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Mom back in hospital


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Hello everyone,

It's starting to seem like this is a neverending battle. We've had another set back. Last week my mom had to have two thoracenteses and removed 1600cc's from around her lung. Well last night she was up all night throwing up and having a lot of pain, so dad took her in. They admitted her and took her to surgery for a chest tube, which immediately returned 1600cc's. She'll be in the hospital for several days.

Does anyone have experience with this whole fluid thing? As of a few months ago, the cancer in her lungs was gone-so I'm having a hard time understanding, medically, why does this happen? I know that there is always a chance that the cancer is back again....but I'm praying it's not so if it isn't, I just don't understand why fluid would collect there so fast if at all. AAH! What does this mean!?!?! :? I guess I'm just getting really scared because the fluid was actually how we found out she had sclc back in February. FEBRUARY. I can't believe we've been doing this for 8 months already. Anyway....

I guess I'm just feeling so frustrated because we're dealing with the brain and spine mets and now treatment is on hold because of this madness. It just sucks. That's all.

Any of your thoughts would be greatly appreciated-will be interested to hear what oncodoc thinks.... :)

Take care!


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My dad did mention something about the talc...something about then the lung can adhere to the cavity or SOMETHING, I don't know!! :) Sometimes getting information from the doctor through my dad is like a game of "telephone.." the info always seems to be a bit altered by the time it gets to me!!

Thanks, I'll do some investigating tonight and see if that has been or will be done.

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Ris, hi

First of all, I want to say how sorry I am that your mom has had a set-back. I have had some personal experience with pleural effusions so I will share what I know or can remember..

lung cancer is definitely one of the causes of an effusion. So can be continued radiation changes. A more remote cause of an effusion, considering your mom's cancer history, would be congestive heart failure.

After that 1600cc of fluid was drained, no doubt, the surgeon sent it to pathology to try to determine the cell make up. It is my understanding that though cancer cells may be present in the fluid, that they will be detected just 50% of the time. The fluid will also be screened for bacteria, for fungus, and for autoimmune factors, if I remember correctly.

I am hoping though, that this is associated with the radiation changes. Please keep us posted.. it is so difficult to be away from your family at this time..I am sorry for that.

Cindi o'h

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The stuff they put in there does cause the lung to readhere to the lining of the lung. If it's what I'm thinking it is, it's kinda painful, but works well.

Prayers to your mother and your whole family. Hang in there kido! Please let us know how she does,

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Hi Ris,

My husband had pleural fluid and it was ddrained once. then they did the the talc thing, I think they called it pluerdesis. The procedure itself was not painfull but shortly after they injected the talc my husband started having pain and when he took a sip of cold ice water the pain stopped!! I don;t know if the cold water had anything to do with it but it sure seemed too. Just thought I'd pass that on just in case. Hope everything will go well!!


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Well, I have alot of information on pleural effusions. That is how my cancer was diagnosed. I have had 4 thorencentesis done and eventually had to have a catheter inserted to drain the fluid at home over about a month and a half every day. Fortunately, so far the draining from the catheter has worked and my fluid has not reaccumulated. My fluid was malignant. However, pleural effusions can be benign and usually are caused by cancer, infection and even radiation. Anything that "upsets" the lung can cause an effusion.

I am praying that your mom's chest tube will result in complete drainage and that she will start to feel better real soon. Boy it sure feels better to breath once all that fluid is gone! I am so sorry that she is going through this, please let her know that I'm thinking of her and KNOW how she feels! :cry:


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Thanks for all of the replies! It was a rough weekend. They're having trouble getting on top of the pain. Sounds like she finally got some sleep last night but is still pretty uncomfortable. The chest tube is still putting a lot out, apparently they need to wait until it's less than 200cc's a day before they can do the talc procedure. She also has an air leak in her lung which needs to heal.

Dad is meeting with her oncologist today -- hope to get some answers on the why, what does this mean, what if's.

Thanks again for all of the prayers and input-I really appreciate it.

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