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I am a 61 year old male, recently diagnosed with Non small cell carcinoma. I decided to join this forum because I have some questions after studying different sites regarding lung cancer.

This is my first question: What does Standardized Uptake Value of 6.5 with an average of 3.5 mean? How are the numbers defined?

Thank you!

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you KatieB for your response.

 I have had the surgery for my right upper lobe removal, the surgery went well, and spent 7 days in the hospital. After recovery for two weeks at home I am having second thoughts about returning to work so soon. I still do not feel I am where I should be in this process. I have been able to stop the serious pain meds and take the edge off with over the counter meds, but most everyone I have read on the forum is 4 - 6 weeks before returning to work. Is this what I should expect? Also just to let you know mine was T2 stage 1 with no other cancer pathologically found, so no radiation or chemo will be needed Yay! However, I had hoped I would be further along in the recovery process by now.

 Thank you, JWH



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There is no formula for recovery time after surgery removing a portion or whole lung.  Moreover, there is no standard I've found for when one can return to work.  My surgeon was realistic about recovery time and return to work time.  He approached it incrementally.  He assessed my condition at suture removal and set an additional two week appointment.  

My pain, after about 2 weeks was largely caused by lifting something heavy with my right hand or aggressive coughing or sneezing.  I also found I needed to modify the way I approached sleeping using wedge-shaped pillows to elevate me and learning to roll out of bed rather than hoist up with my elbows.  So after about 2 weeks, my surgical site was near normal pain-wise unless I did something to aggravate it.

When should you return to work?  That is a complicated question and has more to do with your working environment (what you do, how far you need to walk, physical activity, stairs, and etc) than your surgical wound healing.  You had a lobe removed and there will be some adjustment to reduced lung capacity but I recovered more aerobic capacity than my doctors thought after my right lung was removed.  I actually pressed to go back to work because I became bored.  My HR folks said try a couple of days and if things don't go well, go home.

T2 stage 1 is an early find and hopefully your surgery is an end to this madness.

Stay the course.


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JWH - I am a Cancer "rookie" with Stage 2 non-small cell adenocarcinoma, so all of this is "new" territory for me. Based on that information, I am sitting here listening to all of the info like a "sponge", and trying to retain as much as I can. But I can honestly say, and I do firmly believe that you have joined the finest forum on this subject; additionally, you have already spoken to (via writing) to two of the most knowledgeable and caring individuals on this subject that there are, but I also want you to know that in the short period that I have been a member of this "family", you will find many, many, many more members that will be contributing to your new "bump in the road" and WE are all cheering for each other to have a positive testimonial when it is all said and done. Lastly always be positive and faithful in your healing process.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

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Thank you for this great advice. I did a half day at work yesterday and it wasn't to bad, just the usual pain and discomfort at home or work. But it was great to get out again and a break from being so bored at home. I absolutely realize how blessed I was to have this mass discovered and stage 1. My biggest problem now is sleeping. it is very hard to stay asleep, tossing and turning al night long. I'm sure over time it will improve.

bigheart.fg, You are correct, this seems like a great forum, with many nice caring folks. I will continue to keep everyone here in my thoughts and prayers.


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I also had Stage 1. I had a right lower lobectomy. in November. I concur wth Tom about using a wedge pillow to sleep. I got a 12 inch foam wedge, which elevates head and chest to 45 degrees. I used it for several months after my surgery and it made sleeping much more comfortable. I'm glad to hear you're well enough to be back to work.

Best wishes,


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