Home Forums Melanoma: Stage III Vats Surgery

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  • #20668
    msue5
    Participant

    I had my surgery on Thursday. Stayed 1 night because chest tube was not ready to come out. Also had 1 1/2 liters of fluid went into my arm because IV slipped out of vein. The node was removed and the surgeon didn’t see any other abnormal nodes. The pathology should be back Mon or Tuesday. I have an epidural pump wrapped around my ribs called On Q. It delivers lidocaine to the painful rib area. It comes out of my side and is attached to a reservoir that is in a bag and I remove the catheter myself when it is empty. Will post when I get pathology back.

    Mary Sue

    #56843
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Glad to hear it is over with and you are home recuperating! NO place like home. Hope for the best on the pathology and sounds like some good pain control. Take good care.

    #56844
    Chinix
    Participant

    Hello Mary Sue, l am sorry to read that you’ve been going through all this. I wish you a quick recovery and hope for good news on the pathology. Will be thinking of you early next week.

    Viviane

    #56845
    Shirley Z
    Participant

    Hi Mary Sue,

    I posted to you under Erin’s post (before I saw yours). I’m so glad things went well. Now we just have to pray for a good pathology report.

    I hope you are not too uncomfortable. You’ve been through so much.

    Thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers always.

    Shirley Z

    #56846
    msue5
    Participant

    Thanks Catherine, Viviane and Shirley for your notes. Its a good felling to know other people care. Still waiting for Biopsy. I actually am less nervous about biopsy results than when it’s time for a Pet Scan. Does anyone know if you have a recurrence do you start all over with every 3 mos PET Scans? I am getting worried about radiation by now. I have had so many scans due to all the complications with my surgeries in addition to my routine scans but I also feel that you can act quickly on something that you would find. It would have been a long time before I felt any symptoms from this enlarged node due to its location. I think that things have changed since they now have some better treatments. When I was first diagnosed a lot of Melanoma Centers would say it doesn’t change survival rates but I don’t think that is true anymore. Any thoughts on this?

    #56847
    GaylaB
    Participant

    Good morning Mary Sue,

    How are you feeling? You are on our prayer list and I hope you are having a speedy reovery. My next appt is November 6th with a medical oncologist, Dr Lawson, who is also on my surgical oncologists, Dr Rizzo’s team.

    We will have a long visit ( I have already been warned by the assistant) that it will be lenghty discussing treatment options.

    However after the dissection, no nodes positive and a clear PET, the only treatment I can see is wait and watch.

    I have been thinking of you alot and hoping all goes well.

    Gayla

    #56848
    msue5
    Participant

    Thanks Gayla for thinking of me. As usual things are complicated. The Thoracic surgeon called yesterday and said good news/bad news. Good news 1st. The node taken had no cancer cells shown. Bad news is he said with an SUV of 9 and the size of the node plus the necrosis seen in the center it should have been metastisis. He is thinking he possibly got the wrong node and wants to do another PET. If something lights up like before than surgery will have to be repeated. He discussed this with my Med Onc and this morning I received a call from Surgeons office telling me my PET is scheduled for Tues. I have a call into the Med Onc office to answer some questions like isn’t the surgery done 1 week ago today likely to give faslse pos spots. Why not chest Ct? How could the wrong node be taken given the size etc etc etc. I was doing well with pain while I had the epidural catheter but it runs out around the 4th day and have had some serious pain issues around the ribs so I got better pain meds and it is somewhat better. I hope you are doing better. Did you start Lymphedema treatment yet?

    Mary Sue

    #56849
    Linny
    Participant

    msue5 wrote:

    As usual things are complicated. The Thoracic surgeon called yesterday and said good news/bad news. Good news 1st. The node taken had no cancer cells shown. Bad news is he said with an SUV of 9 and the size of the node plus the necrosis seen in the center it should have been metastisis. He is thinking he possibly got the wrong node and wants to do another PET. If something lights up like before than surgery will have to be repeated. He discussed this with my Med Onc and this morning I received a call from Surgeons office telling me my PET is scheduled for Tues. I have a call into the Med Onc office to answer some questions like isn’t the surgery done 1 week ago today likely to give faslse pos spots. Why not chest Ct? How could the wrong node be taken given the size etc etc etc.

    Wow, what a strange result. You’d think they’d want to follow up with a CT scan or even an ultrasound (if it’s possible to do one in that area of the body). I hope everything goes well on Tuesday.

    #56850
    msue5
    Participant

    Both the surgeon and my Med Onc are saying Pet Scan. Ct might mistake scar tissue for bad node. They are mainly relying on the SUV to determine if there is metastisis. My SUV was 9 and anything above 2.5 or above is suspicious for metastisis. I was having severe post op pain until today so at least I know the bad part will last about 1 week. I certaintly have had worse surgeries. If this is repeated it will be surgery #7 in 2 1/2 years. I should own one of the OR’s by now or maybe they could put a plaque with my name on the door!

    Mary Sue

    #56851
    Linny
    Participant

    Hi Mary Sue,

    I just read something interesting about PET scans. Apparently what you eat several hours before the test and even any exercise you do 48 hours before the test can affect the results. I’ve never had one so I don’t know if doctors warn you about these things before the test. But you might find this article interesting: http://www.wisegeekhealth.com/what-factors-affect-pet-scan-results.htm” class=”bbcode_url”>http://www.wisegeekhealth.com/what-factors-affect-pet-scan-results.htm.

    I’m thinking about you and praying that things turn out well for you tomorrow and that you won’t need another surgery.

    #56852
    msue5
    Participant

    Thanks Linny.I have have had about 10. They give you instructions about those things. I probably don’t follow it precisely but I try to do the important things the no exercise is easy for me! The no carrbs and sugar are the hardest part. I will let you know how it turns out. The following day I have my regular appt at the Melanoma Center. This is with 4 Drs. Derm Onc Surg Onc Med Onc and Plastic Surgeon. The appt usually lasts at least 2 hrs.

    They can review the Pet Scan so at least I only have to wait 1 day.

    Mary Sue

    #56853
    GaylaB
    Participant

    Good morning Mary Sue,

    It breaks my heart to see you have to go through so much…

    I have FINALLY gotten a lymphdema massage therapist- no help from any medical personel though, I located her by word of mouth so this is an out of pocket expense but if it helps well worth it!

    The rain is certainly an issue with my swelling. Pray for no rain. LOL.

    Medical oncologist appt in November 6 so we are taking a MUCH needed mini vacation to the mountains- a little higher up than we live now- the leaves are amazing this year! It’s only an hour and half north so the trip should not bother me, I just can’t walk very well si with a 6 year old, we will have to entertain him at the resort as much as possible.

    Keep me posted on the results and progress. Glad your pain is subsiding.

    Gayla

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