Post Op Appointments : Hello, has... - Lung Cancer Support

Lung Cancer Support

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Post Op Appointments

janeths466
janeths466

Hello, has anyone had a thoracotomy for their cancer and after how much did you all have to follow up with oncologist? My mom had an emergency thoracotomy after coughing blood for a week. Also, when my mom was diagnosed they just told us "she has a type of cancer, but it is treatable thankfully." After her surgery removal, we are barely going for her pathology tests. What did the doctor neceseralliy mean? And what can I expect at this appointment? Im scared

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Denzie
DenzieModerator

I had a VATS thoracotomy (video assisted thoracotomy). Mine was for something other than my lung cancer but I hope I can help. When you get a diagnosis like this it’s hard to know what it is you need to know to get answers.

When did she have the surgery? When they did the thoracotomy did they remove a piece of the lung? A lobe? The whole lung? What type of lung cancer did they say she had. They may not know yet if this was just the last day or two.

She will need to undergo more testing before she has a complete diagnosis. The pulmonologist will have seen her in the hospital so that’s good. No waiting for an appointment there. She will need a PET scan, a bone scan and an MRI of the brain before they can finish staging it. If it is non small cell they will need to examine it to decide if it is adenocarcinoma, squamous Cell, giant cell or other rarer type of nsclc.

When they have the type they may do genomic testing to find out if she can be treated with a pill rather than chemotherapy. They will check to learn if it is well, moderately or poorly differentiated. Moderate and poorly differentiated cancers are more aggressive.

The Go2 Foundation has a wonderful handbook that I would recommend you get. It’s free and full of so much great information. I’ll get back with a link for it in a few minutes.

PS: I’m 8.75 years out with stage 4 lung cancer.

Denzie
DenzieModerator in reply to Denzie

Here’s the link. You can contact them to order it, or download it. lungcancerfoundation.org/pa...

janeths466
janeths466 in reply to Denzie

Thanks for the reply! Well she got the thorocotamy on June 10. (So about a month and a week ago). A week before the surgery she was sedated in Intensive care for a week while the tumor was being biopsed and they did a lot of MRI's on her while she was sedated as well. Blood work every morning, chest X rays all the way until her release. After surgery she stayed until June 22nd and until that day tested for every possible thing.They just gave us the aftercare paper and the surgeon visited her the day of release and said "Good to see you better, I will see you in one month." I expected results from him, but he seemed unbothered and left. Take in mind doctors in ICU came in and out everyday but I got nothing despite her staying about 2 weeks in the hospital prior to surgery. I also called the oncologist bc i was instructed to take her in a week and she says it is not necessary at the moment, that until August. I just want answers and it takes so long.

Also yes the doctor told me his goal was to remove the lower lobe. After he just told me it was succesful.

Also rarely mentioned the cancer to me, he was primarily focused on the bleeding and the problem. Did not focus much on it.

Denzie
DenzieModerator in reply to janeths466

Ask for copies of the pathology reports. Make sure she has given them permission to share everything with you. August is only a couple days away. It can often take two months to get a complete diagnosis and staging. The genomic testing can take a few weeks. When they know where the dna in the cells broke down they will complete the treatment plan. I gave you some questions you need to have answered. When you have that we can help you a lot more.

janeths466
janeths466 in reply to Denzie

Yeah they did not tell us what cancer but they said it was a treatable type and it was not of their concern at that moment because of the bleeding. I did reply to the questions about surgery and her lower lobe removed. She did have this tumor for 6 years and she was aware, it was said to be encapsulated back then. I guess now it has impacted her as of this year. But she has known about it. Thank you so much for the reply! The appointment is this thursday in the morning.

Denzie
DenzieModerator in reply to janeths466

Where are you being seen?

janeths466
janeths466 in reply to Denzie

In San Diego California, Sharp Memorial Hospital. Known for good doctors. I suppose because they basically brought my mom back to life :) x

janeths466
janeths466 in reply to Denzie

Also, we seeing the surgeon thursday, oncologist friday

Denzie
DenzieModerator in reply to janeths466

Great! This is a printable list of questions to ask your doctor. Some info you already have. Print it out and use the space provided for the answers. At this point you will only want to use questions from page 1-6. Don’t worry there are only a couple questions on each page. cancer.org/content/dam/canc...

janeths466
janeths466 in reply to Denzie

Thanks! I am hoping for the best, but ready for anything and with these questions in mind I feel more prepared to go.

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