Mums surgeon appointment, feeling anxious 😩

Hi all

I am a bit emotional this evening, I think the last few months have caught up with me! My mum has recently been diagnosed with early stage Adenocarcinoma in both lungs. Her case is quite unusual in that it is 2 new cancers and the scans etc have not shown any spread elsewhere which we are very grateful for. It has taken a few months to get the full diagnosis and she has been told she will have surgery on both lungs with no further treatment after which was quite a surprise but again we are so grateful. She has an appointment with the surgeon this Thursday to discuss the surgery and I just feel so anxious about it. It has taken 4 months to get her diagnosis and it has been an emotional roller coaster to say the least! I feel a bit silly even saying this as we have been told old that she has a very good prognosis and they are treating her with curative intent but I just feel so worried - what if her her situation has changed in the time it's taken to get the diagnosis, how long will she wait for the surgery, about her having the surgery, how she will be after.... the list goes on!

Does anyone have experience of surgery on both lungs?

Thanks in advance x

13 Replies

  • It takes a long, long time for a cancer cell to become large enough to show on a Ct. it's not unusual to take 2-3 months to get a complete diagnosis.

    If she doesn't have a recliner then get one. She'll need to sleep in that with pillows tucked around her.

    Did they say they're doing an open thorachotomy or the minimally invasive VATS surgery?

  • Hi Denzie

    Thank you for the advice! I did not realise that diagnosis can take this long. I am not sure what type of surgery, she will find out more on Thursday. The previous consultant did mention something about minimally invasive though, both of her tumours are small. One is around 3.5 cm and the other is tiny (too small for ct scan and was picked up on a pet scan)

  • She's blessed they found the tumors early. It sounds as though once she has the surgery she will be cancer free.

    Be supportive and encourage her because her recovery time may be lengthy.

  • Thank you Ruthie x

  • Yes, this journey is a roller coaster ride with a lot of hurry up and wait. It's normal to be anxious about the what ifs. How can we help it? Be sure to ask all your questions when you see the surgeon. Chances are he will not know everything until the surgery is completed and all the test results are in. In the mean time, take it one day at a time, trying to keep occupied. The recliner is a must. My daughter gave me hers to use after my surgery and has not reclaimed it. I am so grateful for it.

    Hope this helps. Please do keep us informed of her progress and yours.


  • Hi Missy, it's great they found your Moms cancer so early! Once they do surgery I'm sure your Mom will be fine! And, yes, a recliner would be good for when she gets home. It is very stressful to have to wait for results, I wait each month for blood work to come on. I have stage 4 carcinoid lung cancer, middle lobe removed. Waiting as I type this to see where I'm at with the cancer. It's something that is unavoidable , but sounds like your Mom has a good chance to be cancer free. Take care, try to think positive, even though I know that's a very hard frame of mind during these hard times .

  • Thank you Gibdonnalee! and i hope your bloods come back good! Xx

  • Hello. I'm so glad that they found this at a very early stage. If you don't mind my asking was she having symptoms? How was it discovered? I actually broke my rib and it was found during x rays. They said mine had been there for awhile as well, I was diagnosed in February and I'm just starting treatments this week. I'm praying for you and your family.

  • Hi mytwins02 thank you for your kind words. My mum had a chest infection last September that didn't resolve with antibiotics and so her doctor sent her for a chest X-ray which showed a mass in her right lung. She didn't have a chronic cough or anything but had been getting very tired throughout the day from around summer time. A pet scan in December showed a second very small area in her left lung which was a complete shock as this didn't show on the X-ray or ct scan. To be honest aside from fatigue my mum really doesn't have any symptoms even now and so up until the biopsy results we really didn't think it was going to be cancer. But we do feel very blessed that it seems to have been caught early. It must have been a shock for you when you were diagnosed! Good luck and best wishes for your treatment. I will keep you in my prayers x

  • It sure was a big shock! Sometimes it still doesn't feel real. I'm feeling positive for myself and I pray a lot. I am so glad your mom was caught early. Blessings and prayers to you and your family and keep us updated

  • Hi everyone, so my mum met her surgeon today! I didn't feel he was as positive about my mums situation as the pulmonary consultant was. He said they don't know 100% that it's not metatastic cancer from the right lung into the left - but they "think" it is 2 new cancers. This was disappointing as we were under the impression that it is 2 different cancers. he explained the procedure to my mum - she will have a vats lobectomy on the right side and through the same incision he plans to work through to the left and remove the left tumour (wedge resection) He did explain the risks involved and also said that as my mum had radiation for breast cancer 6 years ago she may have adhesions on her left lung which will make it more difficult to remove the tumour in this way and in this case they won't continue but she will go back for further surgery around 8 weeks later. He said if any cancer is found in her lymph nodes or if the tumour is above 3cm she will be offered chemo - this also threw us off a bit as we were under the impression that there is no cancer in the lymph nodes and chemo isn't needed.

    It was a lot to take in but we are feeling positive x

  • Your mom's surgeon sounds very experienced and it sounds like he did an excellent job of laying out your mom's situation in more complete and more cautious detail. He was wise to tell you that they may find a different situation when they actually operate - yet it sounds like he did not undermine your hope.

    It is surprising how long it takes to get a complete diagnosis. It sounds like your mom's cancer may be a type that is not as aggressive, meaning her team has time to do things right.

    One thing to consider: having your mom's cancer tested for the biomarkers that have become very important in cancer treatment, in case she does have a recurrence. She is going to have a lot of tissue available for testing! If the cancer were to recur, it might not be easy to access for testing. Even if tumor testing wont be done, ask about preservation of tissue for testing in the future if needed.

    Your mom is fortunate to have such a hopeful prognosis and a careful surgeon. Best hopes that all goes perfectly for her!


  • Thank you Anita, This has helped me re-gain some perspective! I guess I was a bit overwhelmed by the surgeon appointment! I will certainly ask about the bio markers and preserving some tissue.

    Thank you again,

    Best wishes to you x

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