ColleenRae Posted September 22, 2018 Share Posted September 22, 2018 Hello! This is similar to a previous post I wrote with questions re: surgery, but hopefully this will be more specific. First of all, my apologies... I am a "worrier". I'm a great "disaster planner". What I'm finding is that I am not in control of as much as I would like to be with regards to all of this cancer business! My VATS surgery is scheduled for Monday, 10/01. I did finally speak with the surgeon's office scheduler, pre-registration and pre-surgery. No prior tests are planned. They don't feel an EKG is necessary and I have blood work from last July they feel is recent enough. I hope they're being diligent! My surgery will be outside of my home town (about 2 hours if traffic is good). I have transportation lined up a couple of days in advance - and a hotel/mini-suite for my son to stay in while I am in the hospital. We're arriving a couple of days early to help get him settled in (he is 20, high functioning Autism, does not drive), walk to the closest grocery store, make a practice tour of the hospital prior to surgery, etc. It will be good for me to focus on him, I think, those couple of days. I've been a bigger mess over all of this than I thought I would be. I am still terrified, but can't decide if it's of the procedure, risks of the surgery or what I'm going to find out from the pathology reports. NOT sleeping well at all. I am having a ton of pain in my shoulders and left arm (disc degeneration and arthritis) that seems to be getting worse, also affecting my sleep - and I'm concerned as I will need to extend my left arm during surgery/lay on my left side. That may end up hurting more than the side they operate on! Crying a lot it seems as well. Especially if I wake up during the night or first thing in the a.m. I know I am extremely depressed and that it really draining both emotionally and physically. Trying to get everything in order at home but the only thing I seem to be doing well at is trying to walk a lot each day. I don't think home will every be completely clean and the fridge / freezer can't hold all that I'd like to have cooked in advance! I have some questions for those of you who have gone this route before. They will probably sound trivial, but as I said, I am a worrier and keep thinking about a number of things, trying to know what to expect... Here goes: 1. Have any of you had a mediastinoscopy performed at the same time that the VATS surgery was scheduled? If so, did anyone's VATS surgery get cancelled as a result of the mediastinoscopy results? I've been told that the surgeon will start with the mediastinoscopy, nodes will be rushed to pathologist for a preliminary dx - if no cancer showing, VATS will go forward. If there is cancer, VATS will NOT go forward. I am really hoping no nodes are involved. I don't want to wake up from anesthesia to learn that only the mediastinoscopy could be done. I'll know what that means immediately... 2. Hygiene questions: Were you able to wash your hair shortly after the surgery? By yourself? Floss teeth? Shave? I wear a mouth night guard... I hope I can wear that soon (in the hospital?) as my teeth tend to shift if I don't wear it religiously - I just got a new one and want to make sure it will still fit! 3. I am really freaked out about blood clots / DVT / PE's.... I have varicose veins / venous insufficiency but the surgeon did not discuss that with me (and I did not bring it up at our initial consult). I'm not really sure what to do to prevent this (apart from walking a lot after surgery?) 4. I read another member's posts - who just had VATS - and they mentioned self-injections being needed at home??? I'd never heard of this before. Never read it anywhere else until I googled it (sounds like some medical clinics make this a routine practice when they discharge patients following lobectomy). My surgeon never mentioned this. How common is this? Have others had to do this as well? So many of you on these posts sound so very strong... I've been told what a "strong person" I am by people in my life - but I'm certainly not in this particular situation. I really am a mess. I do not feel mentally prepared for this procedure and the aftermath at all. I'm trying, but really failing. I'm exhausted just trying to get things taken care of here at home before having to leave. Stupid things keep cropping up that take up way too much energy / time that I'd rather not deal with (i.e. our bank announced they're undergoing major changes the dates I'll be at the hospital and we need to change acct number for all auto-pay's I just set up so my son doesn't have to manually pay any bills; our Internet provider just raised our monthly cost by 41%!!! I spent 2 hours on this yesterday and gave up! Life is too short for this kind of stuff!). I think one of the hardest things in all of this is that I don't know for sure if I do have cancer. It talks and walks like cancer, according to the providers, but only one of them has been willing to actually call it cancer and stage it. The surgeon I have selected has been very careful to point out that this might not be a cancer... to ensure that I understand that going into surgery. I hate the fact that I have to undergo this in order to find out. I wish there was a better way. On the other hand, I'm more than willing to lose 1/3 of my lung to find out versus not doing anything, finding out it is cancer at a later date and waiting too long to do anything about it. Life is never dull or without choices, is it???!!! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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