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Good morning from North Carolina,

I had my upper right lobe and half of the lower lobe removed Friday, March 13. I have/had non-small cell carcinoma. The two cancer spots were different types, which the doctor says is actually a good thing. I am still in the hospital (yes, during this scary time) with some complications. I am hoping to find answers to these complications and whether they are "normal" or not. Thanks for letting me join. Please stay safe everyone.

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tomron,

Welcome here.  

Many of us have surgery and complications. If you could explain the nature of your complications, then we might be able to share our experience.

In the footer of this page is a link to my treatment history that includes a number of complications I dealt with.

Stay the course.

Tom

,

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Tomron,

Ask away. Many here have gone through the surgery route. Mine was done about 6 weeks ago. I am currently undergoing Chemo. I am pretty much healed up from surgery and if not for a diagnosis change I would most likely be back to work.

Dont be shy.

Peace

Tom

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Hi tomronn and welcome here. I had a lobectomy in November 2016 and am doing well. I can imagine how difficult it must be being in the hospital in this time of Covid 19. I think for me coronavirus is at least as anxiety producing as cancer. I hope your complications are resolved soon so that you can go home. Best wishes and keep posting.

BridgetO

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Hi Tomronn,

Welcome to our forum...I'm also in North Carolina (although about 250 miles from you, in Waxhaw).  Many of us here have had the surgery and also some complications.  If you can tell us what you are going through I'm sure someone here has also gone through it and can offer some information and likely answers for your questions.  Feel free to ask anything.

Lou

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Thanks for all the good wishes.  I am still in the hospital.  It has been 11 days. Most of the issues have been figured out and taken care of, but I am still have a chest tube and fail every clamp test.  Yesterday was the worse.  My tube was clamped for 6 hours and an xray showed everything was great. They were going to take the tube out a few hours later and my chest and abdomen blew up like a balloon. It was the worst pain yet. A mobile x-ray showed I was full of air (obviously). 

This morning they said I am going home, air or no air. I live two hours from the hospital so my girlfriend is very worried what could happen. We don't understand why I would be released when I am still leaking air. We have virus cases in our county so there really is no safe hospital to take me to in an emergency. Has anyone encountered this problem? Could use some advice.  Thanks in advance.  You all are the best. 

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tomron,

Leak complications after a thoracic procedure, unfortunately I did have that problem. And I was sent home with a chest tub installed to a drain bucket. Moreover, I had to report to the thoracic ward every week for a change in buckets. It took about six weeks from my air leak to resolve. I needed a second and then third surgery to address the leak which was on my right bronchus stump. My surgeon worked very diligently to resolve my leaks and finally did so by resecting my right petrol muscle and turning it inside my chest wall to bolster the bronchus stump sutures. I also had two ribs removed on the right side of my chest.

I hope you do not require this type of procedure. I had a whole lung removed and that is more complicated than a lobe removal. Hopefully, yours will heal up and plug the leak.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Oh, man! Thanks for the information (even though it’s scary). Sounds like you went through the wringer! This whole virus is making things even more nerve wracking. They thought I’d be out by now and do a follow up as far as we could push it.

They clamped me again this morning and I blew up again. Tried again this afternoon and I lost all feeling in my feet, my face blew up along with my chest, I couldn't breathe and my oxygen dropped to 72. I thought yesterday was bad - this one was downright frightening. Doctor decided I am not a good candidate to leave. Thanks for all your help.

 

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Tomronn,

As you’ve learned, Tom has a PHD in treatment and is a braver man than I might be for all he has gone through. That still doesn’t mean you’ll experience the same things so please hang in there and take each day one at a time.  That’s all you can do, except to make sure you understand from the doctors what might be causing your problem and what treatments can best resolve the situation.  Meanwhile you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.  
 

Lou

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Hi Tomronn,  I went home the day after my lobectomy with a chest tube in place because of an air leak. The tube was connected to a thing called a Heimlich valve and then a drain bag.  I had it in place for 10 days. My air leak was not as severe as yours, it seems. I wonder if taking half of a second lobe out causes more difficulties than a whole lobe. A lot of people have air leaks, so I guess this is a "normal" complication, but it seems like yours is more severe than the average, Yours does sound scary!  But as Lou says, Tom G's experiences  frighten you,  his are WAY more extreme than most. Probably his military experience helped him get through a lot of unusually tough stuff.  So hang in there and keep us up to date on what's happening with you.

Bridget O

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Thanks everyone.  Now on day 13 in the hospital. They are trying to decide where I would be safer...at home with a chest tube or in the hospital waiting for the leak to stop. With the virus it's a toss-up. I live two hours from the hospital and would have to return every week to get the tube checked, which of course means venturing out into the public.  No clamps for the last two days after I ended up looking like the Goodyear blimp.  Down to 118 pounds from 132.

Hey LouT - what hospital were you in?

 

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