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pip1948

Not sure it is cancer?????

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18 hours ago, BridgetO said:

Hi Paula, I thought you were   scheduled for VATS. Was I wrong or were you switched from VATs to thoracotomy?  

Hello BridgetO!  No I was never scheduled for VATs because of scar tissue and lymph nodes that were involved. I don’t think the incision site is a big has we all expected but from what the surgeon said the whole procedure was a lot easier than he expected.  

I was just happy to get the surgery at all based on the location of the tumor and effected lymph nodes. 

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1 hour ago, BridgetO said:

Hi Paula, I was wrong!  Now that you mention it, I do remember that scar tissue. your recovery from open surgery is unusually fast,I think.

Bridget

Bridget, all the nurses and doctors said the same thing. You know they did an  epidural  on me before I went into surgery and I kept that drip until Tuesday. I personally think it helped my pain and healing. 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️ I’d never heard of doing an epidural except with having babies.  

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Wow!? Your experience is a good one! I am hoping that mine will be the same.  Our family as a whole has had a lot of surgeries!  But all of them were about hips and legs ... so non weight bearing after surgery.  My family is thinking about my recovery with those experiences in their heads. I think that I am going to have more help than I am going to want or need.  I am hoping to stay in the the hospital long enough to have the drainage tube out and be able to move around the house when I get home. 

Thank you all for your experiences, it has been so informative. 

 

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You'll be able to move around the house or even the neighborhood if you have the drain tube in. Just wear something with a waistband or belt  you can hook the bag over (I'm not sure if i remember correctly, but I think it had it's own hook. Then, if your going out, put on some kind of coat to cover iup tube and bag . That being said, I think most people do have the tube out before they come hom. I was unusual in having a persistent air leak and the air needed somewhere to go. The tube has a one way valve so air (and fluid) can get out but not back in. 

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In reading about peoples experiences, here on this site and some others, it seems that having the drainage out too soon, and/or coming home too soon, results in problems and having to go back in the hospital. I would rather stay and avoid any problems.  My surgeon did say, the drainage needs to be in as long as it needs to be in, whatever that is. 

 

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It's sort of a wash, I think, because hospitals are not the healthiest place to hang out longer than necessary.  I AM one of those who developed an air leak and had to go back in with a chest tube for a few days.  But my doctor felt I could go home and insisted I call him if it didn't resolve on its own.  It didn't, but apparently most often it does.  I wish I had stayed longer, but there was really no reason to believe it was necessary, and it wasn't that big a deal to go back in for a few days.  My complication wasn't dangerous, just very uncomfortable.  Lots of people manage to pick up infections in hospitals, which is why it's not necessarily a good idea to stay longer "just in case."

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Pip,

I had a lot of air leeks. Also had a tube at home for about a month between surgeries. The tube was in my right lower back. 

That placement made sitting in a chair, car or on most furniture very difficult. Fortunately I had an office chair with a slim back that didn’t hit the drain. 

I used a sweatshirt and my tube had a sling rig to it could look like I broke an arm with the receptacle passing for a cast. 

Sleeping was a challenge. We used wedge pillows to brace me on my side. If I rolled on to my back, I woke up in a hurry. My surgeon said the same thing. The tube stayed as long as it needed to stay. He did see me once a week to check on things and my wife changed dressing every day. 

I had a strange occurrence right before my last surgery. I was showering and the tube fell out!  That was strange. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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I am so hoping that I don't have to have the drain for a long time. I also have a financial disadvantage of being released from the hospital and then having to go back in. So, I am just hoping that I don't have any issues. But it is sounding more and more common to me. Oh well, I guess it will be what it is, and I will roll with it. 

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15 hours ago, LexieCat said:

It's sort of a wash, I think, because hospitals are not the healthiest place to hang out longer than necessary.  I AM one of those who developed an air leak and had to go back in with a chest tube for a few days.  But my doctor felt I could go home and insisted I call him if it didn't resolve on its own.  It didn't, but apparently most often it does.  I wish I had stayed longer, but there was really no reason to believe it was necessary, and it wasn't that big a deal to go back in for a few days.  My complication wasn't dangerous, just very uncomfortable.  Lots of people manage to pick up infections in hospitals, which is why it's not necessarily a good idea to stay longer "just in case."

How long did you stay in hospital the first time? 

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I went home a couple days after surgery, was already starting to swell up a bit but normally that resolves without a problem.  In my case it continued to worsen, so I called the doc and went back in for a few days.

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Well, Like I said, I guess it will be what it is, and I will just roll with it. I guess I have to trust the doctors and that they will make the right decisions.  

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Yeah, and if you don't feel right about going home when they want to discharge you, speak up.  My doc was ready to send me home the day after surgery, but since I live alone and would have no immediate help (though my neighbors were just a phone call away), I preferred to give it one more day, and nobody had a problem with that.  I'm just suggesting that staying many more days than recommended, on the off chance that you MIGHT have a problem, probably isn't a good idea.

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Wow you are so lucky they are offering surgery so quickly. I have been waiting 15 weeks and I was told after a ct with contrast (which will put me at 18 weeks since mine was found) then based on whatever they find on that test, they may refer me to a surgeon. Surgery TERRIFIES me. But dying of lung cancer scares me more. And all this waiting leaves me so worried it is spreading and only getting worse prognosis wise. 

I will pray for you for your surgery and quick healing afterwards. 

Christine. 

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 The first evidence of something in my lung was discovered on 7/20, picked up on an MRI that I had on my back. I was sent for a CT on 8/10  It wasn't until 8/21 that I saw a Pulmonary doctor and had a lung function test. I had a PET scan on 8/28, then saw the surgeon on 9/5, and surgery was scheduled for 10/26. So, from the very start of them seeing something there until surgery it will be 3 months. So 12 weeks all together. It didn't feel like things were going slowly or taking that long, until the wait between seeing the surgeon and surgery. Almost 7 weeks wait for surgery. Part of that is the robotic surgery, it is a wait because they only have one robot, I think? 

But, I was having all the tests so it felt like something was being done, but nothing is happening between seeing the surgeon and having surgery. But it is one week away now!  I am anxious to get it over with now. But, I know what you mean.  This Early Detection being the saving grace, doesn't mean much if the medical profession can't act timely.  I don't know what is considered reasonable? I mean since they found this, I have seen 3 doctors, had 3 different tests, that needed to be done. So basically it has taken a month each! 

I am not terribly frightened about any of it. I don't want to be in a lot of pain, and from everything that people who have had this surgery have said, it doesn't sound too bad. I mean sounds like a couple of tough days, but one can do anything for awhile. 

My surgeon made it sound a lot worse than anyone here has made it sound. She told me it will be a minimum of 3 days and maybe as long as 7  in hospital, and people here talk about going home the next day after surgery. She told me that it will be painful and that they will not be able to put me completely out of pain.  No one here talks like it was that painful at all? So, I guess it will be what it will be and I will find out for myself next week. 

But, what will be, will be. I am just trying to enjoy my life while I have it and not spend a lot of time thinking about losing it. It will go when it is time, and I will endure what comes in between. That is all as it should be.  But, I am 70 years old too. I have already had a full and glorious life, more than anyone can ask for. 

Maybe you need to ask your doctors about how much time it is taking and let them know that it is concerning you.

 

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Pip,

     I called yesterday and told the biopsy doctor’s receptionist that I have been having some weird sensations in my rib and some pain in my back. It just started this week. First of anything I have felt that is scary physical wise during all of this. I am praying i just pulled a muscle or something when I was lifting my mom’s wheel chair in and out of the van. 

But she said she would have him call me later in the day. It’s 3:30 pm the day after and still no call back. He just gets referrals and does biopsy’s. He really isn’t a doctor that sits down and meets and consults with patients. 

So I am at their mercy as to waiting. I honesty would not be worried had the areas in the center of my chest not lite up. Because then I researched the staging and found out if cancer cells are there (center of the chest)-it’s automatically stage 3, no matter the size of the nodule  

anyways, I am grateful you get to go in and put this behind you within three months . I will be praying for you that this is your curative procedure and this will all be behind you in a few weeks with very little and manageable pain! 😊

 

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Christine, 

 And the waiting to hear the information from the doctors can seem like forever!  Don't lose heart and hang in, when they have enough information to make a decision on treatment, they will talk to you.  But I would call my primary care doctor if I was having discomfort and pain. 

Thanks for the good wishes.

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Hi all, I have had my surgery and am home. Surgery on Friday at about 11:30, then to recovery, then to ICU, on Saturday evening they transferred me to a regular floor. Sunday afternoon they removed my chest tube and Monday late afternoon they released me and I came home. I am tired and am sleeping a lot, and using the pain meds every 6 hours and it is working pretty well for the pain, but I wouldn't want to be without it. When it wears off, it is pretty uncomfortable. It looks like I only have about another day and a half of it, so I am hoping that, it means that the pain is going to subside a lot in the next 24 hours. That would be a good thing. 

I am still coughing up bloody mucous from time to time, and my nasal passages are still sore. I am assuming that is from tubes up my nose.  They mucous I am coughing up is less and less bloody, everyday.  

Much to my surprise all of the little incisions in my side and back have steri-strips on them, and I was told to just shower as usual and let them fall off as they may. Not what I expected. I am sleeping a lot.  My doctors prescribed a muscle relaxant that CVS was back ordered on, so I just haven't been taking it? I am not sure why they prescribed it, but they did. But, I think if I was taking that I would be sleeping even more? Anyway, I am doing pretty well, I think? 

I have help from family but they are not here all the time which is the way that I wanted it, as it lets me rest. I ask my daughter-in-law to come over yesterday and help me with a shower, but I really took it all on my own. She was here just in case.  I think today I will just take my shower myself.  I have not had any bouts of dizziness so I think it is safe. This really is not a huge deal recovery wise like one might imagine.  I mean I have a ways to go, but not that far.

I was told I couldn't lift anything 10 lbs. or up for a month, and that I can't drive for a week. So not really bad at all. 

 

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Wow, PIP, it sounds like you're doing great! Sleeping a lot is good, as is moving around. walk as much as you're able. I think it's a good thing to have someone stand by while you shower, at least a few times, just in case. I'm not surprised you can shower-- the only reason my showering was limited was because I had a chest tube in for 10 days and the dressing aroung it needed to stay dry.  About pain meds-- I suggest you have tylenol and ibuprofen both on hand and start taking them, alternating doses of each one, when your pain meds run out.Don't wait until you have pain.   I hope your recovery continues as it has been-- no reason it shouldn''t.

 

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Glad to hear it's all going so well!  Sometimes I think people think we are pulling their leg when we say this kind of surgery really isn't that big a deal in terms of recovery.  I know *I* was surprised to bounce back as fast as I did.

Remember to do your breathing exercises, too--that will help.

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I am still doing OK, but still a lot of pain to deal with.  These pain killers cause me to sweat profusely. I tried not taking as much yesterday and I found that I wasn't as active either. I slept a lot yesterday and didn't make it into the shower at all.  I am tired and sore. Today is the 7th day since surgery. Perhaps I am expecting too much? 

I remember Lexiecat saying that she stopped the painkillers after a few days, but.... you went back into the hospital also, right?  So that few days was probably a lot longer after surgery?  So, maybe I am expecting too much.  Although they only gave me 5 days of the meds. So I guess that is helping develop my expectations also? 

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I continued taking pain meds for months....lowering the dosage. Tom had suggested using Salon Pas (lidocaine) patches which really helped. Everyone is different. Keep pain at bay so you can get in walks....heal.

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My doctor ordered lidocaine patches, but the pharmacy was out of them and I couldn't get them. I may try again they may have them in now.  I have sneezed a couple of times and yawned and that activity is extremely painful. This profuse sweating is awful too. I am taking the lowest dose of Oxycodone and 625 mgs of Tylenol  right now every 6 to 8 hours. I called yesterday for a refill on the script, they are suppose to call me today, and my son will go pick it up. But honestly the side effects aren't pleasant either. I don't have an appetite and stomach is a little icky and this profuse sweating.  But it is a balancing act I guess?  

Thanks for the advice

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