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Hi I'm De, a new lung cancer survivor.


DeLung

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Hi there,

My name is De and I'm 35 year old lung cancer survivor. I had my left lung removed on 2/28/11 and for now do not have to have chemo nor radiation treatments.

After 8 years of being a long distance runner, I was diagnosed at 22 years old with asthma. Since then I have had pneumonia 5 times as well as yearly turns with bronchitis. My doctor just gave me the same antibiotics as well as asthma medicine and would send me on my way. Up until recently I had not had my chest x-rayed in 12 years.

Turns out I did not have Asthma, I had a carcinoid tumor growing on my lung. This tumor caused me to have limited breathing as well as heavy weezing for the better part of 12 years! As sad as it sounds I had begun to think that I would always have limited breathing as well as asthma for the rest of my life.

This past January I went to the doctor with what I thought was the flu. After he x-rayed my chest and examined me he sent me to the ER. Turns out half of my left lung was taken over by a nasty pneumonia and there was a mysterious "growth" showing as well.

After 10 hours in the ER and 1 C.A.T. scan later I was admitted. They treated me for the pneumonia and did a bronchiscope/ biopsy of the tumor which was unsuccessful. I went home a week later very scared and still getting my health back from the pneumonia.

After another bronchiscope/ biopsy on Valentine's Day, I was scheduled for a complete pneumectomy of my left lung.

I am a few months out now and breathing better than ever. I have not wheezed a single time since my surgery! While I am still dealing with a bit of post surgical pain and physical therapy, I look forward to a healthier, stronger tomorrow.

I am so grateful at the chance to get to have a tomorrow and know that not everybody is as lucky. Is there anyone out there who has also undergone this type of surgery? Any and all info on what to expect down the road would be greatly appreciated.

Keep breathing,

De

:)

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De - Welcome the club none of us really wants to belong to. This is a great site to belong to. There are so many nice people on here, and they are very supportive.

I had my left lung removed in 1998. I did not have any chemo or radiation. I was 50 then, so much older than you, and not in particularly great physical condition to begin with. I had COPD, so my remaining right lung was not in tip top shape either. I did very well with just one lung. Our bodies are amazing, and over time the remaining lung expanded and did a lot of the work of both. It took some time for my body to recuperate from the surgery and get used to the new normal, but eventually I was able to do almost as much as I could before surgery. It may seem strange, but with lung cancer, being a candidate for surgery is a good thing.

Another excellent site for information and support is cancergrace.org. I encourage you to check it out.

Please keep us posted as to how you are doing.

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Good Morning De,

Its just gone 2 am in Scotland here,woke up couldnt get back to sleep,thought I'd check the mail.Gosh what a story you have to share-I am so sorry for its outcome resulting in a cancer dx and a following Pneumectomy.It must be so frustrating for you that it has taken so long to get to the root cause of your lung problem?.I suppose given your athletic background and youth, would have thrown your doctors off track?

Great support from Diane? you both share the same surgery and she is doing so well,I happen to have had a Lobectomy to my upper right lung,also the removal of one nearest lymph node involved.This surgery was preceeded with 4 cycles of neo adjuvant chemo to shrink the tumour to operable size-it worked-to my relief.I did prefer the surgery option to radiotherapy as we call it in the UK.

I had my surgery in January 2009,and I have had no further treatments since,I returned to work March 2009 and now after 39 years of teaching,I am retiring from work this Friday-mixed feelings,worked all my life bit uncertain how I will adjust?.Sorry I do tend to wander when I post.

Back on track-anyway-its always a pleasure to meet a new friend here,you will just love the buddies here they are all so knowlegable about a whole range of LC issues and so friendly not forgetting great fun.So enjoy getting to know everyone(gosh when I was knee high to a grasshopper,I remember my primary school teacher drumming into us never begin a sentence with And, But or So)Byee

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Hi De,

I was at a conference a year ago and there was this tiny woman there too. I wish I could recall her name, a real spitfire, from NYC. She was quite a bit older than you - older than me even. She had one lung, and had gone back to running. She had to leave the conference early I think, in order to run a marathon! Not everyone can manage that much conditioning, but I've heard of more than one.

Another woman I know had one full side removed - she is another fit spitfire. She feels those stairs, but she is always in motion, works, advocates, travels, and forgets that she was once a patient.

Don't beat yourself up, but do push. There are some organizations that really promote exercise after cancer recovery, and can provide some resources to encourage you in your pursuit of fitness if you are interested. Do you mind sharing where you are located in case anyone has specific organizations to suggest?

Bests.

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Welcome De. I love your log on name. *It's a wonder that no one has thought of that before!

Sounds like you are doing really well. It will take time to get over that surgery. Glad that Dr. finally looked deeper into your problem. Keep us posted.

Donna G

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Welcome, De, glad you found us! I was a long distance cyclist when my cancer was found. I only lost one lobe, and returned to my cycling pretty quickly after surgery.

Best wishes for you and I'll look forward to hearing more.

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HI De,

I'm so glad you found us. I have a lung cancer survivor advocate from NY state that is a long distance runner. Her cancer was found very similarly to yours. With a never-smoking history it was assumed she had asthma too.

Well, she had part of her lung removed in 2006 or 2007 and continues to run marathons today. Her name is Lois. I can introduce you both if you'd like to connect with her.

I'm so glad you found us and I look forward to reading more and getting to know you,

Hugs,

K

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Hi Diane, Eric, TS, Donna and Katie,

Pleasure to meet you. Wish it was under different circumstances thou. I thank you each for reaching out to me and for the information on others who were active post lung removal.

I am now 10 weeks out and am feeling better every day. I am actually starting a new running program tomorrow morning with my neighbor and workout buddy Deesha. It's the Couch to 5K program that takes you gradually back into running. I am nervous but I really want to be fit and healthy again and well, it's time to start somewhere... wish me luck.

Katie- I would love to be put in contact with the distance runner that you know. My home e-mail address is telluricd@yahoo.com. Please feel free to pass it along to her.

After scouring the web and not finding too much I am grateful to have a chance to speak with someone who shared similar experience.

Well, take care and keep breathing all.

Regards,

De

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Sounds great, De. Good luck with your run.

When I got back on the bike after surgery, I just rode at a very easy pace for a while. When I did get around to pushing myself again, I was bugged by shortness of breath when sprinting or climbing. That happened before any feeling of fatigue, burning in my legs, or anything else, not like what I'd always experienced before.

But your body seems to adjust, and your new normal will feel like just that, normal that is, soon enough. I'd love to hear updates on how it goes. I did a 200k randonneuring ride yesterday, and always have to smile when I think of how far I've come, fitness-wise, since being knocked so low with surgery and chemo.

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