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Fluid In The Lungs

Posted Jul 31 2009 11:43am
At my last oncologist visit, we talked a bit about the fluid in my lungs. Each CT scan shows an increase of fluid. Most of it is in my right lung which is my mastectomy side and the side I had radiation in 2001. The doctor feels the fluid retention is caused by the chemotherapy and not the cancer.

So our options are to stop chemotherapy or drain the fluid. Apparently, draining the fluid only lasts a month or two before it comes back. Also, when you do the draining procedure there are a few drawbacks. Every time you poke around in there you create scar tissue which then creates other pockets of fluid which you then have to drain.

So how does fluid in the lungs affect me? Well, when I lie down or get up from lying down or shift positions when lying down, I cough a few times. The fluid shifts and irritates the lung. My breathing is a bit more labored. I do notice the cough is getting deeper sounding too. For sleeping, the doctor recommended I stack some extra pillows at my head to incline me a bit more.

Each time I see the oncologist she taps regions of my back and the sound changes pitch with the level of fluid in my lungs. I’m not sure when a decision has to be made as to our next move.

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