2 posts tagged “recovery”

Life after lung cancer surgery: 5 recovery tips from patients

Posted 2 weeks ago by

PatientsLikeMe members have talked in the forums about what it’s like to recover from lung cancer surgery – and what most doctors don’t tell you. We’ve gathered some helpful post-surgery hints members have shared. (Hint: Join PatientsLikeMe for access to the Lung Cancer Forum.)

Many members have mentioned that the side effects of a lobectomy or other lung surgery can be more intense than they expected. “I had a right upper lobectomy 2 years ago – still have lots of pain and numbness – bras suck!” one member says.

“The surgeon wasn’t very informative and my doctor, bless his heart, hasn’t ever had a patient like me so doesn’t really know what’s normal and what’s not,” says another member. “I’m very thankful for this site, I have learned a lot from it.”

What can help?

  • Finding the right bra. Wear a looser sports bra, an old bra (without underwire) or a stretchy camisole with soft cups, to give some breast support but nothing too restrictive.
  • Setting yourself up for sleep. Stomach sleepers will need to get used to sleeping on their back or (maybe) side. Sleeping in a recliner, or using pillows or foam wedges to find a decent position in bed, can help you catch some Zzzs.
  • Treating your incision with care. Cold or rainy weather, and even chilly air-conditioning, can make scars extra sensitive, so try to stay warm and dry. One member advises applying vitamin E and unscented skin cream to help with healing.
  • Managing your pain. Members report using prescribed pain meds, Lidocaine patches, pain-relief ointment (like Icy Hot) and heating pads to deal with some of the pain.
  • Taking it easy. Go “very slow in the beginning,” says one member. “Resting on your back a lot, taking short and slow walks, not twisting the body, not carrying (heavy) things, not running, taking the stairs slowly… With these things, I was OK eight months after my operation. But I’m still very careful…”

Another word to the wise? Ask your doctor right away about any symptoms you’re not sure are normal, such as breathing issues, coughing or bleeding.

On PatientsLikeMe, more than 50 people have reported having surgery as part of their lung cancer treatmentLung lobectomy is the most commonly reported type of surgery, followed by pneumonectomy and lung wedge resection (click on these links to see treatment reports — logged-in members have access to more information).

Also, check out our recent write-up on some newer and less invasive procedures for lung cancer.

Have you had lung cancer surgery or will you be undergoing this procedure soon? Join our patient community or log in to see what else members have shared about recovering from lung cancer surgery.

Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.


September Is Recovery Month

Posted September 6th, 2011 by

Recovery Month 2011, Sponsored by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Every September, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) observes Recovery Month.  The goal is to promote the societal benefits of treatment for substance use and mental disorders, celebrate people in recovery, recognize treatment providers and spread the message that recovery is possible.  As the SAMHSA slogan says, “Prevention works, treatment is effective and people recover.”

Recovery Month also inspires millions of people to raise awareness about addiction, share their stories of recovery and assist others who are still struggling. As one person writes, “Since I have attained recovery, I have accomplished all of my dreams – something I never would have imagined 26 years ago, when my dependence to alcohol and narcotics had created a hopeless life.”

Do you have a recovery story of your own?  Add your voice to this month-long celebration.  Or if you’re still struggling – or know someone who is – you may want to consider downloading SAMHSA’s free mobile app for iPhones/iPads/iPods. It’s a Treatment Locator that helps connect people with the services they need, whether it’s for mental health services or substance abuse.

Here at PatientsLikeMe, thousands of patients are sharing experiences, support and data regarding their mental health conditions and addictions.  For example:

If you are affected by a mental health condition or addiction – either as a patient or a caregiver – we encourage you to join our growing community. Learn about the path to recovery for others and connect with those who can relate.