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Shelkay1

Lobectomy Tomorrow

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My lobectomy surgery is tomorrow, Friday 9/14. It seemed like forever getting here & now it's here already. I'm first in the morning, need to be there @ 5:30 & surgery time is 7:30. Surgeon is planning on VATs with about a 25% - 30% chance of needing to go open. I've had so many surgical procedures in the past, I'm okay with everything for now. House is mostly cleaned, meals planned, I bought a wedge for sleeping in bed & bag is packed. Any other words of wisdom you all have?
Ps: I found an awesome shirt to wear tomorrow!

Screenshot_20180913-133416_Gallery.jpg

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LOL, love the shirt.  :)  Sounds to me like you're good to go!  Try to get to bed early if you can and get a good night's rest.  It may be a bit hard to sleep for the first few nights after your surgery, though that should improve quickly.  

Good luck, hope everything goes great.  You'll be fine.

Post and check in as soon as your able to.  

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Shelkay,

Start taking laxatives now. 

You'll be on a morphine push for 12 to 18 hours after surgery and injections after that.  Need to get a head start on eliminating constipation.  

Stay the course.

Tom

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Thanks LexieCat & Tom. I'm heading to bed soon & hope to sleep (with a little help from ambien)💤, I'll need to be up at 3:00 am.The laxative sounds like a good idea, but since it's not been approved by the anesthesiologist or surgeon, I'm not sure I should.

Hopefully I will know before too long about it's staging & the chemo plans.       I'll update when I'm awake & alert again.

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Shelkay1,

I wish I could have written earlier - you are (hopefully) sleeping peacefully right now!

You sound so brave... I admire that so very much!  I will look forward to your update post to hear how everything went.  Sending positive thoughts / wishes your way!

I have my lobectomy scheduled for October 1st but I get to sleep in a bit longer... Don't have to be at the hospital until 8:30 a.m.! :-)  I loved your shirt and, again, your outlook and attitude.  I am still feeling petrified about all of this.  Trying to make plans and have all organized as best as I can. You sound amazing. That will carry you far! Good Luck!

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Thanks ColleenRae, as time time gets closer, the less relaxed I'm becoming; even with meds to help me sleep, I didn't  do very well. Almost time to get up & shower, recheck my bag, wake my hubsand & head to Hershey, its about a hours drive & I need to be there now @5:00. I'll get a good nap starting around 7:30 for 5 hours or so. I'll update here when I can & I'll be following you to see how you are doing.

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Sending prayers and hugs for you and your surgery. At M D Anderson, Houston, they were clear that I shouldn't feel pain. They wanted me to get up to walk the evening of my VATS. I was in the hospital Friday to Sunday. It was so nice to be home. I found the wedge uncomfortable to sleep on. I used a big, comfy reading pillow with 2 more pillows stacked on top of each other. I was up and doing some walking daily. Gummy fiber pills helped with constipation. Bless you.

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Lobectomy happened yesterday as planned. My doctor was a little late getting in but right after he initialed my chest with his purple marker, things moved fast. I agreed to take part of another study; for this one they put small guitar looking electrodes on my arms, chest & forehead to monitor nerve pain & nunbness due to my position during a long surgery. I think in was in the OR for about 5 hours, this incluted a lot of prep.
After it was all done Dr. Reed went & talked with Keith and Sarah; he said it went well but did mention again about chemo in my future. I'm hoping for more information while I'm here, but its looking doubtful. I probably won't know anything till my appointment on the 25th.
They are talking about discharge already today, Im actually hoping not; my pain level is still pretty great.
Catheter came out late last night & chest drain was pulled out early this  morning.

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Great--sounds like everything went perfectly!  I'm so glad you had the VATS--not to worry, you'll be feeling much better in just a day or two, and you will heal fast.  If you feel you need to stay one more night, tell them that.  I did.  I live alone and didn't want to go home before I felt able to get around better.

You'll know more when you get the path report.  For now, just concentrate on your recovery.  Don't forget to do your breathing exercises, even if they make you cough a lot.  The coughing is good for you.  

Good job!  :) 

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Shelkay1,

From surgery Friday to post today, I'd say that is pretty remarkable! As others have suggested, ensure your pain is manageable before leaving the hospital.  Once home, wall yourself off from school aged children.  A chest cold is not something you want to catch.  

Many of us have had post surgical chemo and it is a good thing.  Generally, the dose rate is lower and you might not even loose your hair.  Its purpose is to catch cancer cells that may be in your blood stream.

Recover.  Keep in touch.

Stay the course.

Tom

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I'm absolutely amazed to hear from you so quickly... to even be able to type an update! Glad to hear it. I'm learning from your experience and others.  Thank you for keeping us posted. Hoping you won't leave the hospital until you feel absolutely ready and pain is under control.  Take it as easy as possible and know we are all rooting for you.

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Thank you all, yes I am very glad they were able to do it as a VATS, overall I really don't feel too bad. Suprising since last night was not a great one. My congested feel & inability to cough much up got the respiratory therapist called in. She gave me a couple of breathing treatments & one of those green things to blow in to loosen up the mucus, together they helped.
My oxygen level dropped too low so I was put back on oxygen for a few hours. It seems ok now & I'm back off it.
My blood pressure dropped & stayed too low, so I was back on IV for a while too; it got my top #s back into the 90s, it is a watch & see for now.
I've not been able to really do any walking, except to the bathroom & back to bed. So, not only did I not go home yesterday, it looks like I'll be here tonight too.

My pain is pretty well controlled & I am scheduled for some walking tonight and also some training myself to do blood thinner injections.

I have had some visitors yesterday & today, but I've asked my daughters with kids in daycare & school to stay away for now, As long as tonight goes as good as my day has, I should be going home tomorrow. 

As Tom says, I'm staying the course!

 

 

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Fabulous news! So happy your surgeon was able to do VATS...you will feel better and better each day if you take it slowly.

Good luck and if you are ready, I hope you go home tomorrow!!

Ro

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You sound great - in spite of some difficulties! Your optimism is very helpful. Hope it all continues to go well for you! Thanks for keeping us posted.

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You're doing great, Shel!  Seems like there are often little wrinkles, but you'll get past those.  My bet is you'll get cut loose tomorrow.  

Thanks for the updates.  The walking around will be good for you.  :)

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Today is Wednesday 9/19; I came home from the hospital Monday afternoon. I did have some drop in my BP & oxygen levels Sunday overnight, but not nearly as bad as the night before. They sent me home with a large paper grocery bag of meds & supplies. A big part of this was 4 weeks worth of blood thinner  injections. I was trained on to give these injections to myself; my DH also learned to give these in case I need a back up. 
I've been doing pretty well overall. Shots are going good & DH took care getting my meds organized to make sure I kept on schedule with them. I'm now using an app on my phone called "MediSafe", he'll be going back to work tomorrow & I'll be on my own. I'm still having some pain, put keeping on schedule is helping a lot. 
As mentioned previously, I don't expect to know anything more until the 25th. This always waiting...

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You sound great!  I assume the blood thinners are just until you're more active, to avoid the threat of clots from not moving around?  

I had to give myself insulin injections during my second pregnancy (gestational diabetes) and it's not so bad when you get used to it.  I was happy to be done with it, but it wasn't awful.  

Glad you're home and feeling better!

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My oh my! Look who's home.

Stay active, even if it is to get up out of a chair.  Do your breathing exercises.  Most importantly, stay away from children.  After my first surgery, a well intended neighbor brought her child in to visit.  Three days later, I was back in the hospital with a temperature of 104!  That illness started a year's worth of surgical mayhem.

Stay the course.

Tom

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It is good to be home even if I'm not doing a whole lot more. On the plus I do  have a bigger TV & more channel options. I'm eating better, I pre-planned meals & stocked my freezer, plus my friends & family are good cooks too. My med schedule & waking up in the middle of the night is mostly unchanged. I'm doing good with all my breathing exercises on my own & doing laps inside the house. DH has been staying home with me most of the time, tomorrow I'm on my own, although a few folks will most likely be checking in on me. One of my bigger concerns right now is my grandchildren coming over. Way before Cancer came calling, we had this coming weekend planed. All 6 of our girls and their families are in town & will be at our place on Saturday, along with grandparents. 5 of the 6 grandkids either go to school or daycare. I'll be spending most of my time locked in the BR away frin the crowd, but I will be with them a little of the time. I have lots of hand sanatizers available.

Another thing I find myself doing is falling asleep a lot in the middle of anything & I'm doing that now, so... goodnight!

 

 

 

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Hand sanitizers are a good idea.  Ask the kids to use them too. Consideir a mask. Get someone to wipe down surfaces (doorknobs, light switches, etc) with disinfecting wipes after the kids leave.  Have fun!

Bridget O

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9/26
I had my follow up appointment with Dr. Reed, my thoracic surgeon yesterday morning. I had a chest x-ray first and then talked about how I was feeling. I have some fluid in the pockets where the lobe was removed, this is what is causing the breathlessness I get when sitting up straight or leaning/bending forward. My heart will shift over a little, the upper lube of my lung should move down a little to fill in the empty space and my left shoulder will probably drop a little; once everything moves around into their "new normal" places, this fluid should dissipate over time. The continuing pain in my chest area is most likely nerve endings that were severed and just needs a lot of time to heal. My meds were changed around to hopefully help me handle this pain better.
The conversation then moved to what they found, the staging and whats next. Dr. Reed said with what he removed, they are staging my cancer at a Stage 2B/ T3 N0 M0 (based on size, multiple tumors & contained in 1 lobe)  due to this staging, I will be need  some chemo to help make sure the cancer is stopped. One of the other concerns... because of the location of the largest tumor, in the center against my heart, they are not certain they got it all. Because of this I will most likely need some radiation too.
I next met with my chemo oncologist; he explained the cocktail of drugs (cisplatin & Alimta) to be used,  treatment schedule and side effects. This will all be starting on 10/25, 4 rounds of only 1 treatment per round; it will be every 3 weeks with the last one planned for 12/27. A lot of unpleasant sounding side effects, but I probably won't lose my hair, YEAH! We meet Thursday with the radiation oncologist to see what the recommendations are for that. I'll give a brief update following that visit.
Since my diagnosis, I've had a lot of time to think about my cancer, ask a lot of whys and read scripture looking for understanding. This is one that hits home with me!  God has forgiven my sins, has already taken me out of the pit I was in & has blessed me in more ways than I ever thought I deserved. This is only the beginning of what he has planned! He can heal this disease!

Psalms 103:2-4 – Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.

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Sounds great, Shelby!  And the schedule means you should be feeling good for Christmas, which is nice.  A lot of people don't have that tough a time with side effects, and with the relatively light dose, hopefully you will skate on that.

And I think the explanation for your discomfort sounds very reasonable--my bet is you'll be feeling MUCH better before too long.

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