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Chest Pains During Treatment

Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2004

I'm 23 and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease 2B and I am currently receiving ABVD. I'm on my 5th cycle and have three more treatments to go along with a month of radiation hopefully. Lately, I have been experiencing the same difficulty breathing that I had before I was diagnosed and I have a small cough too. The thing is I just had a chest X-ray that showed that the mass had shrunk to the size of a grape, it was originally the size of a grapefruit. I guess I'm just so scared of a reocurrence and going through an extended period of treatment that I can't distinguish if the difficulty breathing is just a little chest congestion or what. I'm really concerned because all I can think about these days is finishing up my chemo and radiation and getting on with my life with this fresh new outlook I have, but my outlook is being clouded because of my fear of a reocurrence. Please, can anyone help?

Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2003

Hi, My wife is going through treatment for Hodgkins and is halfway through her treatments - she has had 6 treatments so far. Whenever she is concerned about anything at all, she finds it really comforting to talk to her oncologist or send him an e-mail and he lets her know if it is anything that she should be concerned about. I think the anxiety of having Hodgkins and going through treatment can make you worry about things you often don't need to be concerned about. I would definitely let your doctor know how you are feeling and let him/her decide if any further tests need to be done. I know when my wife was first diagnosed, I was having shortness of breath and could barely eat anything just from the stress and anxiety of it all - and I wasn't even the one with Hodgkins!

Best of luck to you,

Posts: 47
Joined: Jul 2003

You really need to talk to your Doc about this one. You may be having a reaction to bleomycin, which is the "B" in ABVD.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2004

I am 25 yrs old and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's 2B when I was 23. And I also received ABVD for six months then 6 weeks of radiation. I have been in remission now for a year and have been experiencing chest pains off and on since the end of my chemo. My xrays continue to show a spot of scar tissue where the tumor was. I understand your fear. My doc and I have continually searched for a way to ease the discomfort. But try not to let the chest pains freak you out in to thinking the lymphoma is coming back! My doc says that Hodgkin's leaves behind scar tissue that can be there long after the tumor has shrunk. And after you receive radiation, you will probably have some discomfort from the scarring left behind from that. Of course, you should discuss this with your doc. I even made my doc give me a full body PET to make sure everything was clear, and to make sure there was no activity in the scar tissue. Everything looked great! And even further supported that the exact area in my chest where I have the pain, was a spot of scar tissue. I've been trying to walk when the weather permits, and it does feel like it helps. I still have some shortness of breathe and a dry cough, but I feel like the exercise is helping all that! Talk to your doc and take it one day at a time...your almost there!

Posts: 69
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi carlyb, I had a question about your petscan. Even though you had scar tissue did your petscan come back without activity? I had a petscan 4 months after treatment and it had activity in the same spot where the tumor was and they told me it was most likely scar tissue from the intense radiation I received. I had no chemo since I was at stage 1a. Should I talk to the doctor about the activity? I have had a ctscan which looked okay, but the activity in the petscan has me more than a little concerned. Should I worry? Your input would be great. thanks

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2004

I've had 2 PETS. The first one was immediately following my chemo and it did show small amounts of activity around my lungs where the tumor had been. All my docs agreed that it was from the chemo still in my body. I then started radiation. I wanted another PET immediately after the radiation, but both my oncologist and the radiologist oncologist said that having one done immediately would give false positives. They both agreed we would have to allow time before the activity from the radiation would clear. So in the mean time we did chest xrays and CATS to make sure there was no growth going on. We finally did another PET almost a year after the radiation and there was no activity anywhere. I understand being worried about it. If you feel more needs to be done to make sure another tumor isn't coming back, talk to your doc, and if you have to talk to other docs as well. THe great thing about my oncologist is that he talked to his colleagues about my case and that really helped ease my mind that other docs agreed with his decisions. I would try and not let this worry you, but as always, talk to your doc about your concerns. I would just talk to my doc about when it would be a good time to go back and repeat the PET to make sure the activity is gone. Congrats on everything looking good!

Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2004

I am a 2A HD patient and I finished chemo (ABVD) and radiation (21 days) in October. I experienced shortness of breath during ABVD. Have they perfromed a pulmonary function test periodically to check your lung capacity? During chemo I had this test every ~3 weeks, ask, then demand this test from your onc. Even though I had shortness of breath every time I went up 10-15 steps, my lung capacity was excellent and they did not adjust any meds (Bleomycin). I hope I have given you some meaningful input.


Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

This is my first time on line, you were the first one i replyed to. I hope i find you feeling well now. I am a 29 year old female with Stage 2 Hodgkins. I've been through the chemo, and just this week started with radiation. My tumor was also the size of a grapefruit when it all began. Now it is the size of a nickel. I too think alot about reocurrence. I'll tell you one thing, if you are anything like me, you have anxiety, that could be one thing going against you and your difficulty in breathing. I have asthma, and also at times have difficulty breathing, or catching my breath, which I've been told is all normal. Any little pain anywhere, and i freak, so if you need to talk, give me a buzz.

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