Chemotherapy after Surgery

Two weeks ago my husband had a right upper lobectomy and lymph node sampling. He was discharged last week but to our suprise was given an appointment to attend the hospital on Monday only 13 days after the operation. It transpired that they were concerned that my husbands lung had not inflated fully and wanted him to have a chest x-ray. While we were there, the Dr said he had good news for us...that the tumour had been fully excised and that there was no sign of spread to the lymph nodes. we were told that he would not need further treatment and was very lucky. We were obviously very releaved. However, today we received a call from our local chest clinic ( who had referred him to the hospital for surgery) to offer him chemotherapy.

We don't understand this ....I wondered if chemotherapy is recommended after surgery just as a precaution...Has anyone else been in a simliar situation?

Thank you for help....

5 Replies

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  • Hi Alice.

    I haven't personally experienced this but I'm sure I've heard of it previously. I think it's maybe a precaution - kind of 'belt and braces' - just to make sure everything's okay. I suggest you speak with the cancer nurse specialist, who can give you the best advice and answers. Bill

  • Hi Alice. my husband has had his whole left lung removed and also has been told chemo is needed, if you have any worries the lung nurse specialist will help. Before the op we knew that because the cancer was stage 3 there is always a chance that in surgery small bits may escape, and as has been suggested above, the chemo was explained as a kind of 'insurance policy' to prevent it coming back, so try not to worry. We still don't know if there is a likely spread that wasn't seen - but the smaller the tumour the less likely this is. Take care and it would be lovely to hear how you are getting on. My husband is doing well at two weeks post op, but a bit depressed at not been able to do much. There seems to be very little post operative care so I do worry as he was discharged only four days after surgery. Does anyone know how much he should be doing and how he should be? I think he tries too hard as he is extremely tired a lot of the time.I suppose ups and downs are to be expected. Any advice welcome.

  • Hi Katw,..Thank you for your reply...Im afraid we adopted the "ostrich" postion regarding my husbands results...because the news was good and the surgeon said my husband did not need more treatment we just said" thank you and goodbye!!" As he didnt have a biopsy prior to surgery we dont know what stage it is ... everything happened very quickly. He has an appointment with the Oncologist in 2 weeks so we will just have to wait and see!

    I do hope your husband is doing well...its a big operation and takes a lot of getting over. I totally agree with you regarding post operative care...basically you seem to be left to get on with it...thats not to critisise the actual hospital treatment which was outstanding. I assume your husband had a large incision and epidural etc...? Im sure that this takes a lot of time to recover from ...My husband seems a bit depressed too...we have tried a couple of short walks but he finds them exhausting ...I think they just expect too much from themselves.

    I would have liked more info about wound care and diet as well...As you say ups and downs are to be expected and it is very early days.

    I would like to know how your husband gets on...very best wishes to you both..

    its hard on partners as well as patients!!

  • Thank you Alice, things were going really well but we've both had the horrible sickness bug. Although my husband is much better he has lost a lot of weight and I'm worried about the chemo - we are also waiting for the next appointment - I'm hoping that the chemo is just a precaution - but part of me is - as you are - worried. I don't know anyone else in this situ so thank you and do keep in touch.

  • Hi katw....so sorry to hear you have both been ill...just what you don't need!!

    I worry about my husbands weight too....he has always been very slim so cannot afford to lose much more....! I'm trying hard to get him to eat 3 meals a day ...but hes not keen...they both need to keep their strength up if they have to face chemotherapy...I do hope it is just a precautionary thing...fingers crossed..

    I dont know anybody in this position either so its nice to hear how things are going with you..

    Best wishes xxxx

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