worsening pain in UR chest/lung/back of lung (tumor location)
    2. persistent (and worse than before op) productive cough
    3. sputum last 4 days includes either blood spots or streaks
    4. resumed smoking 5 wks after surg.
chantix - week 3: still smoking; "can't quit"

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Welcome fanzi0,

I would think it's time to check in with your doc. I had an UR lobectomy and NOT VATS. I still have pain where the lobe was removed, BUT NO cough, NO blood. It's certainly great news that your hubby was dx at such an early stage.......with an excellent prognosis. So get these symptoms checked out. Glad you've found us since many here can offer their expertise and encouragement. Good luck and let us know what you find out.


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You need to have him checked out by either the surgeon or his primary physician. I am sorry he started smoking again-- that may be causing much of his irritation and cough. Maybe he needs to try Zyban or something else since the Chantix isn't working for him. Let us know what the doctor says and welcome to the board.


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Hi Fanzi0 and welcome. I agree with the others - the blood in the sputum should be checked out. It could be anything, but you (and his doctor) need to know what it is. Having had 2 lung surgeries (2003 and 2004), I can't imagine smoking after the surgery. That must really, really aggravate his lung. I used zyban (wellbutrin) to quit 2 weeks before my first surgery. It worked wonders and I'm really glad I'm not smoking anymore. Good luck with all of this. Do let us know what the doc. says and how is getting along.


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Hi Fanzio

Cannot speak about the lung surgery as I have not had any but it does make sense that any bleeding should warrant a call to this doc.

Welcome to the board - there are fantastic people here who will help you along the way!!

Keep us posted - hugs to you and your husband.

Patti B.

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First of all welcome to the forum. I had a lower right lobectomy 5/07 and was stage 1a as well. Like your husband I and did not need further treatment.

I would most certainly have your husband checked out very soon. Even at stage 1a I have had follow-up appointments with my oncologist and CT scans. If your husband has an oncologst, I would start there.

I was told by a radiologist after my diagnosis not to ignore any new or unusual pain or symptoms after a cancer diagnosis.

As far as his smoking, it takes most people 9-11 times to be successful. From what I have read, therapy or support groups for smoking cessation along with medication increase ones chance of being successful.

Good Luck and please keep us posted.

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Hi Fanzio,You need to get a hold of your surgeonI had my 1st surgery and was doing fine and then about two weeks later started coughing up streaks of blood. He took xray and found out I had a stump leak where he performed the surgery. Next day he had to open me back up and fix the problem. He said it doesnt happen often but once in awhile they have to redo the surgery.I know this isnt what you want to hear and it may not even be the problem but you need to get it checked out.Im glad he caught it at an early stage. Mike

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