HI all. Just a bit of background information on me. I was diagnosed July 09 with Breast Cancer Stage 1, grade 2. Had total mastectomy (both breasts removed.) On Femara for this still currently as my cancer was Estrogen, Progesterone positive, HER negative.
July 5th 2011, my daughter and I were in a car accident. No serious injuries thankfully but, sore muscles ect that we were seen in the emergency room for.
During a chest x-ray after our car accident they saw fluid on my left lung/Pleural Effusion was medical name they called it. They then did a CT scan of chest area, and a Thorencentesis (where they use a needle to take fluid off the lung.) They said then, "Due to your history of Breast Cancer we need to have this fluid sent for cultures."
So the waiting began. July 14th I received a call from my Oncologist saying, They found malignant cells. She called this Cancer a secondary primary, that was not caused from original Breast Cancer diagnosis in 7/09. My Oncologist said the type of Cancer is: Andenocarcinoma of the Lung, stage 4.
My Oncologist said, I would not be having any kind of surgery or radiation. (I am not sure why this was decided, and I was numb per say with this new diagnosis of a secondary primary Cancer, unrelated to my prior diagnosis in July 09 of Breast Cancer, so was I was basically there in body but mentally and emotionally, I was not all there.) I would be doing 6 cycles of Chemo. They would do another scan after 2nd or 3rd cycle, to see what scan is showing then.(Not sure what kind of scan they will do after my 2nd or 3rd cycle/treatment with Chemo. I am assuming this scan will possibly be a CT or PET scan. My Oncologist didn't mention what kind of scan this would be.) (At the time, due to never having Chemo before I had no clue what 6 cycles meant!)
I was told I would do one day of Chemo using the drugs: Avastin; Taxel, and Carboplatin. That I would be given anti-nausea meds through IV at time of Chemo treatment.
So my Chemo cycle runs like this: 1 day of Chemo using Avastin, Taxel and Carboplatin from 8AM-1PM, then 3 weeks off. Another day of Chemo from 8AM-1PM, then another 3 weeks off ect. So I now understand what a "cycle of Chemo" is/consists of. At least I have a better understanding of what she meant by, "You will be doing 6 cycles of Chemo."
The first Chemo treatment went okay. No nausea. I do have: constipation, drying of skin, and not much of an appetite.
Last week I noticed, I was having a hard time breathing...shortness of breath ect. I had one chest x-ray after car accident in mid-July at family doctor. There was a small amount of fluid on left Lung then but at the time, both my family doctor and Oncologist didn't think this was anything to be concerned about, since it was not causing me issues with things such as: Shortness of breath ect.)
I saw my family doctor last Friday. He gave me pain meds and wanted to do another chest x-ray due to me being short of breath ect over the last week, to see if the fluid level in my lung was causing this shortness of breath. And "if" the fluid was causing me to be short of breath, possibly doing another Thorencentesis. (Shortness of breath does not last all day or is not an on-going issue from the time I get up, until I go to bed. It comes on in phases or spurts, per say during the day/night. It does not seem to be brought on or more noticeable when I am more active than other times. The shortness of breath can happen while sitting, walking downstairs to laundry room ect.)
My family doctor on Friday decided to do a conference call between he and my Oncologist, to get her thoughts/in-put on a possible chest x-ray, Thorencentesis/taking fluid off lung ect.
My Oncologist did not want to do a chest x-ray or take the fluid off lung unless absolutely necessary due to respiratory distress ect.
My Oncologist's concern was: 1. To get fluid off a lung, not only would a chest x-ray be needed but also a CT scan. There has been some studies recently done that say one CT scan is equal to the radiation of 276 normal chest x-rays. 2. A Thorencentesis/taking fluid off the lung is not without it's potential risks; There is the possibility that doing a Thorencentesis/taking fluid off the lung unless absolutely necessary could decrease time between each episode per say, of having to have fluid removed from lung.
My Oncologist said during this conference call that: The Chemo treatments should help with this issue of fluid build up on left lung, and the shortness of breath. That I had one Chemo treatment thus far out of my, 6 scheduled cycles of treatment. (*I was not sure how to take this, "The Chemo treatments "should" help with fluid build up on lung and shortness of breath. And that so far I had one cycle of treatment done thus far out of 6, scheduled cycles of Chemo."
I thought does my Oncologist mean: The Chemo may not help with the fluid build up and shortness of breath issue when she said, "The Chemo treatments should help with these issues? Does she mean because I have only had one Chemo treatment thus far, that I had not had enough treatments yet for this to help with the issues of fluid building up and shortness of breath?
I am sorry for this being so long, and my rambling on per say. This secondary primary cancer diagnosis and, Chemo is a totally new and scarey experience for me.
I had some side affects from first Chemo treatment that was done July 25th, such as drying of skin, constipation and no appetite but, these side affects were manageable for me.
Can anyone tell me what I may have for side affects with, my 2nd Chemo treatment coming up August 15th and future treatments based on: A cycle for me is: Where I have the Chemo drugs: Avastin, Taxel, and Carboplatin for one day from 8AM-1PM, then 3 weeks off . I then go back for my third Chemo treatment where this is done one day, then 3 weeks off again ect?
Some have told me things such as: You will lose your hair; With each Chemo treatment you may become more and more nauseated and throw up for longer times; You will get awful mouth sores; You will get so tired, you won't be able to feed yourself. You have to be careful living where we do-Minnesota with the Fall and Winter coming and, exposing yourself to others who may be sick and the various viruses that go around during this time of year; You have to be extra clean in your house disinfect door knobs and things one normally does not think of cleaning on a regular basis prior to Chemo.
So I am scared not knowing what to expect from Chemo treatments and possible side affects. I don't know if the Chemo could be causing or irritating my issues this past week with fluid on lung and/or being short of breath or what?
I had my first Chemo treatment July 25th, but this fluid issue and being short winded did not start until the week of August 1st, one week after my first Chemo treatment was given.
Any ideas, thoughts, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for letting me carry on and for listening.