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Two years after surgery - bulge and pain today


LovesLife

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Hi there - I am almost two years past surgery. I have in the past year noticed a pressure (depending on the pants I am wearing) pushing up my insides - very uncomfortable. I mentioned it to my surgeon; however, he didn't seem too concerned and really didn't give me any explanation as to the reason for this feeling.

Anyhow, today I was bending over and had a sudden pain on the left middle side and as I was standing and applying pressure I felt a very hard bulge. It reduced as I stood and applied pressure. It is still tender, but not painful. In reading my CT scan from a few weeks ago it states the following: "Metallic surgical clips are noted at the left hilum related to this surgery. The left upper lobe has expanded to fill the left hemithorax. At the base of the remaining segment of the left lung, linear fibrotic change is noted." Could this be the clips? Any ideas?

I did try to post at GRACE; however, it must be something I am doing as I cannot do a new post or a reply - thus, I can't look for answers from Dr. West.

Would love to hear from anyone who has any experience with this and whether this is something I need to be concerned about right this moment. Thanks in advance.

Linda

I am heading off to a wedding but will check back in before the reception to see if any one has any thoughts on this.

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Linda, your question to Dr. West DID post on cancergrace.org. The site has been having some problems with messages APPEARING to hang and not go through when you click Post, though they actually did. If you get "Waiting for cancergrace.org..." for a long time in the status bar and the cursor hourglass keeps going, back out of the site and then re-enter, and see if the message actually posted. In practically every case you'll find that it did. See this:

http://cancergrace.org/forums/index.php?topic=324.0

Dr. West was active on the site earlier today, so maybe he'll answer today. Aloha,

Ned

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Hey Ned - thanks - I did read that before the posting; however, the problem was, as I correctly guessed - ME! I'm still not certain what I did but I know that I didn't hit the "New Post" button and when I filled out all the required information it kept saying I must have two fields before it would send. I am not used to the new system yet, but when I went back I looked under the help menu and it walked me through it. Duh! I even tried to reply to one of your posts for your help as I know you are the "computer guru/fixer upper" and knew you could send me somewhat in the right direction - but, I was doing that wrong too and couldn't ask you. I so rarely go there anymore and I am finding I am defintely a "newbie" when it comes to the new site.

Oh well, they say practice makes perfect so I will just have to visit there more often and learn to navigate the new look. Thanks again for the information though - this was just human error this time though - not computer error.

Take care Ned,

Linda

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Linda,

I just spent an hour going through old posts - don't ask me why I just didn't type it up agan :shock::D , but I wanted to give you this link from a post I had done about a similar type of pain.

http://lungevity.org/l_community/viewto ... highlight=

Not sure if it is the same thing, but I still get this pain - I twist or bend in a certain way and its almost like my diaphram or lung or something is coming through my rib cage. The pain takes my breath away and then after about 10 seconds it subsides, I can almost feel something roll back, and I am left with a soreness. I can go weeks and months without it happening, and then have it happen several times in one day.

There were actually people at my old job who had back and lung surgery that experienced the same sensation and could not get answers. Not sure if this is what is happening to you, but wanted to share- I have had it since about 3 months or so after my surgery.

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Hey Debi - I know you have better things to do with your time than searching through old posts - so thanks for doing that for me.

With mine I could actually feel a bulge push out and then reduce when I put pressure on it...I could actually feel the bulge and see it sticking out...yuck! I am wondering if it could be some kind of hernia from a weakness in that particular area. Dr. West told me that it likely wouldn't be the surgical clips as it is far from the fibrosis. He wondered if it was something in the chest wall or skin - or just old scarring.

Anyhow, I guess I best get on to my surgeon first thing Monday a.m. and see how many weeks it will be before they can fit me in to talk this over. Of course, this has kind of freaked me out a bit and hoping whatever it is can be fixed easily. Perhaps like you said it is the diaphram shifting and causing this and I just have to tough it out when it happens. I'll let you know when I get this figured out though (if I ever do!).

Take care and thanks again - I am your #1 fan!

Linda

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Hi Linda-

I have not had that surgery but I think maybe you should call the PDQ and let him know about this newest incident. Doesn't sound quite right to me and its better to be safe than sorry!!!

Good luck - please let us know what they say.

Hugs - Patti B.

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I actually asked my surgeon about this when I was there last month. What happens to me is sometimes when I bend or twist in a certain way, I get a spasm under my diaphram at the bottom of my rib cage that takes my breath away for about 10 seconds.

After that initial sharp pain goes away, I have soreness that feels like a bad bruise, but with no discoloration, for a few days. It only happens a few times a year, but it definately gets my attention.

Dr. said that it's due to the instability of the structures inside my rib cage now, and things are rearranged and not holding everything in place as it did before I had a lobectomy. He also said that spreading the ribs caused pressure at the bottom of the rib cage, and that this is a normal occurrence.

While there is nothing I can do about it, except not move my body in a way to cause that, it's also not anything to worry about, despite being very painful.

So, that happens a few times a year, and it's uncomfortable and sore, but not uncommon.

Cindy

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Hey Cindy - I was definitely bent over and it was painful. The area has always been somewhat tender (on the left side where the lobe was removed, but more towards the centre of my chest just above abdomen) but this was something. There is, like you said, no discoloration but it is still a bit sore today.

When I spoke to the surgeon before about how uncomfortable it feels sometimes - like having my stomach stuffed up into my chest - he didn't really explain anything other than things shift and move and it's nothing to worry about. I went with that explanation and figured it was a small price to pay for being fortunate enough to have surgery. This, though, worried me as I thought something was going to poke right through my skin! Anyhow, if nothing else it has totally motivated me to shed some weight as I don't think my body can tolerate any extra in the middle anymore as it appears it resides in my chest :lol: !

I will contact my GP and my surgeon's office - but it is likely that this is just part and parcel of a lobectomy and the body moving parts to compensate for what is gone. I appreciate your input though as I realize I am not the only one who goes through these unexpected aches and pains after surgery.

I have learned (I am a quick learner) that I will now bend at the knees (like they always teach us to do) and not bend full over as that seemed to be the instigator in this situation.

Have a great week!

Linda

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Just wanted to let you know that I went and saw my GP today. It turns out I am the proud owner of a hiatal hernia. I guess those are the symptoms I have been having over the year (pressure) and excessive heartburn. Anyhow, no tests were run, but given the symptoms he was pretty certain that is the cause. Surgery is a possibility in the future; however, I am going to lose some weight, give up my coffee, wine, citrus fruits and chocolate (boo hoo) and hopefully I can avoid that avenue. I guess I wasn't kidding about my middle residing in my chest :!:

So, the coffee withdrawal headache has already begun, but luckily that only lasts a couple of days :)

Thanks for everyone's support and caring. I'm happy that it wasn't something cancer related :D .

Linda

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glad that is what it is! I too have a hiatal hernia--apparently they are common. Mine never buldged, but I am on nexium.

I did have it diagnosed after having an endoscope.

And rest assured--coffee is still on my food plan daily. I did cut back on the diet coke and the chocolate. oh--wine too, but in much smaller amounts. I shouldn't have it anyway with the past breast cancer.

gail

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Gail - after reading your post my husband suggested that I should at least get a referral to ensure that it is indeed a hiatal hernia. Most of the research I have done on the internet has said that you cannot see the bulge; however, my GP said that due to the fact that I was bent over the pressure could have pushed it through (he believes the hole is large enough that strangulation isn't an issue) and when I stood up and pressed on it it slid back into place. I will feel better getting the testing done to correctly diagnose what type of hernia it is as some definitely require surgery and others, such as hiatal, don't.

As to the coffee - until I get rid of abit of weight I will refrain (hope I can return to my coffee someday as I will miss it!). The wine - that will be a tough one for me as I like a glass of red wine daily. Again, my thought is to drop everything right now and perhaps work back in the coffee and the wine later when things settle down. I will keep the Nexium in mind as well.

Thanks for sharing your story - it made us want to investigate further with a specialist.

Linda

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Linda -

I certainly am glad it is only a hernia (who ever thought we would be saying that, huh) but I do feel sorry for you about the coffee, chocolate and wine!!! Boo!!! Have you ever tried the Maxwell Lite coffee only half the caffeinne and tastes just like the real thing. Maybe you could wean yourself off slowly.

Glad you may push for more tests. Can't hurt and then you would know for sure.

Will be thinking of you.

Hugs - Patti B

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Hey Sandra - I felt like a whiny baby putting out my dismay about giving up some of my favorite stuff, especially as after I posted I realized what you had gone through that day. Certainly made me put things into perspective. I find at times, because I don't live with the daily fear that I forget how very fortunate I am and thereby complain about the "small stuff". When I read the trials and tribulations that many of the members on here are going through, I realize I must work harder at being thankful for all my "good stuff". I am now looking at this as I am not "giving up something" but "gaining something". I learned a very important lesson and it is not easy to teach an old dog new tricks :) .

Patti - you are so helpful - I am going out to purchase some of the Maxwell Lite (my husband thanks you too - apparently I have been a tad bit grumpier without my coffee the past two days :lol: ).

Linda

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Linda -

Hope you and your husband like it - my company is always surprised to hear its not the real deal.

If you took away my coffee, chocolate and wine my husband would go beserk!!!! Especially that I can be grumpy even with all of those!! :lol:

Hugs - Patti B.

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