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blockage in airway passage

althoff1
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2006

I had a port put in because my veins were giving way and when they took the x-ray they found a fluffy spot on my lung. As it turns out I have an airway passage completely blocked probably from radiation damage (38 treatments). The blockage is so bad they couldn't get a scope through it to biopsy the infection so we still don't know exactly what it is. They are treating me for pneumonia and infection caused from the radiation in hopes of clearing it enough to insert a stint. The danger with the blockage if not cleared is I will continue to have infection behind that blockage. Also had an abnormal liver function reading but they say the chemo drugs can cause that so that's another waiting game. I think the waiting game is the hardest part of this entire disease -- and, believe me, I look at it as a chronic disease, not a death sentence.
My tumor has reduced by about 90%. I have four more chemo treatments and then they will do a scan to see if there is any cancer that got away to any other parts of my body.
Good luck to all of you and I hope we are all communicating for a long time as SURVIVERS.

reinstones1's picture
reinstones1
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2006

Your results sound great! Question: what do they mean by a "fluffy spot"? A tumor? You posted about that before, and I wondered what it meant.

I hope they're able to assess and properly treat your blockage, to keep you moving forward so successfully! Congratulations and stay well.

althoff1
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2006

The "fluffy" spot looks like a think cloud so that's the best way to describe it. On the x-ray they can't tell whether it is infection or cancer. They cannot get a biopsy because of the blockage. Hopefully the anitibiotics will clear it up and we will find it is ONLY an infection.

kaitek
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi althoff1,

Thanks for your story. All lung cancer patients and caregivers can get something from other people's stories.

You said that the chemo drugs caused liver malfunction. What chemo drugs were you on and for how many?

"I think the waiting game is the hardest part of this entire disease -- and, believe me, I look at it as a chronic disease, not a death sentence."

That's the same attitude I'm holding. It's a chronic disease to be vigilantly dealt with.

althoff1
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2006

The test shows an "abnormal function" of my liver, not a malfunction. That can be caused by chemo drugs. I have had three different "cocktails" with six different drugs in different combinations. I am now on a Gemzar infusion and also Tarceva in pill form. I have not heard back from the ultrasound which is good news. If anything had been found in the ultrasound they were going to schedule a liver CT scan. So, no news is good news.

karenlee3sons
Posts: 35
Joined: Apr 2002

You have a wonderful attitude and it will serve you well. I am strong believer in positive thoughts and action. I am an 8 yr stage 4 survivor and I wish the very same for you!!!

althoff1
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2006

EIGHT year survivor -- GOOD FOR YOU! When I was diagnosed they said inoperable Stage IIIB. Do you have any words of wisdom on being a survivor besides the traditional treatments? We do eat healthy food and my doctor stresses exercise -- hopefully I can start an exercise routine again once I gain back some strength.

karenlee3sons
Posts: 35
Joined: Apr 2002

Seems you are doing everything right, but most of all I feel your positive attitude is serving you well. Everyone around me kept a positive outlook and that really helped. No real wisdom here, just keep on doing what you are doing. Also, do you have a hospital with pulmonary rehab near? Once chemo, etc was over I found it really helpful. Good luck, good health and peace.Karen

althoff1
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2006

We are seven miles from the hospital and cancer center. They are affiliated with Loma Linda University so I am very lucky, they are on the cutting edge of treatments. The hospital has all kinds of rehab groups so I will check to see if there is pulmonary and/or respiratory. At this point I still don't have the results of what has caused this blockage or if the antibiotics have cleared up the infection -- if in fact this is an infection. I still have a cough, I don't cough as often but it is a bad cough when I have a spell. There is definitely something there because my coughs are productive. They were concerned about more cancer but I don't think I would have productive coughs if it was JUST cancer. Hopefully in another month things will be cleared up, my chemo treatment will be finished and I can get into pulmonary rehab and start on an exercise program. At this point I am eating everything in sight. I have always been healthy eaters an I very seldom ate anything sweet but for the past couple months I am craving sweets! Hope this doesn't last much longer because I know all tha sugar is not good for a cancer patient. Thanks for your time to respond to me.

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