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melaniem

i'm glad to find all of you

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i have looked all over the net for a support group since this all began for me the first of August. i only found this site yesterday. i am a mom of 4. i went to local dr. w/pain in lower right rib when breathing and walked out w/suspicious x-ray. and as you all can atest to, all heck broke loose. ct-scan, brain scan, pet scan, etc. was finally told on my 37th birthday i had nsclc. 2 spots, on right upper lung and one ended up being on windpipe. had right upper lobectomy on sept. 7. am now home after nearly 2 weeks in hospital, still have chest tube that is quite uncomfortable. it will stay for at least another week because i have an air leak, (a MASSIVE air leak is what i was told by my nurse in icu). will begin chemo after a few more weeks of recovery. i have lots of weird aches and pains, i guess nerves that were cut and are trying to re-connect.

my kids and husband are so happy that mom is home from the hospital (Mom, too!!) but it still feels like i'm in a dream. i am used to working, always on the go kind-of girl, and now i'm lying on the couch, watching tv, really trying hard to give my body a chance to recover before the battle of chemo begins. i remember when life was so 'normal' and wish i could go back. i've read it never really goes back, because once you've had cancer you always live with the fear that it will come back.

i'm sorry my post is kind-of all over the place, probably because i have so much to say that my thoughts kind-of overload my fingers.

oh, left out the best part, surgery was successful in that he was able to remove the cancer and the chemo will be used in case anything got left behind, sort of a sweeping effect, or so i'm told. thanks to anyone who posts, cancer can be a lonely place.

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Welcome, Melanie's Mom (?).

Part of your discomfort is that chest tube. It's like dryer conduit, all twisted up in your innards (and a word of warning, when removed, you'll be told to take a deep breath - there is NO BREATH deep enough for that...owie!)...when that can come out, things will be better. Oh, NOT painfree, but better than they are now!

Nerves need time to heal...for a while it's kinda numb, odd and tingly...then it starts to heal and goes between itchy, burny, crawly and any other feeling that will drive you nuts... For one, you can't physically reach it, and for another, those nerve endings are scrambled and although you may THINK you itch on a precise point of your cut, the only way to "scratch" it may be to rub your foot on the carpet! Oy!

Your doctor should have given you orders to cough to keep your lungs clear and bring up any possible liquid left in there... It hurts. Be sure you have a pillow to tuck against your chest when you cough... SNEEZING is redhot hellfire! My advice would be to rent some of the funniest movies you have ever seen (and some new ones) or tune to "America's Funniest Videos" and LAUGH. It hurts, but I'd rather be laughing through tears than just crying... Bring on the healing!

Sorry you have reason to join us, but glad you have found us in your time of need. When you start having the doubts and the monsters won't let you sleep, log on - there may just be someone online to talk to you since many of us are plagued with insomnia at one time or another.

Take care,

Becky

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gosh I am so sorry about the dx. I know where your families mind is right now. I went through this two full times with both parents and now I am helping my sister battle breast cancer.

it will get ... not easier... but more bearable as the weeks go by.

let the treatment begin and then things seem to get "cancer normal". it will never be regular normal again. But cancer normal is a liveable (most times) situation.

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Welcome, Melaniesmom...I'm sorry you needed to find us...I'm new to the site, too. I can completely relate to your chest tube discomfort..I had one in for 8 days in the hospital last month. It is a HUGE improvement when it comes out (and it will come out!). And everything Becky told you was true for me, too...you should laugh and cough, even though you don't want to. And the nerve endings (for me) I don't miss...actually my chemo port is implanted in my right upper chest and it's so numb I don't feel a thing when they stick the access needle in for my blood draws and chemo. It's painless, and that's a good thing.

Don't be surprised if the the first chemo kicks you hard. Your surgery took a lot out of you, and you're not at 100%. Don't worry..it will get better during the second treatment.

Be courageous, laugh every day, hold hands with someone, and remember you're not alone. :wink: Jane

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Welcome Melaine's Mom,

This is the best place to be for comfort and support. I only joined the

end of August, but wish I had found this site when I had surgery. I had the exact same surgery as you on Sept.15,2003. It was two weeks before my 50th b-day that I was dx. w/ nsclc. Shocked to say the least. It takes awhile after surgery to get back on your feet. I had cemo and radiation six wks after my operation and it wasn't as bad as you hear. Some are, some aren't. I was lucky. I have been cancer free every since. Actually I mowed half of my lawn today(it's one acre) and Iam very proud of my self. You will now have the new normal. Just remember your still here!!

I know you wait for the other shoe to drop. But actually everyone does

cancer patiences are just more aware of it. That will fade as time goes on. Focus on the kids, but still take care of yourself. You will be in my

prayers. You have youth behind you. Good luck!!!

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Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! So glad you found us, even though the circumstances for doing so just plain suck. There is a wealth of information among the folks here (as evidenced by Snowflake's post!), and more support than you can imagine. Whether you realize it or not, you've just gained several hundred new family members.

Praying for us all,

TeeTaa

P.S. How old are your kids?

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Welcome, so glad that you finally found us! Sorry about the long hospital stay and that you came home with the chest tube!

We're kinda similar, I turned 37 in the middle of surgeries and also had a hard time adjusting to "relaxing" and letting my body heal instead of working, etc. Although you do have two more children then I do.

Let me know if you want to talk! I'm here! Good Luck and relax!

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Melanie,

As Teetaa said you just got hundreds of new friends. Think of all the holiday cards you are going to have to write.

Welcome, wish you didn't have to be here.

One more thing about the chest tube. My husband was cold when he had his. The surgeon said you lose alot of body heat through the tube.

Keep us posted. Hope you feel better soon.

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Welcome to your new extra family!

First, I want to congratulate you on your successful surgery. That was a huge plus on the positive side for you, even if it may not feel like it right now.

My husband was not a candidate for surgery, but did have the chest tube and he would certainly second Snowflake's opinion. After it was all done, I mentioned that one of the nurses said inserting and removing a chest tube could be "pretty uncomfortable." My husband replied that anyone who would characterize that as just "pretty uncomfortable" has obviously never had one :x .

The roller coaster ride begins - but you have a whole trainload of fellow passengers. Glad you're with us :D .

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Hi and welcome,

You've found a great group of people, and a wealth of information.

Congratulations on your surgery. I'm sorry to hear about your pain. Thanks for sharing your experiences thus far, tells me what I have to look forward to.

Wishing you and yours well,

Kate

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I know this is not where you want to be, but because you have the need, I am glad you found us. Here you can talk to people who understand what you are experiencing, find answers and get support. I hope the surgery and following treatments work wonders! That was a horrible birthday present; so sorry!

love and fortitude

elaine

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Welcome, Melanie! So glad you found us, and so sorry you had to.

I, too, have 4 kids (although only 2 are home right now) and I know how frustrating it can be to have your life turned upside down. Going from working and taking care of the kids & house, etc,. etc., to "doing nothing" as you recuperate can be sooooo frustrating, even depressing. You ARE on the mend, things WILL get better....you've received wonderful advice here.

Please keep us posted, looking forward to seeing you often.

best wishes,

Mary

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Welcome,Glad everything went pretty well.You will be sore for quite awhile but it is very doable.You will find lots of knowing and caring folks here,& any thing that comes up usually someone here has benn there and done it and can help you.Keep us informed of your progress.

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MelanieM,

Just wanted to say "Welcome" to the only group I know that loves each other very much and would give just about anything to have never met one another! :)

I can soooooooooo relate to the chest tubes. I have 6 scars from chest tubes. I do want to tell you that having them removed really wasn't painful for me. I handle pain better if I know it's coming. I was all prepared for killer pain, and there wasn't any, except for the little sting from the sutures to close the tube incision. I think you're going to find that after major thoracic surgery, pretty much most things just don't seem all that painful.

You hang in there. It's a pretty nice feeling to know that 1400 plus of your "closest friends" are cheering you on.

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Hi there Melanie. I had to agree with you when you said... "cancer is a lonely place". I felt the same way....kind of like being run over by a big ugly truck while my eyes were closed. I think you'll find this support group has all the know-how you'll need to help you study and learn more about this disease. Welcome to the fold. BTW...like a couple others who replied on this thread....I felt no pain when my chest tubes were removed. It sounds like it could probably go either way. Good luck with yours.

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MelanieM,

I am sorry about that awful birthday present. I am glad you found us even though, like the others, I know you would rather not be here. We will listen, share, weep, pray and support you along the way and hope that you will continue to be a part of this huge, loving family.

Nina

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Melanie,

Boy did you get it right when you said cancer is a lonley place....

I am so glad I found this forum, logging onto this forum makes it just a little less lonley. I know it will help you also.

Kathy

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