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What to expect on getting my breathing back after a Lobectomy.

I was diagnosed on October 3rd last year with non small cell lung cancer. Had the upper right lobe removed on November 15th. Luckily it was stage1a so No chemo or radiation needed.I signed up for a fundraiser walk for American cancer society that covered the month of December and walked over 160 miles. Since then I’ve been walking a lot, over two hundred mile last month. I’ve been trying to transition to running but get winded very quickly. It doesn’t take too long to catch my breath back if I go back to walking but I can only run (jog) about half the time. Will this ever get better? I want to do a 10k or a Half marathon but right now not sure I’d make the cut off times. 14-15 minute miles is about all I can do so far. I was in good shape prior to the surgery but wasn’t a runner so don’t have a good idea of how I would of done before this mess. Any insight on what to expect appreciated

  1. Hello, welcome to our community. It is great to hear your cancer was caught so early and how it led you to walking miles, a very healthy habit! I have no personal insight about running, but I do walk a lot. I believe little by little your breath will get stronger when you jog. Did it take time to work up to all those miles you walk? I suspect the same will be with running. 14-15 miles is a lot, perhaps next week you will be doing 15-16 miles, and so on. Your post is very inspiring, please keep us updated on how your running is going. Keep on keepin' on! All the best, Alisa, Lung Cancer Team Patient Leader

    1. Hi . I do know that running, even long distance is possible after a lobectomy (see: I want to note that the runner in the story I shared was already a marathon runner and the article on the prep for the marathon was written over a year after the surgery. Six months following the surgery is not a long time and things are very likely to continue to improve, particularly given all of your efforts. What is important is to consult closely with your doctors as you add anything to an exercise regimen. As a side note: I used to be a competitive distance runner and I know that, even without a lobectomy, it can take time to increase stamina and improve times. Wishing you the best. Richard ( Team)

      1. Thank You

        1. Welcome to the community! I would say because you were in shape prior to diagnosis you may have a foot-up in regaining that endurance. It may take some patience and time; as mentioned it's wise to discuss your eagerness with your medical team, on what is the safest measure for your goals, because doing too much too soon may pose an issue with your lung capacity. Cheers to moving forward and wishing you the very best!
          Yolanda( Team)

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