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Having a hard time breathing.

benni
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2009

Iwas diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer in May, since then I have had a third of my lung removed and gone through 4 months of chemo. My last scan showed no new growth so the took me off chemo and I have to have a scan in 3 months to see if any grows back, my problem is I still have a hard time breathing, sometimes just walking across the room and I have to sit down and take a break. Any advice on what I can do or how long this is going to last, or any exercises I can do to strengthen my lung or to help my breathing, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Benni

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

I had a lobectomy in September and I lost 50% of my lung. Please see my thread called Gaspsing After Lobectomy. I received some good advice from this board about respiratory therapy and I plan to look into it. You should probably consider the same. Good luck.

benni
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2009

My cancer doc wants me to see my regular doc to make sure it isn't something else. I read your stuff an it was very helpful, thank-you and good luck to you also, benni

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

Hello again benni. You said you would see a "regular doc," I hope it's a pulmonologist you have in mind. All the best to you, I hope this problem is solved soon.

benni
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2009

No, just a regular doc, they want to rule out any infections, so far all they know is my cough is worse and breathing is more difficult so they gave me a shot of steriods and an inhaler and I have to call them back on wednesday to let them know how I'm doing. Ihope this works Take care and thanks. Benni

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

It is tough sometimes to figure out exactly what causes shortness of breath. A good physical or the right tests can sometimes eliminate some of the possibilities and help the doctors figure out what might be causing the problem. We are more than just lung cancer surviviors and consequently sometimes need to go to our "regular" doctor just to see that the rest of our body, including the heart and circulatory system, are working okay. Keep going back until things are cleared up to your satisfaction. That sometimes takes several visits. I had a cough that was very bothersome even after the lung cancer surgery. I asked the oncologist and the pulmonary oncologist (unfortunate both "cancer doctors") and neither had a clue. The regular doctor said it wasn't anything he could pin-point. Finally I decided to go to a pulmonologist. A pulmonologist specializes in breathing. There are also pulmonology rehab specialists. Mine ran some tests and saw me several times before the cough got better. I am still not clear on the final diagnosis (COPD or untreated asthma??) but I know that the inhaler and the allergy meds do make that cough clear up, at least when I remember to take them! So start with your regular doctor to make sure any infections or heart concerns are ruled out. If the problem is with breathing (COPD or asthma), see if you can get to a good pulmonologist. They can really help.

benni
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2009

I finally got in to see a pulmonologist, after a bunch of tests all she could tell me was that I have poor lung function. I had my 3 month appointment with my onco doc, he gave me antibiotics because I have a bad cough, I also have a scan in a few weeks. Wish me luck, benni

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

Did the pulmonologist prescribe any meds for you to help your breathing? I have COPD as well as lung cancer, and I rely on Advair and Spiriva and an albuterol inhaler to help me breathe normally.

benni
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2009

She gave me an inhalercalled Combivent, its got ipratropium bromide and albuterol sulfate in it. It seems to work a little for the breathing but not for the cough.

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