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New to the LC Journey - Surgery scheduled for 6/7


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I am new to this site and would love any information on preparing for my upcoming surgery. While my nodule is very small my doctor is not confident that he can get it with a thoracoscopy so advises to expect this to be completed as a thoracotomy for the wedge/resection. Nodule is evidently within the lung tissue not on the surface so unless he can see it with the scope he will have to be more invasive.

So, anyone who has been there before me that can share their recommendations on what they are going to do, what the recovery in the hospital will be like and how I can help myself get through this would be very much appreciated! I am not new to surgery but this one seems more ominous than anything else I have been through! :?



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Hi Kim,

I had the surgery (removed one third of my right lung) in February 2003.

Its a difficult one but manageable. I was in the hospital for five days and it took approx 3 months till I was just about new again.

Keep a pillow close by that you can squeeze while doing your exercises. It will help quite a bit. Don't be shy about requesting additional pain medication if you feel you must. I was and as a result suffered unnecessary.

I wish you luck and God Bless you.


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I posted some pre-surgery A-B-C's at the top of this category, take a browse...

Biggest thing - don't be afraid to ask for drugs when you are uncomfortable, and DON'T try to be Superwoman and "wean off" before you're ready. Stay ahead of the pain when it is new, take the medication right on time whether you are hurting then or not. Talk to your doctor about your pain level and a "schedule" to get off the medication...or cut down a dose from two pills to one - just don't STOP, the pain is harder to get under control once it gets started.

Epidural is good...I didn't think mine was working until they took it OUT! :shock:

Everyone's pain threshold is different as is healing time. I spent nine days in the hospital because we could not get my pain under control (had a few "allergies" pop up that scared the hell outta me), but it DID get better. Don't expect to be 100% when you get home, either. I spent a week where I sat in the shower on a step stool while someone else washed my hair and the rest of me because my right arm didn't have ANY range of motion...and going potty is yet ANOTHER task when it comes time for paperwork and your "favored" arm doesn't work like that anymore...

It hurts to cough, breathe, SNEEZE :shock: and laugh, but I found the pain to be more "tolerable" if it came when I was laughing... Go figure! YES, I found PLENTY to laugh at with the bitter pill I had to swallow of having this disease, but that's just who I am... I had hallucinations in the hospital where I talked to a nurse that I hadn't seen before...only to wake up to an empty room and looking around to see if anyone saw or heard me. :oops: Let yourself laugh - it helps it feel "better" sooner... I promise.

Take care,


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As Becky said, ask for the pain medication on time. Use the pillow for coughing, sneezing, walking and deep breathing. I was in the hospital for 5 days and slept in my recliner for almost 3 weeks when I got home. Before I left the hospital they came to my room and gave me some exercises for my arm. I had no problem with movement but made sure I did the exercises daily. Also, it is important to take the breathing exercises as often as you possibly can...will help you start to heal and get your legs back under you. At one month past surgery I was on a plane headed for Las Vegas for a vacation that had been planned before I was dx'd.

It is no piece of cake but you can make it....just do like Becky said and don't be a hero....take the pain meds. The more active you are able to be the faster you will gain your strength back.

I am sorry to meet you this way but glad you found us. This is a great place for comfort and support. I look forward to your future posts and progress reports.


aka Nushka

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Had lung wedge resection May 11, mine was minor compared to others that have posted. I agree that you have to stay ahead of the pain. Almost 3 weeks post surgery and feel pretty good now. Some numbness and slight pain in breast area, other than that seems OK. Praying that they get it all first time in. Sorry you have to post here but you'll find plenty of support and info.

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This is Kim and I posted the request for more information about upcoming surgery yesterday. THANK YOU to everyone who responded with suggestions, recommendations, good wishes and prayers. Being a long-term cancer survivor starting in my mid-30's with Hodgkin's I can truely say that the "club" is full of many wonderful people! I am sorry that this is what brought us together but thankful that we have at least found a forum to exchange thoughts and ideas and unload some of the fear. GOD bless ya'll and have a great Memorial Day! I am now definitely going to purchase that extra pillow before the surgery as it is so highly recommended! Too bad this is done from the side, a breast lift would have been nice :wink:

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