The vats procedure - update

Ok I am now home from the hospital.  It's been a long couple of days.  I was ready to sleep in my own bed!  I think when you stay in a hospital you never get good sleep. Vitals have to be taken every so many hours, machines are beeping, you have all these tubes coming out of you... I know you are all jealous!

The vats procedure went pretty quick. Guess I was back there for just about an hour. The surgeon removed a tiny 2 mm nodule. Will find out next week what it is. He is concerned about it... Hoping pathology says it's nothing! But we will cross that bridge when we get there.

So far I feel ok. Was worried about the epidural going in and it was just fine. Had my chest tube removed and it wasn't too bad! Oh the joy of surgery! :). I had 4 chest x-rays done before I could get released.  I also ran in to some entertaining little ladies while waiting in the wheel chair holding pen at radiology!  It's this little area seperated from the other out-patients waiting for xrays.  They just line up the wheel chairs! 
Overall I am feeling pretty good. Got sick again after anesthesia. Thought I was going to be in the clear this time! It was hours after waking up before I got sick! Let me tell you - coughing and getting sick is not fun after having lung surgery!! Plus you get a really sore throat from having the breathing tube and a scope of the throat!

This procedure has left 2 incisions about 2-3"s on my left side along with a small hole where the chest tube was in.  Let me tell you how nice it was to get that out!  It's amazing how much the body can take.  I was sent home with a HUGE bottle of pain meds :)  and was told I shouldn't drive for 4 weeks - 4 weeks?  Man!  At least everything I need can be delivered!  ha!

That's about it for now.  I will update more later (still on pain meds!)!  My follow-up with my surgeon will be March 18th.

I will leave you with this - there was a spunky little old lady sitting next to me in the wheel chair waiting pen... she looks at one of the patient escorts and says - can I get some ice chips....  I need something to go with my scotch and soda!  :)  it's great to have a sense of humor! 

You Might Also Like


  1. Erin, I just found your blog. Our stories are very similar. I hope that you are recovering from your surgery. I can empathize as I too had lung sugery and I know the pains you have/are experiencing. Definately take those lovely pain meds. They do help you recover quicker as you are able to move around easier. I will be praying for good results for you and checking your blog for updates.

    Pale Skin Is In

  2. Hi Tina,

    Thanks so much for the note! Sorry you are also going thru all this.

    What treatment route did you take for your lung mets? I checked out your blog some - great! Was it the braf? I haven't been tested for that yet. Guess we wi see what these are...

    Best of luck! I will check in on your blog also to see how you are doing!

  3. You are welcome. I wanted you to know I was out here - living with these crazies and doing good. My first lung met was in 2008. A small spot that was removed. My doc had me do a year long treatment of Leukine (self injection shots). Sort of like Interferon. I'm not sure if they are even doing this now a days. I was then NED for 2 years following my surgery. 2010 was a messy year - kidney met and now lung mets & tumor where kidney used to be. I did the IL-2 treatment 9/2010. That truly sucked and didn't work for me. I am currently on a BRAF trial and have seen results. I have my first CT since beginning the trial on Thursday, so we'll see how well it is working.

    Hang in there!

  4. Tina - thanks! Yes it's nice knowing we're not alone, right? I had multiple spots show up on my lungs in my last CT. I was trying to get qualified for the Ipi trial. Guess we'll see what I end up on now. I haven't been tested for Braf yet - but I'm sure that will be done also. I've heard IL-2 is horrible. Positive thoughts coming your way for good CT results on Thursday!

  5. Thoughts and prayers are with you! I appreciate the positive attitude.