VATS surgery/recovery

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roadrunner
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:46 pm

Re: VATS surgery/recovery

Postby roadrunner » Thu Dec 09, 2021 9:28 am

Thanks CRguy!

Update is that I went home the day of, so I’m going to call VATS an outpatient procedure :lol: Chest tube was unproductive so home I went. In the context of the tube removal, by the way, when medical people say “on the count of 3 I’m going to . . .” Be afraid. Very afraid. Worst thing I felt the whole time. But over in a second, so all good.

And this was despite nearly passing out on my first walk around the floor! Diagnosed after the fact as vasovagal syncope due to orthostatic hypotension or dehydration, surgical stress, or just who knows? I felt bad for the poor pulmonary therapist. We walked about 15 yards and I was like “Umm, I’m feeling a bit dizzy.” Then “I’m going to go down pretty soon.” (I’ve had similar episodes before; had one on the first chemo takedown.) We were in the middle of a huge, HARD, hallway with zero, well, zero anything, really. She started intensely measuring me up to see whether she could support a passed-out 6’2” guy (through my “glassy eyed state” I judged a firm “nope” to that one). Fortunately, some employees were sitting around having a lively chat in a little cluster of those office chairs with wheels and one of them saw the action and slid it over in seconds. Things started getting better after I sat down, and better yet when I got back to bed, but heart rate and blood pressure were impressively low for a bit. My room was suddenly filled with tons of people all talking at once and looking at my vitals, and the #2 doc on my surgeon’s team appeared out of nowhere as well. Always good to provide entertainment, of course.

After that, things went more according to plan. Even walked up a full floor of the parking garage on the way out. Now sore but not too bad. So far no Oxy, just Tylenol, though they gave me IV narcotics at first in the hospital. Plus they gave me a nerve block; single shot, turned down the catheter.

One thing I noticed. Several people on here said it’s great to have a recliner for the recovery. I was like: “I don’t really see the need for that, it’s just a couple of small incisions . . ..” Well, last night at about 3:30 a.m. I figured that one out. I did devise a decent gymnastic move where I raise myself from a supine position using only my right hand, but by the time I got to a seated position I forgot why I was sitting up in the first place and just wanted to lie back down again. Awesome.
7/19: Rectal cancer: Staged as IIIA, T2N1M0
approx 4.25 cm, low/mid rectum, mod. well diff.
8/22 -10/14 4 rounds FOLFOX neoadjuvant, 3 w/Oxiplatin (side effects/reduced size est. 70-75%)
neoadjuvant chemorad 11/19
4 rounds of FOLFOX July-August 2020
ncCR found 10/20; biopsies negative
TAE 11/20, small amount of tumor removed, lung nodules orig id’d 6/20 stable Nov 2020
Chest CT 3/30/21 small growth in 2 nodules (3 and 5mm)
VATS 12/8/21 to remove sub-pleural met 7mm. Considering SBRT for remaining nodule.

utahgal7
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:04 pm

Re: VATS surgery/recovery

Postby utahgal7 » Thu Dec 09, 2021 9:45 am

roadrunner:

Good to hear that you are doing well after your surgery. Yes, I have heard that the chest tube is the worst part of VATS. Sorry, it was so painful for you. Have a wonderful holiday!


Paige
02/20 Rectal Cancer dx - 3 cm mass; located 9 cm from AV
03/20 CEA 2.7; 0.9; 1.4; 0.9; 0.9; 1.2; 1.0
04/20 ST Radiation; 04/20 LAR surgery w/ileostomy
04/20 ypT3N1bM0; MSS; moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma
05/20 CAPEOX
08/20 Ileostomy reversal
09/20 CT scan; suspicious areas in liver; 10/20 MRI liver; dx hemangioma
12/20 CT scan; lung nodules (watch and wait); 03/21 CT scan; stable lung nodules (2)
07/21 & 10/21 CT scan; stable lung nodules

User avatar
CRguy
Posts: 10365
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:00 pm

Re: VATS surgery/recovery

Postby CRguy » Thu Dec 09, 2021 11:57 pm

roadrunner wrote:Thanks CRguy!
Most welcome ... AND ...
just because you might appreciate my special sense of warped humor from days gone by ...
I offer my own recounting, of my own VATS experience :shock: :D :mrgreen:

Re: CRguy in da house ... outta da big house !

Cheers homie !!!
CRguy
Caregiver x 4
Stage IV A rectal cancer/lung met
14 Year survivor
my life is an ongoing totally randomized UNcontrolled experiment with N=1 !
Review of my Journey so far

roadrunner
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:46 pm

Re: VATS surgery/recovery

Postby roadrunner » Fri Dec 10, 2021 12:29 am

CRguy:

Brother, you *know* I read that before I went in. Thought it was required reading. Really was a great post, gave me a decent sense of what was happening yesterday and of the likely timing. Even taught me about the arterial line, which the anesthesiologist told me I would get but in the end I didn’t get it (just a stump IV that appeared on my left hand, they told me it was never placed). You will likely appreciate the fact that I even used your line about surgeons wanting “lines out of the way!” re: my main IV on a nurse. Didn’t help get them to change the positioning, though.

Our experiences were very similar. I did get a nerve block, though (which helped lots until it wore off in the middle of the night :shock:) and that intern (who was very nice but of course also quite young) wrote a word on my back with a bunch of numbers down my spine. My loving wife, of course, reported (to me and later my kids) that it said “dork.” She even took a picture, and my 18-yr.-old son said “no, I think it’s ‘bore’.” They agreed that both were decent guesses under the circumstances. I am going with “bone” myself, but what do I know?

After recovery, my first nurse was on I think her second day, and she got the excitement when I almost went down with the ship. The pulmonary therapist’s reaction to my syncope was also pretty funny. She came in just prior with a “tough guy” attitude. Understandable, but unnecessary as I was fully committed to walking ASAP. But then she skedaddled when my heart rate and blood pressure went missing. Oops! Later, once I’d gotten fluids and some food, my nurse (a more experienced one whom both I and my wife thought was fabulous) asked me “How far do you want to go?” And I tried “Well, maybe over to Oakland (next town over) and back.” And she was just like: “No, I mean around the floor.” Ah well, you can’t always get the benefit of the doubt after you nearly face plant. Good times, though!

And your story really did give me support. I mean that.
7/19: Rectal cancer: Staged as IIIA, T2N1M0
approx 4.25 cm, low/mid rectum, mod. well diff.
8/22 -10/14 4 rounds FOLFOX neoadjuvant, 3 w/Oxiplatin (side effects/reduced size est. 70-75%)
neoadjuvant chemorad 11/19
4 rounds of FOLFOX July-August 2020
ncCR found 10/20; biopsies negative
TAE 11/20, small amount of tumor removed, lung nodules orig id’d 6/20 stable Nov 2020
Chest CT 3/30/21 small growth in 2 nodules (3 and 5mm)
VATS 12/8/21 to remove sub-pleural met 7mm. Considering SBRT for remaining nodule.

User avatar
CRguy
Posts: 10365
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:00 pm

Re: VATS surgery/recovery

Postby CRguy » Fri Dec 10, 2021 9:24 pm

roadrunner wrote:And your story really did give me support. I mean that.

There will ALWAYS be support and Harmony here from us and especially me bro' !
WORD !

BUTT ... your own story gave me support back.
Sometimes here and now I am kind of outta' the intense "in treatment/ in surgery/in chemo" mode I was in back then.
I do wonder if my ramblings are still relevant and supportive, in REAL life, to my friends who are actually
here and NOW ... going through things in their own real life.

So yes, YOU gave me support back, in knowing that if I can be here to ramble and it means something to a trooper like you !!!
Damn straight ... I AM HERE !

Thank you my friend
Cheers and Harmony on the Journey
CRguy
Caregiver x 4
Stage IV A rectal cancer/lung met
14 Year survivor
my life is an ongoing totally randomized UNcontrolled experiment with N=1 !
Review of my Journey so far

stu
Posts: 1549
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:46 pm

Re: VATS surgery/recovery

Postby stu » Fri Dec 17, 2021 1:45 pm

Hope things are still going in a good direction in your recovery !
Take care ,
Stu
supporter to my mum who lives a great life despite a difficult diagnosis
stage4 2009 significant spread to liver
2010 colon /liver resection
chemo following recurrence
73% of liver removed
enjoying life treatment free
2016 lung resection
Oct 2017 nice clear scan . Two lung nodules disappeared
Oct 2018. Another clear scan .

roadrunner
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:46 pm

Re: VATS surgery/recovery

Postby roadrunner » Fri Dec 17, 2021 6:20 pm

Stu: Thanks for checking in. Yeah, I’m feeling nearly 100%. Little bit of a cough and I haven’t tried to run yet—probably this weekend. Doing walks instead. Otherwise great, though. For anyone contemplating this surgery, if it’s uncomplicated, it’s pretty mellow. I’m sure the tougher and bigger it gets, the more challenging the recovery is. Hope I never have to find out!
7/19: Rectal cancer: Staged as IIIA, T2N1M0
approx 4.25 cm, low/mid rectum, mod. well diff.
8/22 -10/14 4 rounds FOLFOX neoadjuvant, 3 w/Oxiplatin (side effects/reduced size est. 70-75%)
neoadjuvant chemorad 11/19
4 rounds of FOLFOX July-August 2020
ncCR found 10/20; biopsies negative
TAE 11/20, small amount of tumor removed, lung nodules orig id’d 6/20 stable Nov 2020
Chest CT 3/30/21 small growth in 2 nodules (3 and 5mm)
VATS 12/8/21 to remove sub-pleural met 7mm. Considering SBRT for remaining nodule.

boxhill
Posts: 767
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:40 am

Re: VATS surgery/recovery

Postby boxhill » Thu Dec 30, 2021 9:58 pm

Roadrunner, good to see that your sense of humor is fully intact! :wink:

My husband, who is about 6 ft 2 and very fit and muscular--he's a gm rat--has always seemed to have a supercharged metabolism. He has to eat frequently or he's in danger of passing out. He had surgery about 10 years ago, and of course he had to go in fasting, but when he was in the recovery phase in his room for some unknown reason the only thing they gave him was sugarfree jello. The nurse who got him up for his first walk suddenly found herself staggering under a collapsing behemoth in the hallway. I gather she managed to ease him to the floor and neither of them incurred any injury.

When he had a colonoscopy a couple of years ago I made sure they fed him several packages of crackers and some juice before he attempted to stand up!
F, 64 at DX CRC Stage IV
3/17/18 blockage, r hemi
11 of 25 LN,5 mesentery nodes
5mm liver met
pT3 pN2b pM1
BRAF wild, KRAS G12D
dMMR, MSI-H
5/18 FOLFOX
7/18 and 11/18 CT NED
12/18 MRI 5mm liver mass, 2 LNs in porta hepatis
12/31/18 Keytruda
6/19 Multiphasic CT LNs normal, Liver stable
6/28/19 Pause Key, predisone for joint pain
7/31/19 Restart Key
9/19 CT stable
Pain: all fails but Celebrex
12/23/19 CT stable
5/19 MRI stable/NED
6/20 Stop Key
All MRIs NED

roadrunner
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:46 pm

Re: VATS surgery/recovery

Postby roadrunner » Thu Dec 30, 2021 10:51 pm

Boxhill: Yep, you’d think they’d anticipate that a bit more. I’m only about 175 these days (shifted from weightlifting to marathons in my 40s), but I might as well have been 6’6”/360lbs. The weird thing when you’re about to pass out is you have no emotions but sound observational skills. Her eyes suddenly looked like giant plates and the hallway looked really big, really empty, and really hard. I never got to thank the guy that slid over the office chair. That must have been something to see. I had about a half-second left.

I have had orthostatic hypotension for a long time, especially when I used to train, and you’re spot on that food and fluids are really important in that situation. It’s easy to forget that that is similar to running a marathon (I had a few memorable moments there as well : ) Just another case where one needs a good wingman (or woman). I pride myself on being an engaged patient, but when you’re a few hours out of surgery your judgment is less than ideal.
7/19: Rectal cancer: Staged as IIIA, T2N1M0
approx 4.25 cm, low/mid rectum, mod. well diff.
8/22 -10/14 4 rounds FOLFOX neoadjuvant, 3 w/Oxiplatin (side effects/reduced size est. 70-75%)
neoadjuvant chemorad 11/19
4 rounds of FOLFOX July-August 2020
ncCR found 10/20; biopsies negative
TAE 11/20, small amount of tumor removed, lung nodules orig id’d 6/20 stable Nov 2020
Chest CT 3/30/21 small growth in 2 nodules (3 and 5mm)
VATS 12/8/21 to remove sub-pleural met 7mm. Considering SBRT for remaining nodule.

User avatar
beach sunrise
Posts: 581
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:14 pm

Re: VATS surgery/recovery

Postby beach sunrise » Fri Dec 31, 2021 6:58 pm

I am so happy to read your surgery progress outcome so far!
8/19 RC CEA 82.6 T3N0M0
Neoadj 5FU/rad 6 wk
High dose IVC 1 1/2 wks before surgery. Continue still twice a week
Surg 1/20 APR - margins T4bN1a IIIC G2 MSI- 1/20 LN+ LVI+ PNI-
pre cea 24/post 5.9
FOLFOX
7 rds 6-10 CEA 11.4 No more
7/20 CEA 11.1, 8.8
8/20 CEA 7.8
9/20 CEA 8.8, 9, 8.6
10/20 CEA 8.1
11/20 CEA 8's
12/20 CEA 8's & 9's
ADAPT+++ TM drug
MHL1+
PMS2+
MSH2+
MSH6+
POLD1 , KRAS Q61H
Chem-sens test NCI "Test failed, neo adj CR worked. Not enough ca cells to test"

roadrunner
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:46 pm

Re: VATS surgery/recovery

Postby roadrunner » Sat Jan 01, 2022 2:59 pm

Thanks Beach! Feel great, actually. Have been really tempted to start some short runs on my walks lately. Will have to wait one more day at least, as it’s terribly rainy out today. Oh well.
7/19: Rectal cancer: Staged as IIIA, T2N1M0
approx 4.25 cm, low/mid rectum, mod. well diff.
8/22 -10/14 4 rounds FOLFOX neoadjuvant, 3 w/Oxiplatin (side effects/reduced size est. 70-75%)
neoadjuvant chemorad 11/19
4 rounds of FOLFOX July-August 2020
ncCR found 10/20; biopsies negative
TAE 11/20, small amount of tumor removed, lung nodules orig id’d 6/20 stable Nov 2020
Chest CT 3/30/21 small growth in 2 nodules (3 and 5mm)
VATS 12/8/21 to remove sub-pleural met 7mm. Considering SBRT for remaining nodule.

boxhill
Posts: 767
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:40 am

Re: VATS surgery/recovery

Postby boxhill » Tue Jan 04, 2022 3:35 pm

I have orthostatic hypotension also. Only affects me when going from sitting to standing, not lying down, but it is apparently unusually bad. I sometimes have seizure-like episodes, and find myself clinging to poles, walls, furniture, you name it in order not to go down while my legs/arms twitch/jerk uncontrollably. Such fun!
F, 64 at DX CRC Stage IV
3/17/18 blockage, r hemi
11 of 25 LN,5 mesentery nodes
5mm liver met
pT3 pN2b pM1
BRAF wild, KRAS G12D
dMMR, MSI-H
5/18 FOLFOX
7/18 and 11/18 CT NED
12/18 MRI 5mm liver mass, 2 LNs in porta hepatis
12/31/18 Keytruda
6/19 Multiphasic CT LNs normal, Liver stable
6/28/19 Pause Key, predisone for joint pain
7/31/19 Restart Key
9/19 CT stable
Pain: all fails but Celebrex
12/23/19 CT stable
5/19 MRI stable/NED
6/20 Stop Key
All MRIs NED


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