On Dec. 18 I had surgery for lung cancer. The surgeon said I had a small cancerous tumor that was confined to the upper lobe of my left lung. Take out the lobe, remove the cancer. That's what I thought for over a month.
I was discharged from the hospital on Christmas (best gift ever!) and my recovery has been good. I can't even tell I'm missing half of a lung. The sugeon said the operation was a success and that I should should follow up with my oncologist.
I did so on Friday, expecting a brief visit just to arrange for future follow-up scans to check for the possble reoccurrence of cancer.
Imagine my surprise (shock, dismay, fear and anger) when he advised me to have chemotherapy! He said microscopic cancer cells were found around the tumor and on lymph nodes that had been removed during the surgery. I had been mistaken in thinking that the surgery was a "cut and cure"
procedure. I had all I could do not to break down right then and there, but I made it to my car before shedding a tear or two.
So many questions ran through my mind. Why was I finding this out now instead of right after the surgery, or at least before I left the hospital? Will chemo be as horrible as I have heard? How will I get to and from the treatments? How will I cope, living on my own? How will I be able to care for my grandchildren? What will it cost?
I will attend a class on Tuesday that will address some of my concerns, including the financial bit, but there are so many variables with chemo that I will have to experience it for myself to answer the rest.
I've even questioned whether I should have chemo at all, but the oncologist says it will increase my chance of a total cure by as much as 20 percent, so I'm going for it.