Ask Jennifer: “What Were the First Few Weeks of Recovery Like After the Pleurectomy?”
After Dad’s mesothelioma treatment, we weren’t sure what to expect in regards to his recovery. Although everyone is different, I can gladly share our experience. The night of the surgery, Dad was in a step-down unit (he never needed to go to the ICU). The following day, he was moved to a regular room. The surgery was on a Wednesday and Dad was released to our New York City hotel on Sunday. We needed to remain in the city until his follow-up appointment with Dr. Pass the following Friday and were cleared to make the trip back to Pennsylvania which we took that Saturday.
Mom and Dad stayed at our home for about a week before making the final three hour trip back to their house. During these two weeks or so after the mesothelioma surgery, we made every effort to keep Dad as comfortable as possible.
In the hospital, he was sitting up in a chair and taking walks around the halls of NYU Langone Medical Center. Once we got back to the hotel, he would walk the halls and take trips downstairs to the lobby to watch the people go by. The hotel provided us with a beautiful room with a comfortable chair for Dad to sit in and we had our food either delivered or we picked it up to bring it back for family meals.
Dad did have some trouble managing his pain at first. Finding the balance of the right amount of pain medication took a few days, but once it was figured out, he began to feel better. The car ride back to my house was trying for sure. It was cold and snowy that day, and Dad needed to get out of the car every so often to walk and stretch his legs. Once we arrived, we placed pillows and cushions strategically to help keep him as comfortable as we could.
To my surprise, Dad felt like taking a walk, so he and Mom took my dog out and went for probably a couple of miles. He then began to develop a case of cabin fever and wanted to go for walks, rides, and trips to the grocery store. It was amazing how far he had come in such a short time.
Like I said, everyone’s recovery will be different, but remember to remain patient as you find the balance of what works best for you or your loved one. Keep your faith strong and you can get through anything!