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Operation Complete, now what?


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Feb 7/08, the surgeon removed my left upper lobe. About 24 hours later, as a direct result of the operation, I suffered a heart attack. At he pre-op, I was told that I had a very strong heart, so the heart attack really threw me for a loop. Fortunately, I have since been told that the strong heart was my saving grace. There is no permanent damage to my heart. One week after coming home, I was rushed into our local hospital, where I remained for just over two weeks. The doctors believe that I had one of the various flu viruses that are going around, as well as a reaction to the drugs & operation. Whatever it was, I sure was sick. While there, I was given a day pass to go to see the surgeon who had removed my upper left lobe. He told me, that I have stage 3A cancer and that it is in my lymphatic system. (previously after a CAT scan, I was told that the cancer only showed in my left upper lobe) I will have to go to the cancer clinic for further testing and treatment. I only know that stage 3A is on the bad end of the scale. Can anyone give me information as to what it actually is and what I can expect in the future? I look forward to any & all information that you can give me. I greatly appreciate the support that all of you have given to me. May God bless each & everyone of you.

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Welcome Corrine. I'm sorry you had such an awful surgery experience. Just the surgery itself is enough without having to cope with the heart attack, flu and another 2 weeks in the hospital. How are you feeling now?

This is a website that explains the various stages of NSCLC. I found it at the top of the NSCLC & Meso. board as an "announcement." Take a look at it and see if it answers some of your questions.

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/conte ... ?sitearea=

(You may have to copy it into your browser.)


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WOW, you did it up BIG didn't you? :roll::wink: I'm really gald your doing better. ((((CORINNE))))

Did your doctor tell you what KIND of lung cancer you have is it Squamous, Adenocarcinoma, Large Cell? You need to read my PROFILE below. I was a IIIA-B and I'm still here 12+ years later. :wink: As many of us are! :wink:

Stage III NSCLC has spread to surrounding structures and to the lymph nodes. stage III NSCLC is further divided into stage IIIA or IIIB.

Staging categorizes cancer into standardized groups, which helps determine treatment options. Staging helps to define the extent of the spread of the cancer from it's original location into the lung to other parts of the body.

I think if you were to go to the side of any page here where it says GLOSSARY and click onto it, you will see some helpful information about staging.

Wishing you all the best, and know we are here for you.

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Hope you are feeling better. It is as Connie said as far as the stage goes.

Unfortunately, your situation is pretty common. During staging using Cat scan, pet scan or medianoscopy (sp?) the doctors look at the various lymph nodes. None of the tests are 100%. Medianoscopy is the most accurate but it is invasive and can not get to reach all the lymph nodes in the chest.

Fairly often nothing is detected in the lymph nodes using the various tests until surgery. So before surgery a person is stage I or II and after surgery is Stage III.

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I can't help much but I can say that you have already had quite a bit more than most with your surgery and after. I was diagnosed with the same, IIIA, after having my upper left lobe removed. I (just yesterday) celebrated my 5 years since surgery. You can read my profile below to get all the details but I can tell you that after my initial treatments I have been cancer free.

You had a rough start, but you can do it too. Hang in there and in 5 years I'll wish you happy anniversary.


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Hi Corinne,

Boy o' boy you have been through alot in such a short period of time!!

You diagnosis story was similar to mine. I was initially stages at I with one very small spot (2cm) in my lower left lung. When I had surgery they found that the cancer had spread to my upper lung and that 21 of 22 lymph nodes were positive. I was restaged to stage IIIa - 4 years ago!!

There are survivors at all diagnosis stages here at lcsc. Let us know if we can help in your journey.


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