In post op recovery from keyhole surgery

I had keyhole surgery a few months ago for first stage lung cancer.  I'm not sure of the terminology or the medical terminology for my condition at the time, I didn't want to know about any of it, just have the surgery and be done with it was my attitude.

Although this wasn't the very worst of lung surgery, it was a lot more traumatic than I anticipated, particularly due to the fact that instead of leaving hospital in 4-8 days, I was discharged 21 days later, having gone through pneumonia, collapsed lung and an infection.

I am now at 4months recovery.  My right rib cage is still extremely tight, doesn't expand very much so makes breathing somewhat difficult.  I've also developed eczema and what feels like IBS, both complaints I had not experienced prior to surgery.

I'm depressed most days, wake up with a feeling of dread.  I make an effort most days to take a walk and meet up for coffee or lunch at least twice a week with friends.  I live alone which probably doesn't help.  I fight to keep myself as positive as I can, listening to podcast or youtube meditations, just able to start low level exercise.

I'm wondering if the chest tightness and pain in the ribs will improve, if my breathing will improve or is this it, the best I can hope for?  I've always been very independent and found it awful to be dependent in hospital and for a month after discharge.  I hold on to hope that my state of mind will improve and expect it's partly due to being limited in where I can or can't go due to COVID.

Has anyone else experienced the rib tightness and limited expansion.  Pain around the ribs still months later.  Digesive changes.  Changes to the skin?

I'd be grateful for you feedback, many thanks, Kats.

  • Hi Kats

    I hope you are feeling a little better at least...

    I can't help with the rib and chest issues but I can tell you that during my initial 4 rounds of Carboplatin/Etopside & Atezolizumab I was horribly constipated for up to a week after infusion. I began to have a nightly dose of Andrews along with an apple, an orange and a banana every day and this has worked for me ever since (seven months since diagnosis)...

    Do you have an assigned CNS? If so, they will almost certainly be able to advise you as to whether or not what you are experiencing is actually IBS and will probably be able to point you in the right direction in addressing the issue. 

    Unfortunately, in my own experience at least, there will likely be quite a few changes over the next weeks and months so it is important that you exploit all resources available to you and ask the question/s when and where appropriate...

    There are many people on this forum that will weigh in with their invaluable experience so I hope you can find a way to address your probs. If nothing else, this is the place to let out your woes & worries.

    Stay Strong

    SiT