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Dear Friends,

My surgery is over!  My right middle lobe was removed – the 1.1 x 1.0 x 0.8 cm nodule was adenocarcinoma according to the pathology report.

The nodule in right upper lobe was removed -- pathology didn’t find any malignancy, referring to it as “scar tissue.”

Surgeon was unable to reach a very small lesion also in right upper lung, and we will keep an eye on it.

He said my cancer is Stage 1 & I don’t need chemo, which was very good news indeed.

The surgery was May 22, I came home May 27, and am creeping along.

My biggest challenge is dealing with the pain (not sleeping well even with wedge pillow). At this point I am taking Tylenol, Gabapentin (nerve pain), Cyclobenzaprine HL.

I see my surgeon tomorrow for post-op & will bring up pain issue.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your thoughts, encouragement & prayers!

Irka

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All things considered those are good results Irka.  I’m glad you’re home and on the mend.  You are only a week out.  Pain is normal that soon after.  I’m convinced that anyone saying any different doesn’t remember that clearly.  I do!   It will start to get better.  I was on narcotic pain meds afterwards.  I was able to wean off them during the day after about a week but I needed them at night when sleeping for about two weeks.  If you are ok with narcotic pain meds (higher risk of addiction) you can ask for them.  They will help.  

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I’m sorry about the LC discovery, however I’m sure you’re relieved this was caught early!  Now it’s time to focus on your recovery and prepare for the periodic scans for continued monitoring. Prayers for a speedy recovery, you’ll be back to your old self pretty soon! 

 

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O.K., I'm feeling much better.  Pain now manageable with gabapentin & Advil.  Very tight, though, in right lung especially when trying to take deep breathes & still tire easily.  I see surgeon on Tuesday.  He will review the pre- & post-op CAT scans with me.  He previously alerted me that, although the middle lobectomy removed the adenocarcinoma & lymph nodes were clear, he was still concerned about:

1.  lesion A in upper lobe that he removed only partially because it was "attached" to lung/chest wall.  The pathology on what he did remove came back "non-malignant, likely scar-tissue."  But he indicated he wasn't 100% satisfied with that, given that he hadn't removed 100% of the lesion.

2.  Lesion B in upper lobe, quite small & he was unable to reach it during surgery.

That's the right lung.

3.  Then Left lung has something "fuzzy" that's not been checked out.

I'm looking for advice here in preparation for my Tuesday appointment with him.  My gut tells me that unless something totally new & big enlargement or existing shows up on the post-op CAT, we should go on "active surveillance" (a term applied to prostate cancer).  Rather than start any chemo or radiation, wait & do another CT in 3-4 months, give my right lung (what's left of it) time to heal more & me to regain more strength & gain some weight (have gotten too skinny).

You all have been so supportive for the surgery & now I'm asking for more -- suggestions regarding upcoming visit with surgeon.

With continued heartfelt gratitude for your help,

Irka

 

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Hi Irka.  I’m glad to hear you are on the mend.  The tightness will start to lessen as time goes on.  Keep up with your breathing exercises.  They help a lot.  I’m sure your doctors just moving forward with an abundance of caution.  I’d ask whether he feels if chemo as a “clean up” or adjuvant treatment after surgery should be considered.  They do it after surgery for certain types of cancer as a way to kill any cells that may have been left behind.  It’s a somewhat controversial approach but worth asking.  I asked my surgeon and he was against it.  I followed his advice and didn’t pursue it.  

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Irka,

I’d want BOTH the surgeon and oncologist view on post surgical chemo. 

Recurrence is high for our disease and I’d do everything I could to ensure one and done. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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Yeeeaahh!

     Sorry that you are having pain.. But the good news is great. Looks like you caught it early. 

       GOOD FOR YOU

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