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Moonbeam

All has happened so fast....

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Hi. My husband, age 50, was diagnosed with lung cancer on Nov. 14th after having a bronchoscopy. Non small cell poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma in his left lung. His was in a hard to reach area...in his left mainstream bronchus. Needless to say, we went to Moffitt Cancer Center where he had a left thoracotomy, left pneumonectomy, thoracic lymphadenectomy, and a peddled vascularized pleural flap on Dec. 10th. The surgery was a success, lymph nodes removed and here we are 15 days later. We received more news...staging: PT2a PN1 - they said stage IIIa...so many emotions obviously. I'm numb, scared and so praying he can beat this. He obviously feels the same and add to trying to recover from surgery. One issue he has had is his voice. He has left recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy? hoarse and raspy. He is always cold. is that normal? No fever obvi. He is starting chemo at the end of January and will have 4 treatments i believe followed by radiation. we both are so afraid. I'm trying to remain strong and positive for him, myself and our two kids (23 and 21) They are going to do genetic testing as well.

So here I am Christmas Day introducing myself and hoping that sharing his story will have fellow members give advice, share similar stories and tell me what more I can do to make sure he beats this. 

 

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Moonbeam,

Merry Christmas and welcome here. 

Bottom line up front. Your husband and I share a surgery and my diagnosis was nearly 15 years ago. So if I can live, so can your husband. 

I recall being cold for a period after recovering from my pneumonectomy (right lung). I believe my surgeon told me it was my body adjusting to my new pulmonary capacity. My wife put a heating pad over my incision area and cranked up the electric blanket. The chills waned in a short time. 

The laryngeal problem may be from intubation. I experienced an uncooperative epiglottis after my surgery due to inflammation from intubation. Hopefully that will clear quickly. 

Get him healed up and well. Read into lung cancer at our Lung Cancer 101 section of the LUNGevity.org website. For now focus on healing. We’ll have plenty of time to help you prepare for post surgical treatment. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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Hello Moonbeam.  I was diagnosed when I was 50 years old with Stage 3 B NSCLC.  I had chemo, radiation, surgery, more chemo.

I am so glad his doctors jumped right in and started his  treatment .  The surgery takes a while to heal before he can have chemo.

I hope he responds as well as I did.  I had my 71 st Birthday this year.  Please keep us posted.

Donna G

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Tom and Donna...Thank you so much for responding...he was so very fortunate his pulmonologist acted so fast. He was sick for about 2 weeks with what his doctor thought was asthma and bronchitis. After two weeks of being on meds, his breathing was the same. I called a pulmonologist and he got him in right away and diagnosed him with stridor on the inhalation and exhalation. My husband quit smoking a year ago. He immediately called for blood work, CT scan and a bronchoscopy. All were done in 4 days!!! He knew something was wrong and we are so blessed he acted so quickly. Blessed to have found him. We chose Moffitt Cancer Center because of his surgeon and the ease of being a cancer center. As I said, surgery went well. Healing has been fine. It's an adjustment and it obvi hasn't been easy for him. Sleepless nights. Trying to get comfortable. Emotions all over the place. Frustration with the raspiness and low sounding voice. Pain in ribs...you get the idea. The biggest is sleeping at night. He's exhausted as he has a hard time staying asleep and being cold all the time. Heating pad is a great idea. Any other suggestions with position etc so he can get some much needed sleep? When will his ribs feel better? We go back to Moffitt on the 23rd of January. Debating whether to do chemo there every 3 weeks or closer to our home?. Any thoughts? Thank you so very much for responding. I am so glad to have found this site. I'm researching so much to make sure all I's are dotted and T's crossed. 

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Moonbeam,

Here are some things that may help.  Have you purchased a wedge pillow for his bed?  I found sleeping elevated, about 15 or so degrees, was a very comfortable way to deal with post surgical pain. Audition these pillows at a mattress store, then note the name and model number and order online for substantial savings. Here is another: purchase Salon Pas Lidocaine pads (get at drug store) or get a prescription for Lidocaine transdermal pads.  Apply these to his incision scars about 1/2 hour before his bed time.  I still use them when my incision pain flares up.

His chemotherapy will be pretty standard.  I found it much easier to get my chemo at a small clinic close to home.  I appreciated the individual attention a smaller setting offered plus the convenience of not having to fight traffic.  

Stay the course.

Tom 

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Hi Moonbeam and welcome. I second Tom's advice about a wedge pillow.My surgery was much less invasive than your husband's, but i found the wedge pillow helped me breath easier. Mine was a 12 inch high wedge that gave me about 45 degrees of elevation.

Best wishes,

Bridget O

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Yes, we have a wedge pillow. I am going to go to drug store to get the pads and if I can't find them, will have his doctor call in a prescription. Thank you soooo much!!!!

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Feeling sad to hear about your husband, I suggest Mediflow pillow by using this he can take breathe more freely. My uncle facing the same problem now he is using this pillow he bought it from My Pillow Coupon, hope it will work for your husband too and he will definitely feel much better.

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On 12/25/2018 at 3:12 PM, Moonbeam said:

Hi. My husband, age 50, was diagnosed with lung cancer on Nov. 14th after having a bronchoscopy. Non small cell poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma in his left lung. His was in a hard to reach area...in his left mainstream bronchus. Needless to say, we went to Moffitt Cancer Center where he had a left thoracotomy, left pneumonectomy, thoracic lymphadenectomy, and a peddled vascularized pleural flap on Dec. 10th. The surgery was a success, lymph nodes removed and here we are 15 days later. We received more news...staging: PT2a PN1 - they said stage IIIa...so many emotions obviously. I'm numb, scared and so praying he can beat this. He obviously feels the same and add to trying to recover from surgery. One issue he has had is his voice. He has left recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy? hoarse and raspy. He is always cold. is that normal? No fever obvi. He is starting chemo at the end of January and will have 4 treatments i believe followed by radiation. we both are so afraid. I'm trying to remain strong and positive for him, myself and our two kids (23 and 21) They are going to do genetic testing as well.

So here I am Christmas Day introducing myself and hoping that sharing his story will have fellow members give advice, share similar stories and tell me what more I can do to make sure he beats this. 

 

keep hope alive it is very difficult to be diagnosed with cancer. improve diet /walking /distraction (comedies movies) do what you love. hope

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me again....Final Pathology says: pT2a N1 poorly differentiated non-small cell carcinoma....that's stage 2B not 3A  is that correct? 

My husband is now sleeping at night on the chair and ottoman in our family room. It's more comfortable for him..he has tried everything and this seems to be best for now. Hoping next week will be different. Still gets a bit light headed at times...sometimes I wonder if it's also from anxiety. I am going to fill his prescription to let him sleep and relax a bit more at night. Sp very hard to watch. ;( Hope everyone has a safe New Year's...

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Looks to me like IIb, based on my reading, but if you're unclear on something it's best to ask the doctor.  There's so much info thrown at you it's easy to misunderstand something that's said.  

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