I arrived at the Bldg. where I was told the chest surgeon was located on the th 4 flr. The appt. with the him was made by my pulmonologist.
The info sign at the elevator had only one cardiac group and rehab center on the 4th flr..... and that is where I found him.
So my first question is to everyone, as I havent looked into it yet, but isnt there a thoracic surgeon who does only lung surgery? I asked him during the course of the conversation how many of these type operations he had done and he said a few dozen with very good results. Am I being paranoid, because I am feeling like I would have preferred to hear a "few hundred". The Cardiac group is associated with Albany Medical Cener, NY which is a fairly well renowned teaching hospital in these parts.
I have a 2cm lesion in the upper left lobe on the periphery. It lit up on a pet scan last week, and I do have two other patch densities in that lung that did not light up and several small spots in both lungs.
I read the Pet scan report and found that it also stated a mild uptake in the thoracic spine area. I have long term lumbar disc problems but no thoracic that I know, so I pushed for a bone scan.
I had a brain MRI done in April because I ran into a problem with my optic nerve after a cataract operation and they were looking for some type of compression on the nerve. Luckily that was clear so I feel like I am at least home free in the head right now.
I also had a swollen lymph node in my neck which wouldnt go down last December and had a cat scan of my neck, which said everything looked okay altho I still have the swollen lymp right under my mandible. It is moveable and the doc at that time said it was the tail of the parotid gland. It hurts sometimes so I am worried about that as well.
Most important was that the surgeon today recommended a wedge biopsy of the nodule and several lymph nodes, which will be immediately tested by the pathologist and if it is cancer, they will take the entire upper left lobe out.
He didnt mention a biopsy by a needle or any other way, and I forgot to ask. Should I have or do you people feel this is the best way to go.
I see him again on the 20th after the tests are run.
Thank you all for caring.
Joyce in Upstate NY
Not sure about the thoracic surgeon question - but there is no harm in shopping around.
I was in the same boat almost exactly a year ago. I got my news on June 24...I had a 1 cm nodule on the upper right lobe. I opted for the wedge resection and was told the same thing...if malignant, the whole upper lobe comes out right then and there. Scary. But if surgery were not an option, it would have been scarier.
Mine was benign and the surgery ended with the nodule and small portion of the lung being removed. Mine did not light up on the PET scan as yours did, which is why your doctor may be pushing for the surgery a little more than mine was.
It is personal decision whether or not to have the surgery. I had a 10 month old daughter and a 13 year old daughter at the time and had to fight for my life if it were malignant. I was very agressive with my testing and treatment and thankfully it had a happy ending. I would do it again if I had to. The peace of mind I have now is a gift! If it were malignant, my chance of survival was very high, so either way...the surgery was necessary in my opinion.
Needle biopsies, in my opinion, are useless. They can stick you 3 or 4 times and miss the malignant section of the nodule.
The surgery was not that bad...and I quit smoking after 25 years. So something else good came out of it. It has been 9 months and I will NEVER smoke again - ever. Once you have a chest tube sticking out of the side of your chest for a couple of days..kinda makes you wonder why you ever did this to yourself...
Thank you for sharing that very frightening part of your life with me, Mary Ellen. It's just about the scariest place on the planet to be .... when you are first told you might have or do have lung cancer. I am really so happy for you that God has seen fit to allow you to continue your life as it should be, loving and enjoying your children!
For myself, my children are grown, but still very very difficult even thinking how I am going to tell them.