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British Lung Foundation
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Probably a stupid question

I had surgery in October for lung cancer I am 64 yrs old

My upper left lobe was removed by key hole surgery & I had a good post op recovery

I had the best news ever that my cancer was very early found & that I require no further treatment except being monitored for five years

I have everything to be extremely thankful for & I am However I am so tired & feel that I have no “get up & go” at all I just want to sleep for hours upon end (when I eventually fall asleep)

Everyone tells me How Fabulous I look & how well I appear but inside my mood is low (on tablets from Dr) for this & yet I feel drained inside & lethargic & really angry at myself when I have been so fortunate

I would just like to ask is this normal or is it just me needing a kick up my ass ????

I feel so guilty moaning as everyone on this website is so very brave with what they have gone through. Where I’ve had it easy & feel ashamed to feel like this. I hope to return to work 1st week in April on phased return & hope that will help x. I’m not looking for sympathy just someone to say yup I felt like that too.

My Dr says I’m rushing things too quickly as I’ve had massive major surgery but I look so well I’m at a loss. Thank you to anyone who can answer this for me xxx

42 Replies
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Dear Hwife1 . 🌷😁

Personally, I think your doctor is right. You've just had surgery, and months of stress pre and post surgery, this all adds up! I really believe you may be expecting way too much of yourself. You seem like a person who, under normal circumstances would be keeping very busy with life. So, this tired feeling is your body telling you it needs more time to heal. Please listen to it and be kind to yourself. You so deserve it. As for people telling you how well you look, I've come to believe people in general have to say "something" and that's the first thing that springs to mind. What's important, is not their opinion about you, but your opinion.

It's okay not to be "on the ball" all the time. And certainly not after all you have been through. I am so very glad they caught the cancer early.

Sending hugs and warm wishes,

Cas xx 🌞🌻🍓🐛

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Hwife1 You have had exactly the same operation as my wife had only her's was the more invasive LVRS but in both instances the upper left lobe was removed,as was the cancer and no further treatment was required.Normally it takes a minimum of 6 weeks rest before you can consider more intensive rehab and a return to near normal activity levels so give yourself time,you are not being a wimp and just up your activity levels as and when you feel able.

Best wishes for a full recovery. ... Ski's and Scruffy x

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Thank you so much I have started swimming & light walking I just stop when I need a rest & then carry on. I still get very breathless however even climate change affects my breathing

I’m beginning to realise that I’m also older than I was so I need to learn to be PATIENT & let my body heal as Doctor has told me I hope your wife is recovering well I was extremely fortunate the surgeon managed my op by VACS & I have 3 neat scars I still have nerve pain under my arm where my drain was but they I can cope with by taking 1 pain killer daily

Thank you for your reply much appreciated xxx Best wishes to you both 🍀

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I thínk the illness has just wiped you out and that's very normal also the surgery. Any type of surgery really takes it out of you so I can't imagine how what you've been through must be like. Also perhaps the meds your on are making you tired and affecting your moods, meds often have strange side effects.

I would do what your body says and get plenty of rest. Boost yourself with vitamins, drink herbal tea and get plenty of veg.

Try some meditating, it's great for relaxing and boosting your mood, you can just do it at home, Google how to its very simple.

Don't feel bad at yourself you've been through a really toug and emotional time, it will take to come to terms with it.

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Thank you. I appreciate your reply & will take on board your comments

I think my issue is that all my life I’ve been the Carer/wife/mum/gran/sister/aunt to all my brood & siblings now things have changed & I am unable to do the things I used to for everyone. However I am cancer free & blessed to have survived x

Best wishes x

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Hwife1 I think you are being too tough on yourself! Give yourself time to rest and recover; you have been through a serious operation and a very stressful time. Try to stay positive as things will change and improve.

I had surgery (different reason and situation) and felt fatigued for 5 months. It got me down at times but it did get better. I realised that it was a combination of physical recovery, the trauma the body had been through, the emotional impact, etc.

Sending best wishes and hoping that you soon feel a lot better

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Aw thank you I’m normally on the other side of being the patient I’m definately going to think “PATIENCE” from now on & knowing it will definately get better gives me hope. Best wishes to you for Good Health this coming year xxx

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The medics do a wonderful job fixing our bodies for us, but can do little to fix the damage that our mind suffers from the process. Getting really down in the dumps can happen to anybody, often without reason. At least in your case you have a very good reason so it's nothing to be ashamed of or be feel guilty about. People have different ways of getting themselves out of it. I've been in that position myself and I use humour to try and lift my spirit by trying to see the funny side of things. Try to concentrate on only light-hearted things without thinking too deeply about anything. You'll see on here that I post a lot of rhymes which many seem to enjoy and it probably isn't all that obvious that it is part of my self-treatment. Don't try to rush anything, enjoy your new found health and I'm sure that given a little time you will wonder what all this was about. 😉

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If one of your friends had had the same op' that you've had with all the accompanying tests, worries and so on, d'ya think you'd be thinking of giving them 'a kick up the ass'? I don't think so - I reckon you'd be telling them not to overdo it, but to get plenty of rest. It's time to be your own best friend I think.

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Great advice.

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Totally forgetting the fact that you have undergone a serious major surgery.

Cancer itself is a major emotional trauma that can take a lot of getting over. You are not alone in this journey of recovery, There is no need to feel any guilt at all, you have not had an easy time of it, not like I did, having had radiotherapy, unable to have surgery. So I do have an understanding of sorts of what you are going through. Listen to your doctor, it is going to take time to get back to your normal self. Exercise to your capabilities, it will help your recovery but do not overdo it.

Neither are you alone with being told how good or well you look, when you are actually feeling like a "gorilla's armpit" a lot of us lungies get this as any lung disease is invisible. Just be kind to yourself, give yourself the time to heal. Not everyone is strong enough to bounce back straight away.

Yes, in some ways I have felt like you, it is not pleasant, but you can and will get over it given time.

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Aw thank you. I hope you are doing well

I was lucky that my operation was much easier than they anticipated & my lower lobe has totally inflated & filled the gap

Surgeon is delighted with end result so I am the lucky one as they thought I would need follow on treatment too. However tumour had fused both loved but had contained itself in upper lobe and all cardiac cells & lymph sample from aerota were all clear. I have taken note & feel better speaking to others. So thank you again & wish you good health this coming year xxx

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Thank you. I needed to hear just that. It’s true. I’m normally the one who everyone comes to & your spot on I would fonjust that I will definately focus on this

Best wishes for Good Health in 2019 xxx

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Hi I have a friend without copd who had part of a lung removed coz of scarring from repeated pneumonia.My friend was in her mid 30's at the time. It took her 6 weeks to stop being in pain and several months before she felt back to her normal self. Your doctor is right and I would expect it to take longer before you full recover. Looking well is nothing to do with it and I know it's boring but you still need to rest and eat healthily.

On the plus side since the op she says she has never felt so well and is rarely breathless now. Oh and she tells everyone her scar was caused by rescuing a child from a shark at sea! x

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That’s positive thinking if ever I heard it.lol

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I had upper left lobectomy many years ago. It took over a year for me to recover from the surgery although I could return to work after a month. Also, I was so fortunate to have recovered from the cancer. But you feelings do sound exactly as to how I felt. Eventually things improve. Hang in there and be kind to yourself.

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Hi,

Your post jumped out at me as they found activity on my PET scan recently, left lobe that was found very early too..

There's no way you should be feeling bad, about feeling bad... You've just been through an ordeal and chances are you are still recovering mentally and emotionally.....The fact that you look well is a great thing, but I think sometimes that gives others a different view of what's going on inside....No one believes I'm ill with servere COPD because I look well.. . So I totally get it....As for tiredness etc I think it sounds perfectly natural as you are recovering.....Please go easy on yourself! As like the weather the rain has to pass before the sun can shine through..... Sending you love and warm wishes....💗💗💗

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Aw thank you lovely words. I’m realising I am “normal” with the messages I have received. I hope you are doing well at least my illness is removed I hope you can keep as well as you can & thank you again xx

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Dear Hwife1 many years ago when I returned from Italy I suffered from a DVT which put me in hospital, in those days bed rest was the norm, any way I looked so fit and healthy compared to the others in the ward and I heard visitors saying "whats wrong with him lying in bed all the time" that made me feel awful and it goes to show looking well is not always being well so you do things at your pace and let your body heal its self it will tell you when it is well. Take care and be well it is your life so live it to the best of your ability.

Hope this helps as not about intrusive surgery.

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Yes it does thankyou. People on the website have made me realise I’m ok & it’s natural to have these feelings so from today I have did what I can & then rest without any guilt xxx best wishes to you healthwuse 2019 xx

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Hi I had lung reduction surgery removing the top of my left lung due to COPD on 8 th October 2018 .I'm still in recovery like you we have had major surgery .I'm told I look fabulous I can do most things again albeit a lot slower but I also get very tired , I think this is down to the op and like you when I eventually get to sleep ( which is hard sometimes ) I just want to sleep forever .I think we both have to Hangfire here and it's early days ,warmer weather is coming .....hopefully and another 3/4 months down the line I think we will feel different .Congrats on having the dreaded Cancer beaten .Good luck for the future .

Love Babs ♥️

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Ps I forgot to say I'm no spring chicken 71 years young 😊. Babs ❤️

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Thank you so very much I feel quite emotional when I read everyone’s messages (again) I wish you well & hope you have good Health to come this year

I have my first check in February & that will be the start of my 5 yrs so I’m positive for my future & looking forward to it & now I know it is not me I feel so much better in myself. Thankyou & as they say You are as old as you feel. I’m celebrating my 65th in Tenerife then will retire end of this year too. Start living after 35 years in the NHS time out is due to me xxx

God bless xxx

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I wish you continued good health and stop worrying you and me will be fine .Much love and hugs Babs xxxx

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Hwife1 I think you should be listening to what your doctors saying .. you’ve had major surgery on your body .. that’s a shock to the system! .. your being way to hard on yourself .. sleep rest and take it easy .. huge hugs xx

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I’ve learned from you all that I am feeling normal & will take on board everyone’s

Kind words & assurance so thank you & Best wishes to yourself in 2019 xxx

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Best wishes to you to my friend .. keep in touch xx

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Hwife1

Hi & welcome to the forum, we are a friendly bunch but are not masters in medicines, your Dr is probably right, don't beat yourself up so much. These things take time to settle and feeling tired and fatigued is quite normal. Do try to get yourself going a little as every little helps. Set yourself a target and try to get to it,if not it isn't the end of the road try again tomorrow.

IKeith

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Thanks plan is in place to start small walk every day from tomorrow as I was doing before my diagnosis. Reason I was walking bcos of breathlessness & had got it up to 2K. So that is my target again but small distance to start with xx

I feel so much better today & positive because of all the lovely people who have commented best wishes to you x

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Hi I agree with the doc very early days I can’t image the mental torture you must have been through before you got the brilliant good news Mind and body takes time to recover you will get there all the best in the world you deserve to be happy. Take care xxx

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Thank you I really feeling so much better today in my mood & have just made Sunday dinner however my appetite still not 100%. However that is a good thing

I am so glad I joined this website. It is a comfort to know I’m not alone but I just never realised how many people have lung issues. I have 1 & Half left but they are healthy & I wish cures could be found for lung diseases for those who are not so fortunate as I am. It humbles me when I read through the entries.

Thank you again & my best wishes for Good Health in 2019 xxx

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I think your doctor is right too. I think you need to rest and recover from all you have been through to get your get up and go back. Don't feel guilty at all. Listen to your body. Congratulations on beating lung cancer!

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Aw thanks. I’m overwhelmed by everyone’s kind comments x

I now know everything will be fine I need more patience too. I am truly blessed to have beaten lung cancer & thankful I require no chemo or radiotherapy x

Time will heal me & that I have plenty of

Fingers crossed xxx. Best wishes for Good Health to you xxx

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Hi. Tiredness and feeling a bit down and out would be expected with what you have gone through. I would I would think your vit D3 is quite low. I would start taking Vit D3, K and B 12 for a few weeks and see how you go.

Take care

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Thankyou. I will look into that. Much appreciated x

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Hello Hwife1. I am pleased to hear that someone other than myself is free of lung cancer with no treatment other than an operation.

I had open surgery to remove upper right lung lobe as there was a large cyst and sarcoidosis in lung which collapsed but was encapsulated. I had no symptoms, or breathing problems. 5 weeks later I was called to the hospital and told I had an 11 cm cancer which was so rare it could not be seen on any scan.

The cyst was sharing the same lobe and was attached to the cancer. I was out of Hospital after 3 nights.

I also had a broken rib which was more painful than the operation

Site. I have had other operations in other body parts which didn’t bother me. However Cancer is a very difficult thing to be told and the feeling of being so lucky is Also Tinged with a guilty feeling and feeling sorry for those who have cancer and going through horrendous treatment to survive.

Many young people are now getting lung cancer as well and like me have never smoked. I don’t blame smokers as I know far more smokers with COPD than lung cancer. I was 69 when I had my operation on 3rd May 2017. I am a retired RGN and I am now 71 and ok. I had internal shaking at times in the 1st year. I had shivering temperature drops. Again not all the time. I could feel crawling under my skin across my back from op site across back of bra band area without me wearing one, as it was too restricting at the time Being tired and trying to keep going can get too much and if any of you need to rest do it. Still got sarcoidosis but it’s never bothered me that much. I am fully mobile and functioning. So Hwife1 and others including myself. Never feel guilty about being cancer free without treatment. Although we feel it when the news sinks in. It’s like the get out of jail free card.

I sincerely hope that new trials and treatments will be made for those that are in the depths of any cancer and wanting to get their normal lives back.

Good luck and many blessings to you and everyone one else on the forum.

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Hi

Thankyou for your post. My tumour was not as large as yours & was opposite upper lobe however tumour had fused upper & lower lobes together and I’m fortunate my surgeon could remove through keyhole surgery. I had no further traces as my cancer was contained I have other health issues with my heart but they too are being monitored........ I hope you keep well in 2019 xxx

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Thank you for reply! I think Even a nodule growth is important to check, just in case it is a cancer. There would be more chance for options. As I had no symptoms of lung problems and my breathing was and is normal. I knew sarcoid was there from an X Ray and scan. After diagnosis of sarcoidosis, the final scan in October 2003 was never followed up until I had a chest infection which despite antibiotics that didn’t work, the 2nd lot cleared it. I was sent for an X Ray in January 2016 and was called to surgery 2 days later about a large mass which was the cyst. No cancer detected. The cyst grew bigger and I had the operation. I am extremely lucky that the lobe was removed with everything intact. Otherwise if the cancer had entered my lymph nodes it would be a different story. There was no treatment available for it.

I think that chest X rays should be done as a precaution for persistent coughs or infections, or ongoing lung problems. It would be good if routine scans could be done on request. However the NHS would find it unaffordable. If I had not moved to my current address in a City with excellent care at the Hospitals it would not have happened.

Take care and enjoy life. 🌻

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Sorry about your heart and glad you are being monitored. You are a kind hearted person and I hope you enjoy life from now and through the future.

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Thanks again. I hope you enjoy the best of Health too. My best wishes xxx

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October was really not far away!

Youve had a massive emotional shock. It takes time to work through that even if the outcome has been a positive one.

Physically you need time to recover from major surgery, doesnt matter that it was key hole, still major surgery!

A hysterectomy needs 3months or more for recovery.

Listen to your body and be gentle with yourself.....

You will do just fine...

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I’m finding out I’m not as fit as I think I should be. Lessons bring learned slowly The snow here at home has affected my breathing & basically I’ve not been out much due to change in weather hopeful when climate changes & linger daylight I will be able to do more. Thanks very much for your comments & I wish you best of Health this year xxx

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