Free to Breathe

Upper left lung lobectmy

On January 4, 2018, I had my left upper lung removed. I am going through Chem, so far so good. I feel tired all the time do t know if it is the chemo or my diminished lung capacity. I feel good, but not like before. I am 54 simply working around the yard gets me winded. So I work in law enforcement, it will be a lo g while but I am not sure that I can return, I may be forced to retire. I turn 55 in November. Retirering wasn't my plan before cancer, but may be the reality now. My cancer was a result of being a first responder to the World Trade Center attack on 911. so if I retire I'l be ok. Just wondering if my shortness of breath and fatigue will ever end. Not sure if I can get SSI disability

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HI and welcome i had my left upper lobe removed i had stage 3. It takes some time so don,t push yourself. Just take your time,everyone is different they do it at there own pace. I still get a little out of breath and you,ll get therei tire a little more than i did. But it will be ok its what we call our new normal. This is a great place to be everyone on here helps each other and they will be here for you if you need talk just get on here we,ll be here and help if you need us . i took six months of chemo i am now five years cancer free. so there is always hope and don,t give up. Susiejo1948

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Thanks

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First thank you for your service.

You’ve lost your LUL. That’s 25% of your breathing capacity. Right now you’re experiencing the double whammy- the fatigue caused by loss of love and fatigue caused by chemo. Part of your recovery process, post treatment, should be pulmonary rehab. You may have to push for a new baseline Pulmonary Function Test in order to get it.

As a first responder on 9/11 you shouldn’t have to worry about getting cleared for disability but there’s no way to predict that outcome. As a member of the public who followed stories of health care for 9/11 first responders, we were told that you would each receive a large sum of a disability payment. We’ve also heard that it’s not true. You deserve a piece of the mega millions of dollars donated for that reason and I hope you get it. Feeding yourself and keeping a roof over your head is the last thing you should have to worry about right now.

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Hi and WELCOME! You will get great answers from the folks here. Please remember that you have lost 25% of your lung capacity and that chemo on its own can cause great fatigue. As a 9/11 responder, there is supposed to be a fund that you can tap into for your health needs. My suggestion would be to go to your local neighborhood legal aid office and ask for help from them. Their services are either free or very low cost. They can help advise you about how to tap into the 9/11 fund, and how to apply for Social Security Disability. You may want to wait to retire until after the SSD is in place. They would know more about it.

Thank you for your service, and may God bless you

Lauri-Anne

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My doctors told me to allow 6 months to a year to get to what my normal would be. I ran around at my job all day, so decided to retire. I applied for disability and got it fairly quickly. I still have issues with getting winded easily, but I also had COPD and asthma. Take your time and be patient with yourself. God bless!

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How old were you when it happened

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57

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Hi! I’m happy you had successful surgery but sorry that you’re feeling the after effects. I’m not sure if the shortness of breath after a lobectomy goes away. I haven’t been lucky enough to be a surgical candidate. I DO know that the scarring left from radiation has left me with permanent shortness of breath but normal functioning is still possible. If I ever get this heart thing figured out, I too would like to go back to work. Talk to your onc about your concerns and maybe they can get you back to work sooner rather than later. Or better yet...retire and enjoy yourself. Life is too short. I wish you good health!

😊😊😊

Deana

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I was diagnosed at the age of 53, and never smoked. I had my right uppe lobe removed and had 4 rounds of chemo. I had horrible fatigue with chemo, but still tried to walk daily as my doctor told me- some days I got farther than others. It has been over 4 years and I still get winded, I do spin class twice a week and it has helped. Give yourself time to recover from this massive upheaval to your body.

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Thank you

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Bluetug, First of all, thank you for your service. As a society, we owe you. Please take the advice of these great folks and get some advice - you deserve help with this. For general information: ssa.gov/benefits/disability/. If you email me at pbezruki@lcrf.org I can also email you our Resource Guide on help with legal matters. Take Care!

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I do believe SSI is where I am heading. Not sure if they will approve me

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It is likely you will be approved, but the important thing to remember is if rejected reapply. Some people have to apply 3, 4 even 5 times before getting approval.

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God bless you for being there during one of our country's worst moments. I'm sure you were responsible for saving many lives. Now you are facing a journey no one wants. I'm so glad your surgery was successful and now you face the long road to recovery. Your fatigue and shortness of breath are normal. My lul lobectoctomy was in 2015 and I still get short of breath climbing stairs and when the air quality is not great. Do go for whatever financial and other resources that are available. As Denzie said, the last thing you need to worry about is money. You selflessly gave for us now it's time we gave to you.

Jean

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I am already registered with the WTC VCB. unfortunately it takes time to get the financial aspects settled. They did certif me, so they provide Heath coverage that acts as a secondary.

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Bluetug, Thank you for your service.

My husband was a volunteer fire fighter, he was on this list to go to NYC to help, but they were never called in.

I am glad you have started the process with the WTC VCB. As for Social Security Disability, I returning to my part time job after my surgery, but had a difficult time. I applied for SSD and got it while still working. Your earned income has to be under the threshold amount SS sets each year. From what I was told, cancer is an automatic qualifier.

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I believe that is the way I am going

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You have worked and paid into the system, that is your money to draw on when you need it.

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