NEWLY DIAGNOSED WITH LUNG CANCER

Posted by grandmaR @grandmar, Sep 12 4:30pm

Hi All!
My name is Ronnie. I am 65 years old and was diagnosed with lung cancer almost 2 weeks ago. Last Monday, I had surgery.

About 7 years ago during a hospital stay (unrelated), nodules were spotted on a chest x-ray. There was one on my left bottom lung that was larger than the others. I was told it was currently nothing but to keep an eye on it. For the next 7 years I had a CAT scan every 6-12 months. Due to circumstances, including (but not limited to) COVID, I was late with my check-up. About 2 months ago, I started with a new pulmonologist. He ordered the CAT scan. The report concluded that additional testing was suggested because of the larger nodule. With my history of early Melanoma 3 years ago, and the death of my mother from lung cancer, my doctor agreed.

After fighting with the insurance company for over 2 weeks, they finally approved the PET Scan. The PET scan agreed with the CAT Scan report about the cancer. I had 2 consults and decided to go with the doctor from a cancer center. I was given 2 treatment choices, radiation for 5 days or surgery. I opted for surgery. The surgery was done robotically. The nodule was removed and so were lymph nodes (I think 5). This coming Wednesday I see the surgeon for the results of the pathology report and for an action plan. If the surgeon was correct in his diagnoses, no other treatment will be needed. I should just have to be checked regularly (to be determined), exercise to keep my lungs healthy, eat right and be cautious.

Now, other than the incision for the chest tube, there are 2 incisions between my ribs. one is to the left of my left breast. I assume that is where he went in for the lymph node. Since surgery, my breast (on the left side) has been very painful and the pain goes around to my back. The intensity chances. Some days I feel pretty good, but days like today, I actually needed a pain pill (which I haven't taken since day 2 after surgery). Have any of you experienced the same sort of thing after surgery?

I pray for each and every one of us to have a positive outcome from our surgeries and treatments.
Bless us all!

GRANDMAr (Ronnie)

@grandmar– Good morning Ronnie. Welcome back to Connect. It's been about a year since you last posted. I know that this past year has been pretty rough for a lot of people because of COVID-19. And a lot of lung operations and treatments were delayed. I hope that you and your family fared well throughout it.

Lobectomies change the geographical structures of the chest cavity. And on top of that, there are chest tubes that are needed to drain old blood and fluids from the chest cavity. I had a lot of painful cramping on my right side after my first lobectomy and wound up re-breaking a rib. Since it's only two weeks since your operation I would give it more time. Your chest has to get used to its new structure. It takes a while to heal from chest surgery.

Are you up and around? Otherwise, feeling pretty good? What kind of cancer was found?

REPLY

@grandmar, so good to hear from you again. Lung cancer! My goodness. Good for you for advocating to get the PET scan and to get treatment. It sounds like you may have caught the cancer at a relatively early stage. Do you know what type of lung cancer you have/had and what stage? Maybe this will all be revealed at your upcoming appointment.

I agree with @merpreb. You will likely need more time before the pain on the left side subsides. Who is at home assisting your with recovery?

REPLY
@merpreb

@grandmar– Good morning Ronnie. Welcome back to Connect. It's been about a year since you last posted. I know that this past year has been pretty rough for a lot of people because of COVID-19. And a lot of lung operations and treatments were delayed. I hope that you and your family fared well throughout it.

Lobectomies change the geographical structures of the chest cavity. And on top of that, there are chest tubes that are needed to drain old blood and fluids from the chest cavity. I had a lot of painful cramping on my right side after my first lobectomy and wound up re-breaking a rib. Since it's only two weeks since your operation I would give it more time. Your chest has to get used to its new structure. It takes a while to heal from chest surgery.

Are you up and around? Otherwise, feeling pretty good? What kind of cancer was found?

Jump to this post

Hello!
Yes, it has been a minute since I last posted. Frankly, things were going well and when COVID struck, I was busy homeschooling my 3rd grade granddaughter. Lucky I was a former teacher!

The first doctor I had a consult with talked about removing the bottom lobe of my left lung. That is not why I decided not to go with him. The doctor I chose felt that just removing the nodule and some lymph nodes would be just as good. Guess time will tell. I actually went with this doctor because he is part of a cancer center and the center as well as the doctor was recommended by another doctor in Maryland.

Anyway, I've been up and around since the day of my surgery. Right now I can't go swimming, so I go on the tread mill for approximately 1/2 hour, twice a day. Since I have walking issues, it is not fast but at least I keep pace and work my lungs. Other than the pain, I feel fine. No problems breathing!!!!

As far as the type of cancer, once I see the doctor, I am sure he will give me a more definitive answer to that question.

How are you doing?????

Ronnie

REPLY

@granmar Am so glad you got the cancerous nodule taken care of early. Sorry you had to fight the insurance company. They can be so ugly about obvious treatments and diagnostics! Anyway, I also had a similar surgery and recall almost the same sort of pain you are experiencing. As I recall it lingered off and on for about a month. Like the responses above, your body has to adjust to the changes that have happened during and after the surgery. You WILL feel better. Give it time and take it easy, but keep up breathing exercises, and other things suggested by your surgeon according to his treatment plan. in mt case my surgeon got it all and so far so good–lymph nodes were clear. I go back for 6 months to 1 year CT scans to make certain no cancer has returned. I hope this is what happens for you. Give yourself time to heal and know the discomfort will go away. Also, I stopped the pain pills and relied on Tylenol 8 hour tablets as needed for pain. It really helped. Wishing you the best. Please keep in touch. Would really like
to know how you are doing.

REPLY
@colleenyoung

@grandmar, so good to hear from you again. Lung cancer! My goodness. Good for you for advocating to get the PET scan and to get treatment. It sounds like you may have caught the cancer at a relatively early stage. Do you know what type of lung cancer you have/had and what stage? Maybe this will all be revealed at your upcoming appointment.

I agree with @merpreb. You will likely need more time before the pain on the left side subsides. Who is at home assisting your with recovery?

Jump to this post

Hi Colleen!
Yes, lung cancer! It was a real surprise to me! I knew about the nodules. You just never know!

This entire thing with the PET scan was such a bother. The insurance company wanted a biopsy first. The guy at the lab said that the PET scan is more expensive so they prefer the biopsy first. So, they'd rather have me cut than take a non-evasive test. It's behind me now and frankly, I can't worry about it any more.

As I mentioned above, when I go back Wednesday, I am sure I will have more definitive answers, including the type of cancer. All I know is that it was very early, Stage 1 but I don't know what letter (which depends if there were any lymph nodes impacted) and it is very slow growing.

Yes, I probably need more time to recoup before the pain goes away. Guess I am impatient! My hubby is home with me and is taking fantastic care of me (as he ALWAYS does)! What made a difficult situation even harder is the fact that he was not allowed in the hospital for the consults, test results, day of surgery or Wednesday when we get the results and develop a plan of action. I certainly understand, but I believe that when there are certain circumstances, at least one person should be allowed to accompany the patient! Oh well!

Hope you and your family are well during these unusual times!

Ronnie

REPLY

Hi, nice to meet you!
I am glad you have responded so well to the surgery! Sounds like you really have experienced what I am currently going through. I've had 2 other major surgeries over the last 2 years on my spine. One was VERY painful and a long recovery and then one day, just like that, it was gone. Given my experience with those surgeries and others, I should have asked about the usual after surgery recovery and pain, etc. Oh well, it isn't anything I can't life with.

Actually, I do take the Tylenol Arthritis, which is very helpful. However, on those horrific days when nothing helps, I do take a pain pill. I try to take them only at night, however. I often roll over in my sleep and wake myself up in pain. At that point, it is hard to fall back to sleep.

Believe me, I know the pain will go away!

I'm so happy that the surgery has worked for you. If my lymph nodes are clears, I shouldn't need any other treatments. Regular check ups should be the only thing, along was CAT scans.

Will keep you informed when I find out more.

Have a great day!
Ronnie

REPLY
@grandmar

Hello!
Yes, it has been a minute since I last posted. Frankly, things were going well and when COVID struck, I was busy homeschooling my 3rd grade granddaughter. Lucky I was a former teacher!

The first doctor I had a consult with talked about removing the bottom lobe of my left lung. That is not why I decided not to go with him. The doctor I chose felt that just removing the nodule and some lymph nodes would be just as good. Guess time will tell. I actually went with this doctor because he is part of a cancer center and the center as well as the doctor was recommended by another doctor in Maryland.

Anyway, I've been up and around since the day of my surgery. Right now I can't go swimming, so I go on the tread mill for approximately 1/2 hour, twice a day. Since I have walking issues, it is not fast but at least I keep pace and work my lungs. Other than the pain, I feel fine. No problems breathing!!!!

As far as the type of cancer, once I see the doctor, I am sure he will give me a more definitive answer to that question.

How are you doing?????

Ronnie

Jump to this post

@grandmar– Hi!I'm doing great, I really am. As @alamogal635 says I'm also glad that you had this taken care of while it was still small. Boy, you jumped up pretty soon after surgery!

The last time that you were on here your sister is Europe was ill. I hope that she is better. Is she?

REPLY
@grandmar

Hi Colleen!
Yes, lung cancer! It was a real surprise to me! I knew about the nodules. You just never know!

This entire thing with the PET scan was such a bother. The insurance company wanted a biopsy first. The guy at the lab said that the PET scan is more expensive so they prefer the biopsy first. So, they'd rather have me cut than take a non-evasive test. It's behind me now and frankly, I can't worry about it any more.

As I mentioned above, when I go back Wednesday, I am sure I will have more definitive answers, including the type of cancer. All I know is that it was very early, Stage 1 but I don't know what letter (which depends if there were any lymph nodes impacted) and it is very slow growing.

Yes, I probably need more time to recoup before the pain goes away. Guess I am impatient! My hubby is home with me and is taking fantastic care of me (as he ALWAYS does)! What made a difficult situation even harder is the fact that he was not allowed in the hospital for the consults, test results, day of surgery or Wednesday when we get the results and develop a plan of action. I certainly understand, but I believe that when there are certain circumstances, at least one person should be allowed to accompany the patient! Oh well!

Hope you and your family are well during these unusual times!

Ronnie

Jump to this post

Interesting, After a CT scan then a PET scan, I was told I had at least stage 2 lung cancer. They did the biopsy to determine if it was higher than stage 2 and where the cells came from. My options were radiation or take the lobe with the large nodule.

The biopsy determined I didn’t have lung cancer. I can see why the insurance company wanted the biopsy.

REPLY
@grandmar

Hi, nice to meet you!
I am glad you have responded so well to the surgery! Sounds like you really have experienced what I am currently going through. I've had 2 other major surgeries over the last 2 years on my spine. One was VERY painful and a long recovery and then one day, just like that, it was gone. Given my experience with those surgeries and others, I should have asked about the usual after surgery recovery and pain, etc. Oh well, it isn't anything I can't life with.

Actually, I do take the Tylenol Arthritis, which is very helpful. However, on those horrific days when nothing helps, I do take a pain pill. I try to take them only at night, however. I often roll over in my sleep and wake myself up in pain. At that point, it is hard to fall back to sleep.

Believe me, I know the pain will go away!

I'm so happy that the surgery has worked for you. If my lymph nodes are clears, I shouldn't need any other treatments. Regular check ups should be the only thing, along was CAT scans.

Will keep you informed when I find out more.

Have a great day!
Ronnie

Jump to this post

@grandmar It's great to meet you too. Wow, you had back surgery 2xs. From what I've heard jit can be excruciating. Will try to avoid that and keep on with spinal injections from time to time. I'm not as brave as you. Anyway, you certainly have a wonderful and upbeat attitude! Do take the prescribed pain pills when you need them. I wasn't criticizing at all. They were so stingy with me because they were opioids that I just got a few and was really cautious as to how and when I took them. So glad to hear from you and get to know you. Thank you for keeping us informed. You have a fantastic day, too.

REPLY
@alamogal635

@grandmar It's great to meet you too. Wow, you had back surgery 2xs. From what I've heard jit can be excruciating. Will try to avoid that and keep on with spinal injections from time to time. I'm not as brave as you. Anyway, you certainly have a wonderful and upbeat attitude! Do take the prescribed pain pills when you need them. I wasn't criticizing at all. They were so stingy with me because they were opioids that I just got a few and was really cautious as to how and when I took them. So glad to hear from you and get to know you. Thank you for keeping us informed. You have a fantastic day, too.

Jump to this post

Hello!
Yes, I had 2 spinal surgeries within t6 months of each other. I was also taking injections, but they stopped working. I could no longer take the pain 24/7. I couldn't sleep and I was miserable. I did LOTS of research to find a good surgeon. I knew I needed surgery on my lumbar and cervical spine. I decided on a neurosurgeon since my cervical spine was involved. I found a FANTASTIC doctor. He did the cervical spine first. He replaced 2 disks. This was an easy surgery to heal from. I was off pain meds within 2 days!

The lumbar surgery was HORRIBLE!! The pain was terrible!!!! It took me about 3 months to feel myself. I do have to say that for the first time in over a decade I was pain free. However, I probably waited too long for the surgery because I have permanent nerve damage in my legs. I have balance issues, neuropathy and I need to walk with a cane. But not once did I regret having the surgery!

I am fine with pain pills, I just don't like them and I take them only when necessary. I'm no hero!!! Also, I worry about addiction so I always have it in the back of my mind!.

Will touch base again soon!
Have a wonderful evening!!!!
Ronniie

REPLY
@miriam57

Interesting, After a CT scan then a PET scan, I was told I had at least stage 2 lung cancer. They did the biopsy to determine if it was higher than stage 2 and where the cells came from. My options were radiation or take the lobe with the large nodule.

The biopsy determined I didn’t have lung cancer. I can see why the insurance company wanted the biopsy.

Jump to this post

Hi!
First I had the CT which was my usual test. From previous reports, the doctor saw that the nodule had gotten bigger. I had melanoma 3 years ago and my mother and maternal uncle both had lung cancer. My pulmonologist wanted a PET immediately. The insurance company wanted more 'proof' that cancer was a concern. The report did mention that further testing was necessary. We fought the decision in all directions, the doctor, the surgeon and me.

My pulmonologist suggested a surgeon with great credentials. HE wanted to remove the lower lobe with the nodule. However, after doing some research, the hospital he is affiliated, although a FANTASTIC hospital, it is not known for cancer treatment. My son, who lives in Maryland and works for Kaiser Permanente, went to some of his colleagues for suggestions. The radiologist and another doctor, suggested a cancer center near me and a doctor. I did the research and the hospital ranks 11th in the country and people from all over the world come to use the surgeon. I was fortunate to get an appointment within a few days.

I was also given 2 choices. Radiation for 5 days, however, the long term results are not statistically as good as surgery. Surgery was the 2nd choice. Because I am in good health, the doctor thought it might be a good choice. The only problem is I have issues walking and he was concerned I would not be able to do what was necessary. He made me take walk with him around the hospital to be sure I could do what was required. I could! I don't need to be a speed walker, I just need to walk!

The first night I was up and out of bed walking the halls. I needed to use a walker, but that is fine. At home, I walked around the house for 2 days. 10 minutes, rested 1 hour, then 10 minutes again. By the 3rd day home, I was on the treadmill. I started 15 minutes twice a day. Now I am up to 30-35 minutes twice a day. I do not go fast at all, but I do it and will need to do it the rest of my life.

So you didn't have lung cancer????? WOW! So what is it that made them think you did have cancer? I guess you took the biopsy. I'm glad for you!!

Have a great night!
Ronnie

REPLY
@merpreb

@grandmar– Hi!I'm doing great, I really am. As @alamogal635 says I'm also glad that you had this taken care of while it was still small. Boy, you jumped up pretty soon after surgery!

The last time that you were on here your sister is Europe was ill. I hope that she is better. Is she?

Jump to this post

Hi! I'm glad you are doing well!
I think you may have me mixed up with someone else.
Yes, I was on before, but I do not have a sister. I have a brother, here in the US and he is well.

I don't play around when something is wrong. As scared as I was, I'm more scared of what will happen if I let things go.
I am VERY fortunate that I am retired and have great insurance.
I am able to go as soon as I can be taken and I don't need approval from the insurance company for doctor visits.
I actually had the nodule for over 7 years. When it was found I had it checked every 6-12 months.
And yes, I was up and out of bed right away! When they work on the lungs like they did me, the lungs are deflated and it is important to move or you could get pneumonia. THAT could be a big problem.
I'm always a good patient and do what I am told to do!!!!!

Have a great evening!
Ronnie

REPLY
@grandmar

Hi!
First I had the CT which was my usual test. From previous reports, the doctor saw that the nodule had gotten bigger. I had melanoma 3 years ago and my mother and maternal uncle both had lung cancer. My pulmonologist wanted a PET immediately. The insurance company wanted more 'proof' that cancer was a concern. The report did mention that further testing was necessary. We fought the decision in all directions, the doctor, the surgeon and me.

My pulmonologist suggested a surgeon with great credentials. HE wanted to remove the lower lobe with the nodule. However, after doing some research, the hospital he is affiliated, although a FANTASTIC hospital, it is not known for cancer treatment. My son, who lives in Maryland and works for Kaiser Permanente, went to some of his colleagues for suggestions. The radiologist and another doctor, suggested a cancer center near me and a doctor. I did the research and the hospital ranks 11th in the country and people from all over the world come to use the surgeon. I was fortunate to get an appointment within a few days.

I was also given 2 choices. Radiation for 5 days, however, the long term results are not statistically as good as surgery. Surgery was the 2nd choice. Because I am in good health, the doctor thought it might be a good choice. The only problem is I have issues walking and he was concerned I would not be able to do what was necessary. He made me take walk with him around the hospital to be sure I could do what was required. I could! I don't need to be a speed walker, I just need to walk!

The first night I was up and out of bed walking the halls. I needed to use a walker, but that is fine. At home, I walked around the house for 2 days. 10 minutes, rested 1 hour, then 10 minutes again. By the 3rd day home, I was on the treadmill. I started 15 minutes twice a day. Now I am up to 30-35 minutes twice a day. I do not go fast at all, but I do it and will need to do it the rest of my life.

So you didn't have lung cancer????? WOW! So what is it that made them think you did have cancer? I guess you took the biopsy. I'm glad for you!!

Have a great night!
Ronnie

Jump to this post

gramaR You have given me inspiration for getting a treadmill and even if I'm slow, at least I"m doing it. I've said I'd walk outside and it has been one excuse after another. I am going to get a decent one. Bet it will increase lung capacity as well. I need the exercise. Thank you!

REPLY
@grandmar

Hello!
Yes, I had 2 spinal surgeries within t6 months of each other. I was also taking injections, but they stopped working. I could no longer take the pain 24/7. I couldn't sleep and I was miserable. I did LOTS of research to find a good surgeon. I knew I needed surgery on my lumbar and cervical spine. I decided on a neurosurgeon since my cervical spine was involved. I found a FANTASTIC doctor. He did the cervical spine first. He replaced 2 disks. This was an easy surgery to heal from. I was off pain meds within 2 days!

The lumbar surgery was HORRIBLE!! The pain was terrible!!!! It took me about 3 months to feel myself. I do have to say that for the first time in over a decade I was pain free. However, I probably waited too long for the surgery because I have permanent nerve damage in my legs. I have balance issues, neuropathy and I need to walk with a cane. But not once did I regret having the surgery!

I am fine with pain pills, I just don't like them and I take them only when necessary. I'm no hero!!! Also, I worry about addiction so I always have it in the back of my mind!.

Will touch base again soon!
Have a wonderful evening!!!!
Ronniie

Jump to this post

@grandmar Thank you for the information. Have a good neurosurgeon who will step in when needed. My problem is lumbar. At least I know what to expect. If pain relief is what the result is,k then I'll do it when it is time. Thank you again. Am learning so much.

REPLY
@alamogal635

@grandmar Thank you for the information. Have a good neurosurgeon who will step in when needed. My problem is lumbar. At least I know what to expect. If pain relief is what the result is,k then I'll do it when it is time. Thank you again. Am learning so much.

Jump to this post

You are welcome!

REPLY
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