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One year post-treatment, ongoing chest pressure/shortness of breath

Linsey S
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2013

I am female, 32 years old at diagnosis of stage II primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma in Nov 2011. I underwent 6 cycles of R-CHOP and then 20 radiation treatments to my mediastinum. At diagnosis, I was 13 weeks pregnant (therefore, did not undergo R-EPOCH). I am now over a year out from my last radiation treatment and my scans have looked good. I continue to have episodes of chest pressure and shortness of breath - they come and go and can last a few weeks at a time (causing substantial anxiety for me!). I wonder if the residual mass (i have scar tissue) can cause this or if radiation to the chest may result in these chronic side effects. Looking to see if anyone else with a mediastinal mass and similar treatment has had these effects. Your input is appreciated! And for those wondering, my daughter is now 15 months and doing awesome! Thanks! 

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 488
Joined: Mar 2013

Welcome to the group and congratulations on your remission. What a blessing--a 15 month old baby daughter. She must bring you so much joy and happiness.

I had 8 cycles of R-CHOP, but for a different type of lymphoma, and I did not have radiation. So, I don't feel completely qualified to address your concern about chest pressure and shortness of breath being related to treatment. I suppose you have talked to your doctor about this?

I do know, from my own experience, that anxiety itself can cause chest pressure and tightness (pain) and difficulty breathing. And as much as we love and cherish them, little ones can cause anxiety! Have you tried breathing exercises? Often times, when I have felt that chest pressure building, I also discover that I am literally holding my breath, or taking very shallow breaths. If I stop what I am doing, consciously take some slow and deep breaths, the pressure will ease almost immediately. There are many relaxtion and meditation CD's that can help.

Hugs and best wishes to you. . .

Rocquie

 

 

Linsey S
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2013

Rocquie,

Thank you for your message. I have tried several relaxation techniques and they do help. I have that same problem of holding my breath and shallow breathing. I just need to remember to put my training to use! I've talked to my doctors, and for the meantime, all seems to be fine. Again, thank you for sharing.

Linsey

DitZy2
Posts: 38
Joined: Dec 2010

Hi Linsey, my husband was diagnosed in September of 2011 with mediastinal large B cell lymphoma also and had 6 cycles of R-Chop and the radiation also. He has been in remission over a year and also complains of the chest pressure and getting winded. He has a very physical job and amazes me he does so well. His Dr put him on a inhaler that he was told to use daily and it does help him. I too have read some posts and articles indicating that radiation might cause chronic side effects.

So happy for you that your scans continue to look good and what a blessing your daughter is!!

DitZy2
Posts: 38
Joined: Dec 2010

Hi Linsey, my husband was diagnosed in September of 2011 with mediastinal large B cell lymphoma also and had 6 cycles of R-Chop and the radiation also. He has been in remission over a year and also complains of the chest pressure and getting winded. He has a very physical job and amazes me he does so well. His Dr put him on a inhaler that he was told to use daily and it does help him. I too have read some posts and articles indicating that radiation might cause chronic side effects.

So happy for you that your scans continue to look good and what a blessing your daughter is!!

Linsey S
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2013

Thank you for responding to my question. It's good to know that, while others may share similar feelings of discomfort, they are doing well. Helps to ease my mind. Best to you & your husband. 

NANCYL1
Posts: 238
Joined: Jun 2012

Hi Linsey:

I agree that anxiety can produce a feeling of pressure and shortness of breath.  There are breathing exercises, meditation, self-hypnosis, etc.  You could try breathing in a paper bag and carry one with you.  The idea with all of this is to relax and/or stop hyperventilation.

 

Nancy

Annabella2179
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi linsey, I too was diagnosed with mediastinal large b-cell and also had the rchop and 20 rounds of radio. I was 31 when diagnosed and this was just after having my 2nd child. The chest pressure u are describing is exactly what I have been going through too. it also runs down my arm in pain which sends off all my alarm bells thinking the cancer is back. Thankfully so far I'm in remission. In feb it'll b 2 years for me. I too asked my doctors and it has been brushed off saying its nothing to b alarmed at. reading  your post has certainly helped me ease my mind. How are u traveling lately?

hilde451's picture
hilde451
Posts: 223
Joined: Oct 2009

Hello, My name is Hilde, and have been on here before. But not much lately

I have been diagnosed in 04 and had surgery to take out my salivary gland and did 22 radiation treatments and was home free for almost 5 years one week away and it came back every where . Had surgery on the other side of my neck and had it in my bone marrow. Did 8 rounds of chemo and then Zevalin. So now I have been complaining about shortness of breath and pain in the chest. I believe that they think it is from my acid reflux. But it gets really bad at times and is with me every day. I have had my scans and nothing shows up so I am worried and do not know where to go with that. Thank you for listening and I hope you feel better soon. Hilde

GKH
Posts: 300
Joined: Jul 2012

I am not sure how relevant this is but my wife received radiation therapy 14 years ago for breast cancer. She has acid reflux and IBS From that treatment. But she was cured and has seen no sign of cancer since then. As hard as it is, try to put it out of your mind and accept the pain as the new normal. My very best wishes to both of you.

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