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Still scared


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My lung cancer was found early by a CT scan done for a routine heart scan. Within 2 weeks I had surgery to remove the LLL. Five lymph nodes tested negative and I was classed as stage 1a with no Chemotherapy needed. My surgeon said I did not need to see an oncologist but he would schedule regular Pet scans to check 3 other nodules in my right lung that showed no sign of cancer with the first Pet scan. I am still scared, still having a lot of pain, and wonder if I will ever be the same active, fun loving person I used to be. The depression is devastating. I am 5 weeks post surgery and really thought I would be feeling much better than I do now. I am 58 years old but was very active and in perfect health before this. Thanks, I feel better just getting it out.

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Hi Rockygirl and welcome - although I'm sorry you had reason to find us.

I was diagnosed 2a in 1998. I had surgery to remove my left lung, and no chemo or radiation. I'm not sure what type of surgery you had (they now have VATS, but that wasn't done in '98) - but whatever type you had it takes a long time to completely recover. First, depression is not unusual. Being hit with a lung cancer diagnosis is a pretty big deal and knocks most of us for a loop. I was told I was completely cured and to go live my life. Easy for them to say! For me I'm not sure what was worse, the fear or the depression. If you think anti-depressants might help - don't hesitate to talk to your doctor. As for the fear - that just takes time. I think it took me most of 4 years to really get over most of it. Getting over the surgery was, thankfully, faster - but although I was feeling pretty good at 6 months, I truly was not 100% until almost a year out. Be kind to yourself, you've been through a lot! You will get back to normal (perhaps a new normal), but nothing take the place of time. I lost my entire lung and eventually could do as much after as I could before the surgery - but as I said, that came slowly over the course of the first year.

Please come back and let us know how you are doing.

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I did not have VATS, my surgeon said I was not a candidate for it. I had the regular thoracotomy. Thank you for your reply. I have found this site to be so helpful. I really felt so alone before I found it. I felt like no one understood how I felt. I still don't think anyone believes just how much this changes your life unless you have been through it. I will talk to the doctor about the antidepressants, I cry all the time. I just miss the old me and I feel bad for my sweet husband for having to see me like this. Thank you again, you will never know how much I appreciate your reply. It does give me hope.

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Hi

I submitted a reply to your post last night but it disappeared somewhere. I had VATS and was staged 1B. That was in 2007. I think it is normal how you are feeling now with being so new on this journey. It is a big change not only in the patients lif but also family , friends, etc. Things will begin to fall in place and you will find your new " normal". It will get easier as you get farther out.

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Thanks for the update! I'm glad you've found this site so helpful. There are so many wonderful members here with a wealth of information and support. Please keep us updated ((hugs))

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Feel free to vent here anytime. We have a great group of friends here who have open arms and supportive information for you. Depression can be consuming, have you thought about talking to a Nurse Navigator about your feelings? Maybe she (or he) could recommend you to a therapist until you feel better.

We will be here waiting for you anytime. Here is a link to "Faces of Hope". It's one of my favorite links to visit. I hope you will find some hope here too. http://events.lungevity.org/site/PageSe ... s_of_Hope#

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Rockygirl how are you feeling?

It's been a couple weeks since your post- are you feeling stronger since surgery?

It's a lot of pressure on yourself to be back to "normal" and you've endured a very serious surgery and trauma to your body. While I've known people to be riding a bike for many miles a couple of weeks after surgery, I also know some people who had nerve damage and chronic pain who struggle with their surgery site and lingering pain years after. I know that's a wide range of recovery- but I wanted to let you know that however you are feeling is normal for YOU as frustrating as it may be.

Have you considered pulmonary rehabilitation? There is more evidence that pulmonary rehab before and after surgery can help those who have had lung surgery improve breathing, pain control and quality of life. Just a suggestion.

I hope to see an update from you soon. Please know that we all are here and continue to be here for you.

Best hopes,

KatieB

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Thanks Katie for your post. I do feel much better than I did. I am scheduled to start pulmonary rehab next week. I hope it helps. My only real pain from the surgery is my rotator cuff. Where it had been tied up so long for the surgery apparently something happened and caused a rotator cuff injury. I am going to physical therapy for that as well. All in all I am blessed to be alive.

Thank you again for your reply.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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