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Fluid in Lungs came back positive for cancer...What does this mean?!?

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

My mom had some chest pain and a cough in the middle of the night, so she went to the 24 hr center at city of hope. They drained her lungs and sent her home after she seemed to be ok.

She's been home with no new issues.

Then I get an email from the doctor that the fluid came back positive for cancer. He didn't really elaborate, other than they would monitor with chest xrays and continue to drain if needed.

I have asked him what this all means...and I'm sure I will eventually hear back.

I don't know if I'm freaking out for no reason, but I read Ginny and Jenny32's stories where fluid in lungs occurred near the end of life. Is this it?

My mom made a lunch date with some friends tomorrow- so I can only suspect she is doing ok. That's why I'm so confused.

I'll continue to do some research, but thought I would ask my trusty friends here for any insight.

mrsbotch
Posts: 377
Joined: Oct 2010

Hello Christine

My husband Vince had fluid on the lungs and abdomen. He ended up being tapped or drained quite a few times. It was also positive for cancer cells. I do not want to sadden you any more than you already are but in Vince's case it was not a good thing.
You will really need to find out from the doctor right away what your mom's next step is.

I know that when they do drain the lungs it makes the patient feel better for a short time and then it builds back up again. Yoru mom can always have a paracentisis( I know I have spelled that wrong). That is where they put talc in the chest to seal it so no more fluid can build up. Are you at a big cancer center with a dr who has dealt alot with EC?

Let me know

God Speed.

Barb Rizz

oriontj
Posts: 390
Joined: Jul 2009

My husband is dealing with that but it has come back negative for cancer. I do the draining Mon, Wed and Fri.

Maybe the linings will come back together for him and maybe they won't. I don't know. We just go about the day. What else can you do?

jan

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

Barb...
I read an old post of yours and didn't make the connection until now that you are the same person in this thread. I need some help, some guidance, and advice. My mom is going in tomorrow to get a drain/tap placed. As you monitored, this is a temporary fix. Did Vince continue with chemo? I'm not sure she will be ok to do chemo this week since she is so weak....mentally and physically. I don't live near her so I feel ver helpless, although I am very involved communicating with her doctors. When is enough, enough and really...how tough is the road ahead?

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

Barb,

I forgot to mention she is at City of Hope...an amazing cancer center. I am so afraid of the future.

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

So I spoke to her oncologist today and he is not alarmed. He says this does not change the stage of her cancer and he imagines the fluid is controllable with chemo. He says her two week break from chemo has caused the fluid to accumulate. Still keeping an eye on it and hoping for the best.

mrsbotch
Posts: 377
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi

I just read your posts. From what We experienced fluid that is cancerous is not good. Vince also had
malignant fluid in his abdomen. Dr. Gibson at UPMC explained it this way. Its like all of your organs in the
Abdomen (liver, kidneys, etc) floating in a fishbowl of cancerous fluid. Once Vince had his last chest drain
He passed away a week later. REMEMBER THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO US. This may not be the case with your mom.

Please know that everyone is different. Is your mom Stage 4 ? If she is the Dr is telling you the truth. It will
not change the stage. Vince was a stage 2b and once he had the fluid he went to Stage 4.
The chemo did not control Vince's cancer. He started chemo) in Oct 2010 and passed away Feb 2011. He first
Noticed the fluid in Dec 2010 and at that time he was taking the big guns of Taxotere, Cisplatin, and 5FU.

I am sure the City of Hope is a great place so do your research .

I am so sorry you are going thru all of this. This was the hardest thing that I have ever been thru.

If you need any help please let me know. As far as what to expect IF IT WERE ME I would go and try to be with
Mom as soon as you can. EC is vicious and you never know what will happen next. If you want to call me I am
at 706-897-4056
Anytim

Barbara

wildiris
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2013

I know this is an older post, but I'm in a similar situation and am looking for any info or advise.

My mom had fluid drained from her lung, which came back as cancer.  We are waiting for pathology to come back to see if they can determine the source.  The fluid is re-accumulating at at rapid rate and she is in so much pain.  We have been in the hospital for about a week.  I'm trying to grasp what is going on.  What does it all mean??

smflynn
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2013

If I can offer anything, it's comfort in knowing that you're not alone. I too am in the hospital with my dad. He was diagnosed this summer with stage III esphogeal cancer. They removed 2/3rds of his esoph and 99% of his stomach in October. After a few really great weeks in December, he steadily declined. He's been in the hospital for a little over a week and we found out a few days ago the fluid in his abdomen is cancerous and he also has a little fluid around his lungs. He's too week to start chemo so they're trying to get his feedings (through his tube) up. I'm still amazed that today you would comment on the same old blog I was reading in the hopes of trying to grasp what is going on.

I wish as much as you that I understood what is happening and that it will all be ok. We will surely keep you and your mom in all of our prayers.

minikit
Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 2011

Tough days - from experience I would suggest that you push to have the fluid drained again, as the fluid is likely to further damage your moms lung function.

If treatments options are offered - question these, especially for possible additional complications.

 

My hubby was advised to have a pleurodesis to ensure there would be no further effusions while the pleuodesis was very successful his breathing is very restricted with air only going into the top of the lung, this is considered emergency breathing.

kit

 

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi Wildris,

I've been missing from this board, but I also see your reply was back in Feb.  any updates?  The fluid wavery sign of very bad things for my mom, but everyone is different and I hope for a different outcome for your mom. Xoxo

luna800
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2013

i know it is too early to tell much of anything but my mother had fluid in her lungs that she had drained (needs to have more drained). The doctor said the fluid tested positive for malignent cells that seemed to be from her overies or stomach lining. She went in for a CAT-scan of her lower abdonmen and they see nothing. They are very suprised they are not seeing masses in those areaa. Sounds like a good sign but also puzzling to the doctors. Her doctor asked that the family go with my mother to see an oncologist on Tuesday. Perhaps the blood work will tell more. Are there specific questions i should be asking the doctor? Is it common not to see things on a scan the first time around? Should they do an MRI or other type of scan? 

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. 

JKGulliver
Posts: 82
Joined: Apr 2013

I would first make sure your doctors did a diagnostic CT scan.  Then, I would also ask for a PET scan.  These scans do not pick up everything.  Sometimes, malignancies are below the detection tolerance.  Ask your doctor for the most sensitive diagnostic tool.  You can also seek a second opinion.

 

Good luck to you.

luna800
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2013

Thank you very much!!

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