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Change of plan

My wife Janet was diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer 4.9 cm in the middle right lobe,the PET scan showed that it had not spread elsewhere,and the plan was to have 4 bouts of chemotherapy with 3 week intervals,then an operation to remove the tumour,a recent PET scan has shown that the tumour has grown to 5.1 cm and the oncologist and surgeon have decided on surgery next week ! We are both really worried and afraid !is there a chance of a full recovery ? The surgeon is going to remove some of the lymph nodes in the lung because it has shown signs that it could have spread there but he is not certain !

Best Answers

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 49 mod
    edited August 2019 Accepted Answer

    @Davidvalletta

    Hi David

    I am sorry to hear of your wife's diagnosis - it is not surprising that you are both feeling anxious. It is at least good to know that your wife will be having surgery next week as the waiting is often the worst part.

    I think that your best option will be to speak with Janet's specialist about your concerns as he/she will be in a good position to discuss them with you.

    There may well be other community members who have experienced a similar cancer and will be happy to chat with you about their experience.

    Thank you for writing to us. We may have different cancers but we are a friendly group and always here to chat and support one another through the cancer journey and I hope you will keep in touch and let us know how you get on.

    All the best

    Rob

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 936 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer

    @Davidvalletta

    Hi David and Janet

    Great to hear from you and thank you so much for your update. It is good to know that things are progressing and that you are still laughing even though it must be pretty tough for both of you. That photograph will be a great memory for you when you are through this ordeal.

    I am not surprised to hear that Janet is having a tough time with the chemo. I have not had chemo myself, but I know from community members who have, that it is a long hard journey. Haha, Janet is lucky that I am not doing the cooking. When Mary broke her leg, I had to learn very quickly and I can remember googling ‘How to Bake a Potato.’ She actually loved the potato, but when I did another one, she asked for more variety.

    Well, there may be others who are worse off, but you are both coping with an awful lot, and with humour and courage and I raise my hat to you.

    All the best

    Robert and Mary x

Answers

  • DavidvallettaDavidvalletta Posts: 9

    Thank you Rob, it's just good to chat with someone,and get reassurance during these hard times.

    Regards David and Janet.

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 459 mod

    @Davidvalletta

    Hi David,

    I just wanted to welcome you to the community, I am very sorry to hear about your wife’s diagnosis. I can understand how you both must be very anxious. It is a very stressful time especially in the early days of diagnosis.

    Even though the tumour has grown it is good that surgery is going ahead next week. I know it all seems so fast but it is better to get in there and remove as much as possible as soon as possible. They will remove the effected lymph nodes. After surgery they will be sent to the lab to be analysed. I would expect Janet to have a CT scan to check where else, if anywhere, the cancer has gone. I had breast cancer, which had spread to my lymph nodes, which were removed. However the lymph nodes had done their job, and the cancer hadn’t spread. Please hold onto hope, the cancer may not have spread. I know how scary this all is. The unknown factors are very hard to deal with.

    I know there are others here diagnosed with lung cancers of varying degrees. Hopefully they will be able to provide some helpful insight for you both. Please be assured you are most welcome to come and chat about anything you’d like to at anytime. We all do understand the impact cancer has on our lives, it’s a massive shock and change of life to adjust to. You will find a lot of support, understanding and encouragement here.

    Thinking of you both,

    Lou x

  • MaggymayMaggymay Posts: 1

    Hi Rob I was diagnosed with stage 2b lung cancer in the right lung in 2016. My tumour too was in the centre of the lung . I had my right lung removed as it had spread to some lymph nodes in the lung. I also had two lymph nodes removed near my neck which were affected. I recovered well from surgery and had four rounds of chemo afterwards just to make sure. I was 62 years old and have been cancer free for 2 1/2 years. It takes a while to fully recover you just need to take good care of yourself. I concentrated on healthy diet, gradual exercise and listening to my body. Slowly but surely I have returned to optimum health. I do yoga and Pilates and walking. I have also just started a dance fitness class! I worked hard on my mental well being before and after surgery. I hope your wife can try and pacify her fear as I found that the worst thing to deal with apart from the physical recovery. Draw on all your resources, try and remain calm. I treated the whole process very much as a job of work , something to get through and out the other side. I wish you all the best , everything passes, remain hopeful and positive.

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Maggymay

    Hi, a very warm welcome to you. I loved reading your post, it was so helpful and full of hope and positivity. I am so glad all the treatment and operations proved successful for you and you are now concentrating on living well every day. It is really good news.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is always encouraging to read how others have navigated their way through cancer and all it throws at us.

    It is lovely to 'meet' you, glad to have you here.

    Lou x

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 49 mod

    @Maggymay @Davidvalletta

    Hi Maggymay,

    What a lovely positive and kind message and I am sure that David and Janet will draw real encouragement from it,

    It is great to know that you have worked on your mental well being as well as your physical efforts as it is just as important in helping recovery.

    It sounds as if you have had and are having some fun along the way. You are a clear example of what can be achieved and I am delighted for you.

    Thank you for telling us your story, you are so welcome in our community.

    Rob x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 936 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Davidvalletta

    Hi David and Janet

    I am thinking that Janet will have had her surgery by now.

    I do hope that it went well and that she is making a good recovery.

    All the best to you both

    Rob

  • DavidvallettaDavidvalletta Posts: 9

    Hi Rob,

    Yes Janet had her surgery last Tuesday,on Wednesday she was fine but Thursday took a couple of steps back,she had an infection,but thankfully with the loving care of staff at Bexley wing St. James's hospital Leeds and the treatment she has received, I finally brought her home yesterday,she is recovering well,and we thank you for your concern Rob.

    Regards David and Janet.

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 936 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Davidvalletta

    Hi David

    That is good news and I am pleased for you both.

    Ah, so you live in Gods Own County. I went to school in Ripon many years ago and I still love Yorkshire and visit as often as I can. I was fooled into thinking you might be in Malta which I also love.

    All the very best for your future together.

    Regards, Rob

  • DavidvallettaDavidvalletta Posts: 9

    Hi Rob,

    Thank you for your concern, I understand you being fooled by thinking that we were in Malta ! Until recently we have been spending 2× 2months in Malta every year for the past seven years,and have many Maltese and British friends over there, hoping that sometime in the future we will be able to return, maybe just for a short stay,

    Regards David and Janet.

  • LaraineLaraine Posts: 1

    Hi David and Janet, glad you’re back home Janet and trust you are working through your ‘ordeal’. I use that word because it is an ordeal that really knocks you about for some time and you think it’s never ending. It really DOES get gradually easier, one day at a time. No, I’m not being patronising, just that I’ve been there and I’m coming through the other side. I had lower lobectomy and wedge resection back in February. The operation went brilliantly, also removing my lymph glands. The following day I contracted sepsis and pneumonia, thereby a 5 day estimated stay turned into 3 weeks!! The hospital staff were AMAZING, very kind to my two daughters, keeping them constantly informed of everything. Consultant was the best ever and he and his team were totally approachable. (Nottingham City Hospital).

    I began 4 rounds of Chemotherapy (agreed and decided upon before the op) in April. The treatment was fine, wonderful nurse-led unit, everyone caring and cheerful. The side effects were not desirable, lol., but hey I’m here to watch my grandchildren grow.

    What I’m trying to tell you, Janet, is that the good really outweighs the bad, there IS light at the end of the tunnel and you will come through it all with the help of family, friends and professionals. Never be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. You may feel useless, a burden, pathetic etc., these are all NORMAL feelings that eventually develop into positives. Go at your pace, don’t be pressurised, you know your own body, so work with it. You sound like lovely, caring people so that tells me you’ll come through it all. Add humour to verything, difficult at times but it does lift you. Here’s to your fantastic future xx

  • DavidvallettaDavidvalletta Posts: 9

    Hi Laraine,

    Just read your email to my wife Janet,we both thank you for taking the effort to write to us X your story Will help to give us confidence,on Wednesday Janet went back to the hospital for a chest x-ray and that was all clear ! Yesterday we went to our GP surgery and and the nurse removed the stiches from the drain,we have received a letter for our next appointment with the surgeon on October 7th so things are moving forward, thank you again.regards

    David and Janet XX

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Laraine , @Davidvalletta

    Hi Laraine,

    Thank you so much for posting such a wonderful, real, positive message. Welcome to the community, I am so glad to hear you have had such excellent care from your medical team. It is fantastic your treatment has been effective. I hope you continue to make a good recovery. It is very much a day by day, at your own pace recovery method. It sounds as though you have wonderful family support also, the grandchildren will do wonders in that respect.

    Hi David, Janet, I hope you are continuing to see improvements following surgery, sometimes it is two steps forward, one step backwards, but gradually you are moving forward, that is the the main thing. Such good news to hear the chest xray was clear. Wonderful!

    Laraine is right, finding humour along the way in this really helps to lighten the load, even on hard days. You may have seen on here sone of the mad funny exploits we get up to on other chats. It is good to laugh, a merry heart doeth good like a medicine. If the TV helps, any comedy you like helps. We all understand how hard it is to find a smile from within sometimes, watching someone else can trigger that!

    Of course I am slightly mad, so you might want to get a second opinion!! 😂

    Wishing you all a peaceful, restful, sunny! weekend,

    Chat soon,

    Lou x

  • DavidvallettaDavidvalletta Posts: 9

    Hi Lou, thank you too for your comments,we are managing a few silly moments together, which does lift the spirits ! We are gaining strength and confidence reading comments on this site, hope we can keep it going !

    Regards David and Janet XX

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 936 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2019

    @Laraine @Davidvalletta @Sunshinedaff

    Good evening lovely people.

    That was a lovely insightful, positive and encouraging message Laraine. Since joining this community I have learned a lot about the challenges which different cancers throw at people, the courage with which our members face them and the kindness and support of the others.

    Hi David and Janet. It all sounds pretty good so far. Great hear you have some fun and you will be targeting a trip to Malta in no time.

    Ha ha Lou, only slightly🤣🤣. You know we are getting rid of stuff in anticipation of our move. I had just finished the hoovering as usual this morning and I said to Mary. ‘Why don't we get rid of the Hoover, it’s only gathering dust?’ OK I know its old but at least its clean.

    By the way, I have noticed that Laraine, David and Janet have commented on the efficient, caring and loving support they have had from their medical and nursing teams. I have heard this said many times in the community and it is good to be reminded of how lucky we are to have such great medical care in our country.

    Rob xx

  • DavidvallettaDavidvalletta Posts: 9

    Hi Rob, the treatment and care that we have received from everyone at the hospital from the surgeon down to the cleaning staff has been remarkable ! We cannot thank them enough ! Regards David and Janet X

  • Just an update from David and Janet and to say that things are progressing, Janet has had her second chemotherapy treatment, her hair started coming out soon after her first treatment so we had a consultation with the Macmillan hair clinic and she purchased a wig.. she looks great ! She cropped her own hair straight away rather than have patches here and there, I took a selfie of us both (I am bald) and we agreed that we looked very similar ! We had a good laugh at ourselves X Janet is having a few side effects with the chemotherapy, feeling sick,loss of appetite, and numbness in her finger ends, but she is braving the storm ! I am in charge of cooking and giving her a healthy diet,and keeping her morale up,we are making a good team, thinking positive and marching on together ,!!! Looking forward to Christmas,even though things could be better.We know that there are others much worse off,and we wish them all well.Love and best wishes to all.

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Davidvalletta

    Hi David and Janet,

    It is lovely to hear from you, thank you so much for the update.

    I know how hard chemotherapy is and understand the tough times Janet is experiencing and how hard it is for you too David having to watch and see your lovely wife coping with the side-effects. I am full of admiration for both of you, definitely being able to find humour in the midst of this situation can do wonders to carry you through a day. I am so glad the wig is working out. It is hard losing hair and does take a while to get used to.

    We are also standing with you in your corner, you both sound like wonderful people and I sincerely hope you have a blessed, peaceful Christmas.

    With love and best wishes to you both too.

    Lou xx

  • Sunshinedaff, thank you for your kind words of encouragement,we are looking forward to Christmas,and many more in the future, hopefully, thanks again for your support, hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas, love David and Janet XX

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