A bump in the road to my recovery from lung cancer surgery …

I have been recovering from lung cancer surgery since January 11 of this year. You can find details of my lung cancer experience here if interested.

My entire encounter with lung cancer has been marked by my ignorance at every step, from thinking that not smoking prevented me from getting it, to not realizing that lung cancer is a disease of the aged – and I am over 80 years old. Some 70% of lung cancer victims are over 50 years old.

This is the x ray of my lungs a week apart. The doctor could see some improvement.

Likewise, when I was approved for surgery I thought my life would return to normal afterwards. Wrong again, big time. I underwent major surgery in which part of my left lung was removed. Recovery will take weeks, if not months. I have to keep reminding myself that I am over 80 years old … not a kid.

So, here I sit, nearly four weeks after surgery. I am able to walk the dog three times a day, just under a mile each time. That constitutes about 90% of my exercise each day. Otherwise, I am on the couch reading or watching TV, at my desk on the computer, or, in bed resting or napping.

The bump I hit on the road to recovery is that I suddenly suffered from a severe cough. My cancer team feared that a problem had developed in my lung. I was called in to the hospital for a chest x ray. I confess that visions of a hospital stay danced unpleasantly in my imagination.

Turns out that my lungs are recovering very well and the doctor recommended some Mucinex, a non-prescription drug, for my cough.

So, the bump turned out to be minor. Whew. I am finding some relief from the Mucinex already.

Further on my recovery, in the first weeks, my appetite was as restricted as my energy. I would eat because it was time to eat, but only minimally. In the past week or so, I have begun to be able to snack again and I can also consume more at meal time. So, I have an uptick on the appetite scale.

Additionally, regarding my energy, in the beginning I was walking the dog pretty much on nerve because it was time to take him out. Most recently, I have actually felt some energy available to do the deed.

Finally, in the interest of full disclosure, I must mention the psychological aspect of my recovery. I do this, not to complain, but, possibly to inform any reader who may be experiencing or is about to undergo a major surgery and then need to RECOVER from it. After nearly a month of being home and only stepping outside to walk the dog, I think I am experiencing something on the order of being ‘stir-crazy.’

This is a good definition: stir-crazy (slang) Of a prisoner, mentally unbalanced due to prolonged incarceration. (slang, by extension) Restless, uncomfortable, or impatient due to inactivity or confinement.

To sum up, nearly four weeks into it, I feel that I definitely am making progress. My daughter who lives in Texas says that my voice even sounds stronger on the phone.



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9 responses to “A bump in the road to my recovery from lung cancer surgery …

  1. Oh Tony, I’m so glad it has turned out to be just a minor bump. When I read the title of your post, I was concerned. How are you getting things done like grocery shopping? Have you been able to drive places? Are you able to cook for yourself? I’m thinking of you and sending you so much positive energy each and every day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. https://sarahcourtdpt.com/cancer-resiliency-program/?fbclid=IwAR2IiEcb3XXh57tV4RkgmAJ5G5R0QxLbiu59kLWzOLUw5KrwolN0bK27MRo&mibextid=5zvaxg
    A friend of mine, who went through cancer, treatment and recovery share this link. I thought you might be interested.


  3. Myra Fisher Burton

    I have to admit that when I started reading this article my heart fell to my feet! I’m glad it wasn’t as bad as I imagined! I’m glad that you are mentally and physically returning to your more active self. I believe that at least 50% of recovery is attitude and desire. I also found that my friends who had pets seem to be able to push through for THEM. Thoughts and prayers still going out to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad you are making progress, Tony! You are great at expressing your observations and thoughts as you encounter all these changes in your life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas! Wishing you a steady recovery and happier days ahead.
    –Janine Perky

    Liked by 1 person

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