Since I wrote my first post, after many mishaps and much confustion, my Dad has been diagnosed with stage 2 non small cell lung cancer on his left lung near the bronchi.
He is due to undergo surgery next Tuesday to remove 1 lobe of his left lung. His consultant and surgeon have been very positive, saying that he is in the top 10% of people in this situation for a complete cure and that he has the best lung capacity out of everyone they have seen this year.
Once he has had the surgery they have said that our hospital offer chemotherapy as a standard procedure, though he may or may not require it. But to be honest we would like to get over the surgery first before any other decisions are made.
However he is very concerned about how he is going to feel afterwards, will he be able to breathe o.k?
He had a triple heart bypass operation 5 months ago and has been told the recovery is quite similar, though he is still very worried.
I was wondering if anyone else has gone through this kind of surgery and would like to share their experiences. He doesn't acutally come on the forums himself (not very good with computers) but I tell him about the forums and sites that I find, and he likes hearing other peoples experiences.
I was diagnosead with NSCLC last August. I ended up having surgery-chemotherapy-surgery-chemotherapy.
I had a lung resection on my right lung shortly after diagnosis. (This was 3 months prior to the lobectomy). After this surgery I had 1 round of chemo.
I had four weeks of recovery before my second surgery. This one was a lobectomy on my left lung (November). I was in the hospital 5 days. The first couple of days in the were pretty rough, but I'm sure nothing worse than what your dad experienced with his heart surgery. In fact, I would think that would be a more difficult recovery.
I had 6 weeks of recovery from the lobectomy before I started my second round of chemotherapy. I felt like this was enough recovery time. Also, I felt it was a good choice to do the chemo right away since my doctor's informed that this type of cancer, if it recurs, can do so pretty quickly. Another benefit to having the chemo after surgery was that it tired me out and I was forced to do more resting than I normally would have. This helped with healing from the surgery. Lastly, I figured get it all over with.
This was a year ago and I'm doing pretty well! Tell your dad to hang in there!
Thank you for the reply. My Dad is still in hospital after undergoing surgery on Tuesday. He has been doing really well and the operation went to plan, though chemotherapy is looking likely as they also had to take some lymph nodes.
We are a little concerned today as he has been suffering imense pain, and they have brought up a portable chest x-ray to the ward to check everythign is o.k.
We don't know much until all the results come back.
I'm glad to hear your dad is doing well. But, sorry to hear about his pain. Things should be getting better now (5 days after surgery). I'm assuming his chest tube is out. That was a big part of post surgery discomfort.
Right now may be too soon to talk about chemo. Once he's home and feeling more normal you can discuss that. Also, I think you'll be surprised how much difference a week or two makes. He's probably exprerienced this after his heart surgery. I really think in a month or so he may be ready to consider chemo. It will make him tired more than any thing else but this may actually be a benefit in his surgery recovery. It will force him to rest and not over exert himself so much. There is still a lot of healing going on after he starts feeling better, and it's easy to over do it.
This is such a difficult thing to go. through but at least he's got his surgery behind him. I hope all goes well. Feel free to keep me up to date!
While the majority lung cancer patients have advanced disease at the time of presentation, complete surgical resection remains the best hope for cure for non-small cell lung carcinoma. After determining that lung cancer is present, a number of complementary approaches are used to determine the histological type of cancer, the degree of invasion, and the patient?s cardiac and pulmonary reserve. Patients with limited disease and adequate physiologic reserve should undergo lung cancer resection. To be curative, all areas invaded by cancer including involved areas of the diaphragm, pericardium, chest wall, and lymph nodes must be resected.
Patients with cardiac symptoms should undergo further evaluation such as stress testing. Taxol appears to increase the risk of lung inflammation and researchers suggest using it with caution (December, 2001 Journal of the National Cancer Institute). Taxol/carboplatin fails to show clinical advantage over standard regimen in NSCLC, accoring to a multicentre Southwest Oncology Group study (9509). There is no significant difference in survival, response rate or quality of life between standard regimen Navelbine (vinorelbine tartrate) and dose-intense Taxol/Carboplatin treatment arms.
Heart problems are more common than people think, affecting up to 25% of cancer patients. According to MD Anderson cardiologists, many doctors do not adequately monitor their patients or manage their care to minimize the health risk. Chemotherapy can help achieve a clinical response (remission), but treatments can also hurt heart muscle by reducing the hearts ability to pump.
Problems can range from insignificant to so severe that a patient can die from the heart damage rather than the cancer itself. In many cases, cancer treatment heart damage isn't detected until it is advanced because traditional heart imaging tools often miss heart muscle damage.
There are problems that traditional heart imaging tests, like nuclear scans (Pet Scan or PET/CT Scan) or ultrasound, often miss until the damage is serious. Wake Forest University Medical Center is testing Magnetic Resonance Imaging as a better way to detect heart trouble in cancer patients. The Center says it is a very promising technology because to date there has not been a method to precisely monitor the heart function or blood flowing through blood vessel.
In patients who are showing heart trouble, the hope is that doctors can tweak therapy and avoid serious damage to the heart. It is hoped to get a two-fold win, detection of cancer and treatment and a nice working heart and cardiovascular system. A high-tech heart check may one day help to wipe out a potentially deadly side effect of cancer treatments. The MRI heart check is still under study, early results show the technology is more effective at detecting early heart muscle damage than the traditional methods.
It has been a while since I posted. My Dad is recovering, though he is still suffering pain approaching 3 weeks after surgery.
He went through a period last week were he felt quite isolate and alone as he felt the hosptial operated then sent him home with no further contact. However he has since been in regualr contact with a cancer nurse at the hospital and she has been able to advise him on all his concerns.
After a meeting between all the specialists today, the nurse rang and advised my Dad of the results.
He has been told that everything went very well, one lymph nodes showed cancerous cells, which they expected at stage 2, but it was excellent that it was only one. He has been advised to have a course of Chemotherapy (which we expected) for 4 months to kill off any cells that may have leaked into the blood stream, they described it as a precaution.
He will go ahead with this, as he wants to do what he can to ensure the best result. He has to meet with a chemotherapy doctor within the next few weeks to discuss what will happen.
This is all completely new to us, and we don't know what to expect from Chemo, I have only ever heard stories of a negative nature regarding how it makes you feel and the hair loss.
I would really appreciate hearing other peoples experiences.
Hello RedChez200; I also recently had surgery for NSCLC, rated IIIa, with 2 of 7 lymph glands from the center of my chest cancerous. I start Chemo Monday. My doctor at Mayo recommended Cisplatin, but our local doctor rewcommended Carboplatin. We'll have the chemo done locally, but will ask for the Cisplatin; can change later if the side-effects are too tough.
After surgery i had severy pain when i coughed, for about 109 days due to the rib spreading they do. It's gone now, tho the newves are a bit strange in my side.
About 98% of the posts on here seem to be from the children of lung cancer patients. I would like to know if there's a different place for those of us that have lung cancer. You all sound like wonderful and loving children, as mine are, but I'm really most interested in talking with people that have gone through the same things that I have.
Had surgery in December, 2004 and was told the tumor was benign. The next day the surgeon came in and said oops, sorry, mistake, it was malignant and I needed another surgery to remove the upper lobe of my left lung. Had that surgery in January, 2005 and had 8 sessions of chemo. It's been 1 year since my last chemo treatment. I go every 3 months for a CT scan and I just want to talk to someone about the anxiety that causes. I'm good for about 2 1/2 months but when it gets about 1-2 weeks before.......it's horrible. I'm going this Wednesday for the CT scan and Thursday to the oncologist.
Hi Bobbi, you're a little further along than I am in lung cancer recovery, but i still know how you feel. Seven years ago i had prostate cancer. I chose to have a radioactive seed implant, then found 1 year later it didn't work. A famous surgeon tried to cut it out but had to abourt because of bleeding caused by the radiation. He sent me to have a Cryo treatment; that was the last treatmnet option & it got the cancer. But every six months when i was supposed to go for a blood test i feared for the worst. I knew i needed to go have the test, but didn't want to call for the results. If it came back i had no other treatments to try. I'm starting to relax now, five years after the Cryo cure. Now i only have to deal with lung cancer, found early this year.
Sure does change your perspective on life. Before Prostate cancer i thought i'd live practically forever & work till at least 70. Now i can't wait one more year to retire & spend more time visiting my kids & grandkids.
Thanks for answering BWalker - I had both Cisplatin and Carbo - I was started with Carbo 1 week and the next week it was Carbo and another chemo drug which name excapes me at the moment. Never thought I'd forget it! After 4 session I was having lots of problems with my blood so my oncologist switched out the Carbo for Cisplatin - still had problems with my blood but I made it through, getting shots for the white count and red count and 2 platlet transfusions.
It helps to talk to someone who understands the anxiety...my friends and my kids are empathetic, but thank goodness they don't really understand - and I hope they never do. Thank you again. Bobbi