Recovering from lung cancer surgery …

I am writing this in late January 2023. My experience with lung cancer began in early November 2022. I have posted several times on it and rather than rehash those posts, I have collected them onto a Page entitled – My experience with lung cancer so you can go back to any part that may interest you.

The experience began in November and I had a ‘period of darkness’ that lasted eight weeks during which I knew that I had lung cancer, but had no idea how bad it might be. On December 20 I met my ‘cancer team’ and got a ton of information about cancer in general, my cancer, in particular, and my options going forward. They scheduled surgery for January 11. So, for more than two months, I lived with the idea that I was carrying cancer and now I might be getting free of it with the surgery.

Cut to today – late January. I have had the surgery and the upper lobe of my left lung was removed along with a larger than two inch sized tumor. I am now in RECOVERY. Having lived a relatively healthy life with very few serious encounters with doctors or hospitals, I really had no idea what to expect after major surgery. I thought, naively, that once I had the surgery I was done…. Not so.

Now, I have a much clearer idea. I have an incision in my left side through which the tumor and lobe were removed. The ribs needed to be separated for this to occur. So, when I was released from the hospital, 36 hours after the operation, I was given a prescription for painkillers and told to be sure to use them. As it turns out, the operation has left me with a really ugly scar on the left side of my chest (I’m doing you the favor of not showing a photo). Because of the surgical activity, my chest feels like a big guy wearing a Super Bowl ring punched my ribs several times. So, while I have a full range of motion with my arms and legs, my torso activity is highly restricted.

After 11 days, I am still taking the pain pills religiously. It hurts to turn my body in either direction.

The good news in all this, besides the fact that I think I am cancer-free, is that I am able to walk my dog three times a day. Walking was one of the recommendations upon my release. I don’t have a lot of energy, so the walks really make up the bulk of my exercise for the entire day. Also, I don’t have much of an appetite. I understand that is par for the course. I just have to wait this thing out one day at a time.

Besides walking, I was given an Incentive Spirometer which I use regularly throughout the day to build up my lungs.

So, nearly two weeks into RECOVERY, I have been enlightened as to the nitty gritty of recovering from major surgery.

Fingers crossed.



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10 responses to “Recovering from lung cancer surgery …

  1. It is so good to hear from you, Tony! I’m really glad you are able to walk your dog three times a day. That exercise will do you so much good.

    I have two suggestions. 1. Force your self to eat. Even if it is protein drinks like ensure, boost, fairlife nutrition, plan, core power, core power elite, etc. You need the protein and calories to heal.

    2. And get off the pain medication ASAP. That will drag you down. Try substituting Tylenol alternating with an NSAID.

    Oh, and a third recommendation just for the heck of it be conscientious with the spirometer. That is so important. Even with the pain, make yourself do that as often as the doctors recommended.

    Did they recommend a pulmonary rehabilitation program? That can be so helpful. Actually in person rehab.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Penny

    Hi Tony,
    It’s good to hear you’re on the mend even though it might be taking longer than you’d like! At least you’re walking at a time of year when weather limits biking somewhat anyway. I wish you a continuing smooth and steady recovery. It sounds like you’re doing everything you should be doing.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi, Tony,
    Wishing you a complete recovery with as little pain as possible! Your knowledge and determination will guide you to healthy days🤗!
    Thanks for sharing your health posts… they have helped me focus on more active lifestyle and encouraged me to take more proactive care of myself! 🫂👏

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Myra Fisher Burton

    Tony, continued thoughts and prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

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