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Colleen D

My Lung Surgery, Sept. 2015

I went to the cardiologist for my yearly check up. I have a leaky valve that we kept a watch on. During the visit I mentioned to my doctor that I had been having strong night sweats and could wring out my hair. He quizzed me and strongly insisted I get a chest X-ray ASAP so I did. I was a smoker so I usually had a chest X-ray every two years (so there was a base) and they found a spot in the lower 3rd lobe of my right lung. Then I had a CT scan and it was still there so I had to find a thoracic surgeon. He sent me for a PET scan and it was positive for cancer. Thirty-five days after seeing my cardiologist I had a right lobectomy.

Even though the news threw me for a loop, I did go into surgery with a good positive outlook, and faith in my doctors, and the hospital. I was not as scared of the surgery as I was of telling family and friends. That meant that it was real. The next fear was of likely facing either chemo/ radiation. I was very fortunate that because of early detection the malignancy was stage one, and easily removed. I was cancer free! No further treatment necessary was the very best news possible.

Six days after the surgery, even with everything going so well, I had an embolism and an afib attack which occasionally happens after lung surgery. Not every surgery goes as well as mine so I guess I had to have something to talk about. The recovery was not exactly a breeze, but it was doable and not as tough as I thought it would be. Of course there were those days. They passed.

I am so very grateful for having such good support from doctors, hospital staff and of course family and friends. With early detection and a positive attitude outcomes like mine are more and more the norm. And yes, I have quit smoking!

First published: March 8, 2016

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