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Fluid in or around lungs???

jamiegww's picture
jamiegww
Posts: 384
Joined: Dec 2009

I had my regular onc visit on April 2nd.  I mentioned that I was having a little trouble breathing and she suggested I get more exercise.  I thought that was an odd thing to say to someone who had just complained about shortness of breath just walking to the mailbox so I asked if she was certain I didn't have fluid around my lungs.  She decided to send me for a chest x-ray.  Yesterday I got a call from the onc's office telling me when my PET scan was scheduled later this month so I asked if they had the results of my chest x-ray.  I was told they would print the report and give it to the NP who would call me later with the results.  I finally got the call just before 5 PM after waiting most of the day and she said I do have fluid (not sure if she said in or around my right lung) and that it would be drained and I should feel much better afterwards.  This is my first experience with fluid and only knew to ask about it from reading on this board that some of you have had similar problems.  I don't know what causes the fluid or exactly how they drain it.  I read that Lyrica can cause shortness of breath so I stopped taking it last week.  I also read that Xeloda can also cause shortness of breath so I am thinking about not taking it anymore.  I guess I will have to call and insist on seeing my onc to get everything explained to me because my imagination is going places I don't really want to go.  Otherwise, I'm not scheduled to see her again until April 30th.  I planned on getting a copy of the report from the x-ray today but it is so cold and rainy today that I decided to wait until tomorrow.  If any of you have had to deal with fluid in or around the lungs, I would really appreciate you sharing your experience with me.

HUGS!!!

Jamie  

New Flower
Posts: 4031
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Jamie

i am sorry to hear your news. Our dear Claudia Chen has been dealing with similar issue for two years. She goes for this procedure every 8 weeks . Lyrica causes water retention please discuss it with your doctor

Keep fighting we are here with you

hugs

 

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2177
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Jamie,

 "Pleural Effusion"  or "Thoracentesis" are the words you can use to Google the information you want.  You can watch the procedure if you want or you can ask your oncologist for a procedure explanation.

I had a pleural effusion when a ct scan found my widespread mets in both lungs, pleura and a pleura effusion in 2008.  Since my last recurrence was in 2000, they needed to know if I was still ER+ or if it had changed.  I had a VATS biopsy (Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery) and they drained my effusion while I was under and kept the hose attached draining the pleura for the next 24 hours.  A VATS was an overnight hospital stay for me.

 Most procedures are done as out patients.  For me they needed more than to drain the water, they needed samples of my tumors and that is why I was asleep for a VATs insted of a thoracentesis procedure.

I have never had a return of the effusion, sometimes they add talc to stick the area together so it won't come ba back.  From what I read on those who were awake, did not describe it as awful.  No one likes procedures, right?

I have shortness of breath as my cancer are in the lungs and pleura.   I usually can tell when my cancer is active as the shortness of breath increases, a dry cough is a problem and now I have wheezing just to make things more pleasant (noise drives me up a wall).  SOB (shortness of breath) just comes as a package deal.

 The area didn't hurt when I woke up.  The drain didn't hurt coming out either.  My VATS was performed on a Thursday, I was discharge on a Friday and back to work on Tuesday.  Sunday and Monday were my days off that summer otherwise, I would have been back on Monday.

Wish I could be more help.  I know Chenheart has had this procedure done a few times.  

Wishing you the best of luck,

Doris

Do hope someone will help you.

 

kmenurse's picture
kmenurse
Posts: 223
Joined: Apr 2013

My granddaughter had to have the procedure Called Thoracentesis, She is 20 years old and had fluid built up below the lung.  She also had difficulty breathing and the Rt. side of her heart was enlarged.  She had gone into distress and was air lifted from our small hospital to a Detriot area hospital where the Addison's Disease was descovered .(we didn't know then that she had this disease.) And that disease caused a secondary complication of the fluid build up and enlarged heart... But what I am trying to say is the procedure for her, wasn't as bad as not being able to breath.  Today she is doing wonderful, but on a steroid med for the rest of her life to replace the cortisol her kidneys no longer makes. Sorry for the long story... but I just wanted to ease your mind a little on the procedure.  It sounds scarier then it is.  Best of luck to you.... Kathy

jamiegww's picture
jamiegww
Posts: 384
Joined: Dec 2009

Thank you so much for trying to ease my mind.  I'm so glad your daughter is doing well.  Having to be air lifted to another hospital must have been so frightening for her and for you.  I am scheduled for the procedure next Tuesday morning.  It doesn't require any pre-op test so I guess it's not such a big deal???

HUGS!!!

Jamie

jamiegww's picture
jamiegww
Posts: 384
Joined: Dec 2009

Thank you for the info.  I'm sorry you are still experiencing shortness of breath and wheezing.  Compared to you, I probably have nothing to complain about.  I am scheduled for the procedure next Tuesday and I really hope it will be the first and last time I need it done.  This breathing problem is new for me and I'm not handling it very well.  I guess I could eventually get used to it if I have to just like I have had to get used to having numb toes which for some reason feel like I have stuck them in a snowdrift and refuse to take them out.  I keep telling them they aren't really cold but they just don't listen to me.  Maybe that's because toes don't have ears?  Anyway, if it turns out this breathing thing is going to continue, I will have to get something new to sit on in my den because I can't breathe very well sitting in my recliner.  I have to lean forward to breathe.  For now, I just try to put a pillow behind me.  You take care of yourself and I hope the Taxol side effects aren't too bad this week.

HUGS!!!

Jamie

Josie21
Posts: 349
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Jamie,

I hope your doctor can get a handle on this and that you start feeling better soon.  Thank goodness you questioned your doctor's first diagnosis of more exercise.  No one knows your body better than you. 

Hugs,

Ginny

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