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To those with lungs mets- do any of you have trouble with coughing or getting out of breath?

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

To those with lungs mets- do any of you have trouble with coughing or getting out of breath? Many of you know I recently was hospitalized with pneumonia. I started getting a little cough and was always short of breath for about three months prior to going into the hospital w/ the pneumonia, so I don't know if my pneumonia was starting way back then or if it's due to my lung tumors growing and irritating my lung tissue.

For those of you with these symptoms, what do you do to breathe easier and slow down the cough? I feel like I probably have a hernia, which really hurts when I cough a lot. My onc agreed it's likely a hernia but didn't suggest doing anything about it.
This cough is driving me crazy! Asthma inhaler doesn't work, cough syrups just help it for about an hour and that's it. Cold air and walking around sets it off, although I still do some coughing even while sitting down. The onc tested me for the bacteria that caused my pneumonia and it came back normal- so no more of that bacteria. He doesn't know why I'm coughing.

It seems like most people who have lung mets have just a couple- I have what they call "innumerable" lung nodules in every part of both lungs. Maybe I should try the lung cancer board- there might be more people there with more of my symptoms...

Thank you in advance for anyone who responds-

Lisa

laurettas
Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

in the replies you receive, Lisa, because scans showed something in Jake's lungs and he has never had any symptoms. He had innumerable tiny spots in the bottom half of both lungs when he was first diagnosed but always had great lung capacity and didn't cough any more than he ever has.

Lifeisajourney
Posts: 217
Joined: Apr 2010

alot, drove everyone crazy, but I found if I chewed gum, it really helped any coughing, not great for teeth, but it worked for the cough and me. I have been bothered by a sinus infection like feeling this last month, which I should be having someone check, but have a minor cough and chewing just menthol gum helps alot. Just something to try, no cure just a preventative. Hope you are feeling better. Pat

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4885
Joined: May 2005

I've had lung mets and three wedge resections and four RFAs. I have not had trouble with coughing but I do get short of breath at times. Just wondering, do you tend to have allergies at all?
It might be a good idea to check the lung forum too like you suggested.
-p

eringray's picture
eringray
Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2011

i suck on hard candy when i am coughing a lot. its getting worse now that its colder.

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

Does the cough syrup you're using have codeine in it? I've had problems with horrible allergies, and that's the only thing that helps, as it actually suppresses the cough mechanism. My sister had problems with a cough due to a tumor in the chest, and I know it helped her some as well. I hate coughing, especially at night when it interferes with sleeping. Hope you find something soon that improves things. Take care, Ann

baldwin
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2008

Lisa,
I have followed your story and although I do not reply often, I always try to keep up with what is going on. I cannot tell you how much your journey mimics my husband's. He too, now has numerable nodules in both lungs. He also has had the colon cancer spread to his brain, spine, bones, and has already had a liver resection. I, too, believe and hope that our Lord will restore his health. The reason why I needed to reply to you is because, he also saw a naturopath last year and he had him on 140-160 pills a day. He couldn't take it, couldn't swallow as you have mentioned. We have sinced started treatment at the Block Center in Chicago. Dr. Block has written a book called Life Over Cancer. It deals with nutrition, mind body, supplements, other treatments that are "outside of the box" that mainstream oncologists have available to them. For instance, my husband is on a drug that is not approved by the FDA, although MD Anderson in Texas has done a Phase I clinical trial on it. As we all know, if you are not a Big Pharma with deep pockets, most of the trials and drugs do not or take a very long time to be approved. Sloan Kettering also has reference to the drug on their site. It is called Anvirzel. At the Block Center, they adminster the chemo with a chronomodulated pump, based on individual circadium rhythms.
They believe that more cancer cells are killed this way and it is also less toxic on your system. My husband has had positive results with the Block Center, but unfortunately, he also just got over pneumonia and a cellulitis infection and we have not been out there since last month. This center is about keeping you alive. They also do a blood test based on your "terrain". This is similar to what you may be getting with your naturopath, and based on the results, supplements are prescribed. They do not believe in the quantity of supplements that my husband and apparently you have been prescribed. They work with you on an individual basis and try to find supplements that address more than one issue to minimize the number of pills you are taking each day. At any rate, I felt compelled to reach out to you and let you know that there are alternatives. You may want to pick up his book and see if the philosophy of the center is something you subscribe to. Unlike the Cancer Centers of America, this center will work with you and your local oncologist. We decided to travel to Chicago for treatment because after my husband had brain surgery, proton beam treatment, more brain tumors came back. Mass General then did whole brain radiation, and more brain tumors. They said they did not believe that any further treatment would add to his quality or quantity of life. We went to the Block Center and met with their neurosurgeon. Their philosopy is that whole brain radiation is the last resort, because of the cognitive decline that goes along with it. They used sterio tactic radiosurgery to target the brain tumors always as a first line of defense, unlike most hospitals that immediately go to whole brain radiation as this is the "textbook" standard of care. Long story short, although my husband had received whole brain radiation and the procedure was risky, if we did not do anything, he would have been dead by now. The procedure to get rid of the 4 brain tumors was done in July and to this day, Thank God, there have not been any others. I know this is a long post, but, you seem to be open to evaluating other avenues and I wanted to share with you what we have done. God Bless and I wish you and everyone on this board, restoration of health.

baldwin
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2008

Lisa,
I have followed your story and although I do not reply often, I always try to keep up with what is going on. I cannot tell you how much your journey mimics my husband's. He too, now has numerable nodules in both lungs. He also has had the colon cancer spread to his brain, spine, bones, and has already had a liver resection. I, too, believe and hope that our Lord will restore his health. The reason why I needed to reply to you is because, he also saw a naturopath last year and he had him on 140-160 pills a day. He couldn't take it, couldn't swallow as you have mentioned. We have sinced started treatment at the Block Center in Chicago. Dr. Block has written a book called Life Over Cancer. It deals with nutrition, mind body, supplements, other treatments that are "outside of the box" that mainstream oncologists have available to them. For instance, my husband is on a drug that is not approved by the FDA, although MD Anderson in Texas has done a Phase I clinical trial on it. As we all know, if you are not a Big Pharma with deep pockets, most of the trials and drugs do not or take a very long time to be approved. Sloan Kettering also has reference to the drug on their site. It is called Anvirzel. At the Block Center, they adminster the chemo with a chronomodulated pump, based on individual circadium rhythms.
They believe that more cancer cells are killed this way and it is also less toxic on your system. My husband has had positive results with the Block Center, but unfortunately, he also just got over pneumonia and a cellulitis infection and we have not been out there since last month. This center is about keeping you alive. They also do a blood test based on your "terrain". This is similar to what you may be getting with your naturopath, and based on the results, supplements are prescribed. They do not believe in the quantity of supplements that my husband and apparently you have been prescribed. They work with you on an individual basis and try to find supplements that address more than one issue to minimize the number of pills you are taking each day. At any rate, I felt compelled to reach out to you and let you know that there are alternatives. You may want to pick up his book and see if the philosophy of the center is something you subscribe to. Unlike the Cancer Centers of America, this center will work with you and your local oncologist. We decided to travel to Chicago for treatment because after my husband had brain surgery, proton beam treatment, more brain tumors came back. Mass General then did whole brain radiation, and more brain tumors. They said they did not believe that any further treatment would add to his quality or quantity of life. We went to the Block Center and met with their neurosurgeon. Their philosopy is that whole brain radiation is the last resort, because of the cognitive decline that goes along with it. They used sterio tactic radiosurgery to target the brain tumors always as a first line of defense, unlike most hospitals that immediately go to whole brain radiation as this is the "textbook" standard of care. Long story short, although my husband had received whole brain radiation and the procedure was risky, if we did not do anything, he would have been dead by now. The procedure to get rid of the 4 brain tumors was done in July and to this day, Thank God, there have not been any others. I know this is a long post, but, you seem to be open to evaluating other avenues and I wanted to share with you what we have done. God Bless and I wish you and everyone on this board, restoration of health.

Bear23's picture
Bear23
Posts: 84
Joined: Jan 2010

Lisa, in the past few months, when my "numerous" tumors have grown I have developed a cough. My doc says due to my tumors. I don't like hearing this! I have sarcoid and was hoping that was the cause. I have wondered if anyone else had this too.

After trying a cough suppressant Dayquil, I am now using Advair. It works ok. Not fantastic. I have just started it and supposedly it can take up to a week to get the full effects. I suck a lot of hard suckers when I work. I try to stay calm and slow my body down. Cold air can set it off. I wear a scarf over my nose and mouth. laying down can set it off. I start my night by using several pillows. I really have to work at stopping it sometimes. I come close to vomiting too. What works for me too is Vicks. I put some below my nose and the menthol helps. Also try breathing through your nose instead of your mouth.

It really is annoying and troublesome. When people look at me I am thinking of using the line "cancer isn't contagious".

Would love to hear from others as well.

Valerie

Joy1216's picture
Joy1216
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

I frequently cough because of allergies and sinus infections. A prescription that works for me is Benzonatate, generic for Tessalon Perles. It might be worth discussing with your doctor.
Joy

th_in_canada's picture
th_in_canada
Posts: 46
Joined: Nov 2011

I have 7 tumors in my right lung and 1 in my left. A few weeks ago I started coughing especially in the morning. It's not too bad but a few times I've coughed up a bit of blood. Has anyone else had that?
A friend of mine has 3 lung mets and was coughing alot. One of the mets was against his bronchial tube. He had radiation on it and the coughing subsided.

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1292
Joined: Oct 2010

Both of us have used N-acetylcysteine (NAC) for respiratory issues, 600-1800+ mg/day and lots of vit C, wife full time 18+ months as part of her daily formula.

NAC has long been credited for mucolytic action, and more recently rebuilding glutathione since NAC is a major component. Oxidative stress, respiratory distress have been associated with glutathione depletion. Glutathione often gets depleted in "healthy", much more so in cancer patients. Also many chemotherapies deplete glutathione. Although NAC may conflict with some conventional CRC treatments to deplete glutathione, including radiation as NAC is a radioprotectant unless offset, NAC is also proposed or discussed as independent treatment in a number of combinations like Vit C + NAC, Vit B3 + NAC, cimetidine + NAC, or even more encompassing combinations.

Glutathione depletion in the pathogenesis of acute respiratory inflammation. (infectious examples)

N-acetylcysteine suppression of the proliferative index in the colon of patients with previous adenomatous colonic polyps

N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC)–is an anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic agent

cimetidine and NAC for GI cancers (cites CIM - B3, too)

There caveats to NAC use, possible discussion material with the naturopaths.

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Lisa,

I had solitary lung met -- three different times. Each time the nodule was quite small. I had no symptoms. Sorry not to be of more help.

I am thinking of you every day!

Love,

Tara

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2117
Joined: Oct 2009

When George's lung mets were acting up he was coughing a lot. Never coughed up any blood or anything. He just coughed hard to the point of turning red. When things settled down, the cough went away. He never took any type of medication for it. He never felt short of breath. It seemed to me when he took a deep breath is when the cough would start so I always assumed he was irritating his throat and lungs taking those deep breaths. Now he coughs on occasion but not very often.

Take care - Tina

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Lisa

This last tumor in the lung got away from me and grew to 6cm. It had embedded itself up into my ribcage and close to my spine, thus necessitating the removal of 2 of my ribs.

I did not have coughing as I can recall. But the pain was incredibible and as the tumor grew, the pain got increasingly worse. So bad, that I would be doubled over in pain and very short of breath. Got so bad people noticed it work, 'cause I could not hide it any longer.

In the last days, I was only able to work 1/2 days and had to go straight home and take pain medication and go to bed.

Not what you are looking for - but the common denominator is that lung tumors do mess with you in some form or fashion.

-Craig

Phoebesnow
Posts: 567
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi Lisa,

Happy thanksgiving!

My mother in law has cc mets to her lungs. She is 90, God bless her soul. One of the tumours was blocking her airway, so she went for10 rads, she handled it well,(better than me and I am 50). At first she had a mild cough but pretty frequent. The mild cough became a persistent almost non stop cough and gasping for air. The cough would get worse with even the slightest movement. We saw the doc today and ct shows a partial collapse of her right lung. She is seeing a pulmologist right now. I think you should consult with your onc.

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Thank you to all who replied! I know that I need to see a pulmonologist, but maybe it would be better to wait until after I get my CT scan results so we know what we're working with. I just got my CT scheduled & it will be on Dec. 1st.

I will look into all the suggestions- thanks again, everyone!

Lisa

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