Thursday, June 12, 2014


Well, I've been home since Friday, June 6, 2014 but it has been such a rough 2 weeks that it has taken me this long to write a post that made sense. 

The surgery was much more involved than they initially thought.  The end result was that they took approx. 90% of my left lung and lymph nodes.  There were two tumors.  One in the upper lobe and one in the lower lobe.  According to the surgeon, they could not take the lobes completely as I would not have any quality of life afterwards so there was a "meeting" while I laid on the table with several of my doctors and it was decided to remove the entire upper lobe and 90 % of the lower lobe.

The surgery was 7 hours in length.  I was in ICU from Tuesday to Thursday night.  I then spent another 8 days on the regular floor while each day they attempted to remove the chest tube which was unsuccessful.  Eventually, I was sent home with a chest tube which I still have.  I would have to say at this point the chest tube is the most painful as it is placed between two ribs.  Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment and I hope to have it removed then.

While I was in the hospital, my chemo doctor came and visited and briefly discussed what happens now.  After a complete surgical recovery, approx. 2 to 3 months, I will begin chemotherapy.  It will last approx. 6 months, then another 6 months of maintenance therapy.  They have scheduled a visit with him for June 24 for him to go over my pathology reports, tumor reports, etc. so he can discuss the type, length and intensity of chemo.

Tomorrow will be one week since I came home and while I have the chest tube I am not allowed to stay home alone. So I have what I call my "babysitters."  My niece, Michelle and two daughters, Maria and Caitlyn have taken care of me during the day and my sister Maria on weekends and nights.  I don't even know what I would have done without them.  While I sleep 20 hours a day from the meds, just knowing they are here is a blessing.  I don't move very fast.  Just to get out of the recliner and get a sip of water takes about 20 minutes - UGH!!

Some of the amazing things to me are how much my taste buds have changed.  The first week I hardly ate at all  -  nothing.  Now, I eat but nothing taste like it should.  I have not had a cup of coffee in weeks.  Those who know me know that is a miracle.  The smell turns my stomach so I am drinking tea.  

I am also very swollen.  The nurses said that may take some time to go away.  I have oxygen at home which I have to wear when sleeping.  It seems my blood oxygen level drops significantly when sleeping since surgery.  And when walking I have to wear it as well.

It's been a hell of a 2-1/2 week period.  I'm sure as time passes I will remember more but for now I am just trying to get thru each day.

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