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need advice on dealing with cough and shortness of breath

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008


I'm from the colorectal board, but I have what they call "innumerable" lung nodules in all parts g of both lungs (I'm stage IV rectal cancer with metastasis to the liver and lungs & currently have a recurrent rectal tumor).
I'm writing on the lung cancer board because most colon cancer or rectal cancer patients who have mets in the lungs don't have as many tumors as I do, hence they don't have the symptoms from it that I have been experiencing lately. I was diagnosed 4-1/2 years ago & had been doing pretty well but I've been having a lot of problems in the past three months.
I was recently hospitalized for two weeks for pneumonia and have been home trying to recover for the past three weeks.

My cough went away for a few days when I came home, but has since started up again and seems to be getting worse the past few days. My onc tested my sputum for the bacteria that caused the pneumonia & it was negative. I was thinking maybe I had a sinus infection (I have allergies & fall is always bad for me- hard to try to clear out the congestion from the pneumonia when I'm getting more dripping down from my sinuses due to the allergies). I asked my onc if I should take any kind of antibiotic now for the sinus infection. He said no because my symptoms started while I was still on the other stronger antibiotics for the pneumonia & if it came up while on the stronger stuff, nothing else will touch it. I use my asthma inhaler- doesn't help. The "pearls" they gave me don't help and neither does any other kind of cold/cough medicine. Actually, Nyquil does knock me out for the night & I don't cough during the night, thank goodness.
I came home from the hospital 3 wks ago with oxygen & I still sleep with it and use it during the day sometimes (but most of my day I don't have it on- driving kids around, don't want to haul a stupid oxygen tank!) Does anyone have any suggestions?

The pulmonologist who saw me in the hospital said he didn't need to see me again, but I feel like I should go see him (he doesn't know of my symptoms since I've been home).
What do you all think?


z's picture
Posts: 1344
Joined: May 2009

Hello Lisa, I too visit the colorectal board, anal, and lung. I had anal cancer, then on a follow up scan the lung nodule was found and I had a lobectomy.

I think you should certainly see the pulmonologist and let him know of your cough. I would imagine the lung tumors are the irritant, but hopefully there's something that can be done to sooth the lungs. I wish you well and pray that your nutrition fight will rid you of the lung tumors. Lori

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Lori,

Good to see you here, too. Yes, I do think I need to see the pulmonologist. I'll pursue that...



Posts: 199
Joined: Jan 2011

I'm afraid I can't help Lori but I do hope you go back to the pulmonologist. He/she should be able to shed some light on the cause of your cough.
I wish you all the best, Diane

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