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NHL 3B with Fluid retention in left lung

Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi Everyone,
I hope someone can help me. I started having back and abdominal pains over the 4Th July weekend and after a CT scan in August discovered an 8x10cm mass in my lower abdomen and my left lung almost filled with fluid. Unable to breathe I went to a Lung specialist who after doing a Thorax Xray removed 2 liters of fluid from my lung. A specimen of this fluid was sent to the lab for analysis and they diagnosed NHL. Upon returning to the Lung specialist for control they found enlarged nodes in my neck and recommended surgical biopsy of one of the nodes and lab anlysis confirmed NHL Follicular.
I was then referred to the Oncologist who said Chemo was my only treatment option and hopefully that should solve both the enlarged lymph nodes and the fluid accumulation in the lung . I have now completed my 3rd cycle of VCP and my 4th will be Monday over a week. However the fluid continues to accumulate in the lung and have had to drain it 8 times (always around 2 liters) and on closer monitoring it seems to accumulate at the rate of 2liters a week.
The enlarged nodes in my neck have disappeared so the chemo seems to be working on that. The onc says he will continue chemo until he is satisfied the mass in the lower abdomen is gone.
This week I have had black stools for the past 4 days and am wondering if this is a result of the chemo or a new complication.
I have searched the net for my symptoms but have not found anyone who has had that amount of fluid in the lungs.

allmost60's picture
Posts: 3184
Joined: Jul 2010

I was hoping someone in the group with a similar situation as yours would have posted by now, but since they haven't, I wanted to welcome you to our group. I also have Follicular NHL and did the CVP-R chemo...(finished in Dec 2010). I had tumors in my groin, stomach and neck and after 6 rounds of chemo all of the tumors went down except for one pesky spot under my colar bone. I'm currently doing the Rituxan maint, once every 2 months for the next 2 years and have completed 5 infusions. My Oncologist seems to feel the Rituxan will get rid of the last tumor under my colar bone, but we won't know for sure until my next scheduled scan in April. I have not experienced any problems as you with fluid in the lungs, so I'm sorry I can't help you out in that area. The black stools you are talking about are a bit disturbing and it might be wise to schedule a colonoscopy just to be on the safe side. Once we have had a cancer diagnosis it is wise to never ignore anything new or strange going on in our bodies. Black stools are not normal and if it continues, please get it checked out. Please come back and let us know what you find out, and feel free anytime to ask questions or just vent about whatever is on your mind. I think the long holiday Thanksgiving weekend was why you didn't receive more feedback. Someone is almost always around to help out. Take care and I'll keep you in my prayers. Sue (FNHL-grade2-stage3-typeA-diagnosed 6/10-age 61)

Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2011

Thanks for the support. My case seems to be unique because I have searched the internet and could find no mention of similar symptoms. I am 62 so we are both within the same age group for NHL. The stomach bleeding is upsetting but my primary is closely monitoring the situation and checked my hemoglobin counts.I get tired quickly now as both the low red blood cells and the fluid in the lung contribute to lower oxygen levels available to the rest of the body. All I can do is hang in there and hope for the best. Thanks.

jimwins's picture
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

Welcome emclinc,

Sorry you have to be here but you will find lots of supportive
and caring people here.

Regarding the black stools, are you on iron supplements - they can
certainly cause dark stools and constipation as well (speaking
from experience here). If the black stools continue, you should get it
checked out.

I don't know much about the fluid in the lung situation - sorry.
Hopefully someone will chime in with similar experience.

I wish you well and keep us update.

Big hugs,


Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2011

Hello, your story sounds very similar to mine. I was diagnosed 6 years ago at the age of 43 with NHL stage 4B, follicular. I had enlarged nodes everywhere. I also had fluid on my right lung. The first time it was drained they got 3 liters of fluid. I also had about 6 more drainings of about 1- 2 liters every time. I had 2 rounds of CHOP and rituxan without good response and then switched to FND and rituxan which shrunk all the nodes but I was still having recurrent fluid on my lung. Finally I underwent a surgical procedure called a pleurodesis. The dr took off all the fluid and then kinda roughened up the lining of the lung and then put in some kind of agent to prevent the fluid from recurring. And it worked! Unfortunately the cancer has returned, but not nearly as bad and no lung issues at all. I have just finished my 3rd round of Bendamustine and rituxan and doing fine.

Hope this helps.

Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2011

Thanks for the reply. I have finally found the correct medical term for the symtom we encountered. It is Malignant Pleural Effusion. Google gives you a complete description photos and treatment. I have drained mine 9 times up to now and the doctors are now considering a drain. It is just as the oncologist said I have to complete the chemo first before they decide additional treatment for the lung problem.

Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2016

Hi Emclinc,

Not sure if you are still on this group as this post was too long ago. If you are still checking this post, please give me some update with your situation as my husband has same problem with fluid. It fills up his stomach cavity first before flush his lung. Doctor still doesn't know how to treat as he said it's unuasal :( 

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