Stage 1 lung cancer: I had a VAT Wedge... - Lung Cancer Support

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Stage 1 lung cancer

Jdel513 profile image

I had a VAT Wedge removal 6 weeks ago Right lung and still feeling uncomfortable and electric shocks under my breast.I’m moving around but that when it seems to hurt more

34 Replies

Hi there. I had a ULL on 8/28. I'm stage 1a and am not receiving further treatment. I too had pains similar to what you are describing. Are you taking any medication? I'm taking Gabapenatin and it's helped a lot. I was told my pain was due to nerve damage during the surgery. Speak to your surgeon to see if what you are experiencing is still due to healing from the surgery you had.

Jdel513 profile image
Jdel513 in reply to Dariada

Yes my doctor prescribe Gabapentin 200 mg 3 times a day it been 6 weeks and it is getting better ! It’s seem when I more a round a lot it hurts more And I get a lot of shortness of breath but I also have COPD The nerve pain under my Breast is still pain ful and numb! Spoke to dr today and he said it going to take time😒😒

Puggsy profile image
Puggsy in reply to Dariada

Hi there,I had vats nearly 3 months ago. I am still experiencing discomfort to the point that I still cannot wear a shirt. The skin along the intercostal nerve route is very sensitive and some parts numb. Some parts are also still tender as if bruised. The good news is that my symptoms are getting better. Initially I was at 300mg gabbapentin 1/day, but then it was increased to 300mg 3/day. I personally do not feel any side effects from the drug. I am a 180lb male. (81.65kg) It has been a slow gradual healing. I’m hoping one more month.

(So in order to wear a shirt, I have made a device that I put in my waistband that holds my shirt off of my skin. It has allowed me to go to work.)

Hope this helps.

Charlie

New York

Jdel513 profile image
Jdel513 in reply to Puggsy

Thanks you ! Slow process But getting there! I’m in New York too

Puggsy profile image
Puggsy in reply to Jdel513

I was seen at Sloan. How about you?

Jdel513 profile image
Jdel513 in reply to Puggsy

I was at Lenox hill

Dariada profile image
Dariada in reply to Jdel513

So am I! Long Island

Denzie profile image
DenzieModerator

My experience is similar to Dariada (but my VATS surgery was for something different). My doctor prescribed gabapentin as well. I definitely found relief with it but my doctor started me on a strong dose that made me sleepy. They gave me 3x300 mg three times a day. We tapered it off and I found I could function best at 100mg 2x/day.

If you are female I would recommend not using an underwire bra. I found a couple different soft cotton, sports-type bras that had wide bands at the bottom and wide arm bands that were most comfortable. They don’t give the best support but they provide comfort.

Jdel513 profile image
Jdel513 in reply to Denzie

Yes I’m going to order some new bras

JanetteR57 profile image
JanetteR57 in reply to Jdel513

It can take a while but moving about is very important in keeping active to help the lung recover. I have worn non wired bras since my open (not keyhole) lobectomy 10 years ago and was advised by a lingerie fitter to increase the band size so it was not pressing on the wound/scar. Some makes have side support so can be supportive even in larger sizes. nerve damage takes a while to repair and may remain numb in the meantime - we all know if we have a tooth disturbed at the dentist it can play up so operating by moving and in cases cutting through nerves is bound to take time. I've enclosed a link to the Roy Castle booklet about lung surgery that was updated this year with answers to many of your questions and points. There are different types of painkiller for nerve pain - when I had a trapped ulna nerve in my elbow and surgery to reposition it I was prescribed amitryptiline which the initial dose left me a bit spaced out but modified dose worked ok. good luck with your continued recovery and despite your discomfort, do keep as active as you can - it will help your recovery in the long run. roycastle.org/app/uploads/2...

My tumour was 7cm and stage 2b.

I had an upper right lobectomy..in june 2008..for about 2-3 yrs after i felt a dull pain where i was cut..now almost 14 yrs later just a very..very small dull pain now and then..i was 1a..

Todd04 profile image
Todd04 in reply to joe_s17050

Hi I am stage 1a as well. Diagnosed January of this year. I am always looking for support and encouragement from others with stage 1a. I would love to hear your story. I had a lobectomy and my tumor was a grade 2.

Dariada profile image
Dariada in reply to Todd04

Same here!

Dariada profile image
Dariada in reply to Todd04

I too am looking to connect with others stage 1 people to share experiences and treatment.

Leo63 profile image
Leo63 in reply to Dariada

Hi. My name is Corina. Diagnosed stage 1 adenocarcinoma end of November 2020 due to covid still waiting surgery date for ULL removal, hopefully this month. All surgeries reduced 50%. Getting anxious now but using the time to get strong physically and mentally. I still get pain sometimes from my ct needle biopsy that I had in November , nerves I guess. Be happy to keep in touch. Stay well

Dariada profile image
Dariada in reply to Leo63

Hi Corina, I’m sorry your surgery had to be postponed! I can imagine the stress this is causing. Do as much deep breathing exercises as you can. After the surgery you will get a spirometer to use to increase your lung function. Use that often - it helps you recover better.

joe_s17050 profile image
joe_s17050 in reply to Todd04

hello and happy new year...in feb/08 i was diagnosed with pneumonia..in march/08 my dr ordered a chest xray..a mass was noticed..after 2 ct scans and a pet scan i was diagnosed with lung cancer stage 1a..i had surgery june 2008..right upper lobectomy..no chemo..and no radiation..my onc advised after 5 yrs if nothing shows up no more onc visits are necessary..during my physical in 2017 i mentioned to my pcp i haven`t seen an oncologist since 2013....she thought it good to touch base ..so i made an appointment sept 2017..the onc advised me the new standard procedure is to have a lung cancer screening low dose ct scan every yr..so thats what i have been doing and nothing has showed up..

Todd04 profile image
Todd04 in reply to joe_s17050

Hi Joe. My name is Janie not Todd. Lol I guess I didn’t realize the site would use my login ID for my name. Anyway thanks for responding. It’s always nice to hear from long term survivors with stage 1a. Would you mind telling me the grade of your tumor? I guess I worry a bit more with mine being a grade 2. Also from the start were your follow up scans every 6 months?

joe_s17050 profile image
joe_s17050 in reply to Todd04

hello Janie...yes for 2 years a follow up ct scan...every 6 mos...then once a yr for yrs 3-5..i am sorry to say i really do not know the grade of lung cancer i had..all i know it was 1a..

I will be praying for you..

``ANYTIME``..you want to write or ask questions please feel free to do so..I understand the feelings you have...

Todd04 profile image
Todd04 in reply to joe_s17050

Good Morning, Thank you for responding to my questions and your offer of support through my journey. I really appreciate it. Have a great day!!!

I had VATS surgery initially in 2012, I experienced pain and numbness for quite some time, the pain was under my breast and around my back. I was calling the dr. Every two weeks being told it’s nerve pain give it time. In my case it felt like a broken rib, after a X-ray being negative I had a CAT scan sure enough I had a fractured rib. You know your body, if in two weeks you don’t feel better call your doctor. Sometimes we know better than them.

I was told everything was great, I needed no chemo not enough a consult with an oncologist. Unfortunately my cancer returned in 2014, and 2016 now at stage IV.

Looking back I would have seen an oncologist for peace of mind, then again cancer grows a bit before it will show on a scan and I may have gotten the same response.

Stay in the HOPE, faith, and be your own advocate, wishing you good health!

God Bless,

Jdel513 profile image
Jdel513 in reply to June2081

I will give 2 more week if no improvement I will ask for a ct scan and also make a appointment with a oncologist. You are the 3/person to tell me . Wishing you also good health and God Bless

Dariada profile image
Dariada in reply to June2081

I had to ask fir a consult with an oncologist. My surgeon told me that there was no need at stage 1a but I was determined to to see someone for another opinion. The oncologist I met with (from Sloan Kettering) told me that there is no data that supports further treatment at my stage. A watchful approach is all they do.

All the replies are on the mark. I am more than five years out from my lobectomy and still have occasional pain in the incision site and chest tube area. It is much improved and responds well to simple Tylenol. Your symptoms will improve with time, so be patient. I was not able to wear a bra for many months, so be patient there too. I hope your symptoms improve quickly. Most of all keep moving.

Jdel513 profile image
Jdel513 in reply to JeanE41

Thank you

Yes I think you should and don’t let them blow you off, I was in terrible pain, and the fractured rib was a result of the surgery, I had no pain prior. We always need to try and be our own advocate. You will be in my prayers for healing, God bless all of us ❤️🤍

Jdel513 profile image
Jdel513 in reply to June2081

😘🥰

I had a right upper lobectomy..surgery..13 years ago..still feeliing a twinge of pain now and then..nothing serious though..was stage 1a..no other treatment..

So encouraging to hear you are 13 years post diagnose!!!

6 weeks is still very early. I had my lobectomy in august and still have some pain at times. It could be nerve damage as was the case for me. Gabapentin was prescribed abs has been very helpful!

Jdel513 profile image
Jdel513 in reply to Dariada

I’m starting to feel better pain is subsiding it’s been 8 weeks .I still have nerve pain using the pain patch and Gabapentine an trying to walk about 30 minutes a day

Glad to hear it! My new year resolution is to walk more!

Here is a little bit about my journey:Dec. 22, 2015 I had a wedge resection (VATS) on my ULL and on Jan. 12, 2016 I had a lobectomy on RUL. I was classified as Stage IV and went through 3 years of chemotherapy. My last chemo was on Jan. 23, 2019. I have remained in remission with no cancer detected. I have CT scans every 3 months until July 2020 my oncologist changed CT scans every 6 months. My next scan is Jan. 12, 2021

It took me quite awhile to start feeling some relief. I was taking 900 mg of Gabapentin. I could not even sleep on the side I had surgery for some time. I could not wear a bra for a little while but eventually I was able to wear my sports bra. However, after 5 years I am still feeling the pins and needles in my arm and around where the incisions/scars are. I feel it especially when I am using my arm to exercise. I also noticed part of my diaphragm was a little numb as well. Like I said I still have residual effects after 5 years but the pain did get better.

It just takes time but eventually you will notice the pain to subside.

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