Jun 28, 2010 - 5:47 am
My mom had been having trouble breathing for quite some time before it was finally determined that she had a pericardial effusion. She has COPD and always seems to end up with bronchitis or pneumonia. She had multiple chest x-rays done and she was always given medicine for various problems. She was referred to a cardiologist because she felt like her heart was pounding out of her chest and he ended up doing an EKG and said that her heart wasn't resting properly and then set her up for a stress test. They thought they found something so they set her up to have a heart cath shortly thereafter. Nothing was ever found and she still felt horrible with heart palpitations and feeling extremely short of breath. She finally went back to her primary physician and he sent her to the local ER to have some tests done to rule out other problems. The attending physician in the ER did a chest x-ray and told her he found the fluid around her hear and they were going to drain it and figure out what caused it. Once it was drained we waited almost 2 weeks to get the results. It turns out the "fluid" in the pericardium was actually blood and that it had cancer cells in it. So after meeting with an oncologist, having tons of blood work, and a barrage of testing... they still didn't really know where it was coming from. The PET scan she had shows cancer around the heart and in several lymph nodes in the chest, but nothing really jumps out. The tumor markers were slightly high for ovarian cancer and fairly high for breast cancer, but the MRI and PET scan came back clean in those areas. So we are still at the diagnosis of adenocarcinoma of unknown primary. She started her first round of chemo almost 2 weeks ago hoping they can stop the growth of the cancer around her heart. It seems that since they don't know exactly where the primary origin is then they can't really give a prognosis... and that sure is frustrating. Anyone else have anything remotely like this?