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Non Small Cell Lung Cancer


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I've just been diagnosed with andenocarcinoma of the lung. I got all the results on Friday from the PET-CT, Brain MRI, EBUS, etc... It APPEARS to be stage 1, localized to the lower lobe of the left lung. So I'm lucky.

However, there is a second, smaller spot on the upper lobe of the left lung. They won't know if it's cancer until they do surgery to remove the first tumor.

And the Brain MRI showed what they believe is a meningioma, but again, can't know for certain that it's not related to the lung cancer. I have an appointment pending with the neurologist who, according to the oncologist, will likely repeat the MRI in six weeks and keep monitoring it.

I now have to decide where I want the surgery done. I didn't like the first surgeon we saw at Holy Cross/Ft. Lauderdale who ruled out any minimally invasive type of surgery, which is what I'm looking for. We have appointments this week at UF Cancer Center in Orlando, Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa, Cleveland Clinic in Weston and one more smaller hospital down here in South Florida with a surgeon who is very highly regarded.

I'm in the Coral Springs (suburb of Ft Lauderdale) area.

I'm leaning toward trying to stay local so I don't have to endure a long car ride after surgery, but Moffitt is supposed to be first class. Would a 4 hour car ride be unbearable?

Any ideas from someone who's been through it would be appreciated.



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A car ride after surgery, yes I've done that.  The ride was unpleasant for two reasons.  Discomfort and a loss of depth perception from all the post surgery pain medications I received.  I was stomping on an imaginary break pedal every time a vehicle passed on the highway, and of course complaining about my wife's driving.  I survived each ride home but not because of surgical discomfort but because I have a loving and understanding wife.

So it is my experience that the ride home will not be comfortable.  Would a 4 hours ride be unbearable?  I can't answer that for you because my longest was 45 minutes and it was uncomfortable being strapped into a seat with healing incisions.  I guess I could have made 4 hours but wouldn't want to.

Choosing a surgeon you are comfortable with is so important.  My surgeon was recommended by my general practitioner who was very experienced and well connected in our metropolitan area.  He picked what turned out to be the best guy for I didn't have one surgery but, due to complications, four in the course of a year.  I'd be trying to determine the best surgeon among your choices and that would be my first decision criteria.  Have you asked your GP or oncologist?  Here is a thought.  Visit your oncology practitioner's practice location and ask one of several oncology nurses.  I've found them to be really helpful with questions about doctors.  I found my pulmonologist based upon a recommendation from my chemo nurse.  

Also important to consider is the surgical hospital.  Thoracic surgery is a team activity.  My GP told me the best place was where thousands of surgeries were performed.  Team experience is so important. A place that performs many thoracic surgeries has a well trained surgical team ready to effectively handle complications.  And, unfortunately there are complications.

Let us know how we can be of further help.  

Stay the course.


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