NEWLY DIAGNOSED WITH LUNG CANCER

Posted by grandmaR @grandmar, Sep 12, 2020

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

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

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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!

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@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

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@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.

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@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.

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You are welcome!

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@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.

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Hello!
I am glad you have a good doctor. I am not saying you should run and get surgery, but I do suggest you get a consult with the neurosurgeon to see what he/she has to say. I can tell you that when I told my pain management doctor that I decided on surgery, he was not too happy. He wanted me to continue to take shots. So, be your own advocate. When YOU feel you are ready, that is the time. The doctor is not living in your body. For me, when the shots no longer worked or worked for a very brief time, that is when I decided it was time.
Feel good!
Ronnie

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@alamogal635

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!

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Good Morning!
I am happy I have inspired you! To be honest, I only walk 1.0 to 1.2 mph for 30 minutes. It is not a race, but a way to improve your lung capacity. Start very slowly. Walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes at 1.0 and 0.0 incline. Every couple of days OR when you feel comfortable, add a couple of minutes. In this case, speed is not as important as time you work out. NEVER change the incline because it can impact your knees and back.
If you get one, may I suggest one where the tread is wide enough and where you are comfortable holding on.
I wish you lots of luck!

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@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.

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@miriam57– Wonderful news for you! Have they determined what it is, if it's not cancer?

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@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?

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OOPPSS @grandma, my apologies.

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@merpreb

@miriam57– Wonderful news for you! Have they determined what it is, if it's not cancer?

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No…all the extra tests for diseases came up negative

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Good Morning,
Just wanted share some GREAT news I received.
Yesterday I had my post-op xray and follow-up. The xrays show that I am doing great! I still have a little way to go to get my lungs back to where they belong but the doctor said I am well ahead of the game. He attributes the progress to my exercising daily (30 minutes on the treadmill/2x a day). I have been cleared to swim, so I'll do 30 minutes in the pool and 30 minutes on the treadmill.
The BEST is that the surgery went very well. The doctor was able to get clear margins from where he removed the mass and the 6 lymph nodes he removed were clear. The cancer was Stage 1. The mass was only 1.1cm and VERY slow growing. The name of the cancer is ADENO CARCINOMA. The doctor feels he got all the cancer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No follow up therapies are needed. I'll need to get a CT and check up every 6 months for the next 5 years. I could actually feel a weight being lifted off my shoulders and chest when he gave us the news.
I am BLESSED to have such a wonderful support system and to have the news I got!!!!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful day and I pray we are all blessed!
Ronnie

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Am so happy for. You. It must be a tremendous relief to be cleated of any lingering cancer. Your story reads like mine— six month scans, small spot with clear margins. So glad you can add swimming back to your routine as well. You are a marvelously disciplined person. Go for it and enjoy yourself.

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@alamogal635

Am so happy for. You. It must be a tremendous relief to be cleated of any lingering cancer. Your story reads like mine— six month scans, small spot with clear margins. So glad you can add swimming back to your routine as well. You are a marvelously disciplined person. Go for it and enjoy yourself.

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Thank you! Yes, I am trying to be disciplined. I have lots to live for (my 3 beautiful grands, my children and hubby of 46 years this month) and lots I want to enjoy with my life. I will do whatever I can to remain healthy. Of course, I cannot do anything to stop the cancer from returning, but the healthier I am and the healthier my lungs are, the better I will be able to fight.

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Absolutely. Blessings to you and all here on this site.

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