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Radiation Pneumonitis or a Cold??


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Haven't posted in awhile since dad is just waiting to get new scans (i think someone called it scanititis :)) Anyway, that isn't until after Easter. So, dad has been battling what he thought was a cold for a little over a week. Things are a little more murky when you are also a laryngectomy. Anyway, he started giving himself some breathing treatments (steroids) and took some mucinex and he still didn't think it was breaking things up enough. Then he started running a low grade fever this weekend. He called his oncology nurse at Hopkins and she told him that since it was a chance that it could be radiation pneumonitis and that he should go to the doctor. I did some searching on the boards here and it seems everyone was diagnosed with RP by their pulmonologist. My dad elected to see his radiation oncologist down here who he has a good relationship with. Of course the radiation onc said that there was no way it could be radiation pneumonitis since that doesn't show up for months and he finished radiation on February 17th. He said that his good lung (the one that hasn't shown any cancer as of yet) was congested but his lung cancer lung sounded ok. So he prescribed an antibiotic for 5 days.

Any thoughts? He doesn't want to hear my research, it freaks him out so I mentioned it to my mom and told her that if it doesn't clear up after he is done with the antibiotic to get another opinion. I don't want to assume something if it isn't true and I truly hope it is only an infection but after reading other people's experiences of being diagnosed with this soon after radiation was completed, it makes me nervous. Does anyone know if waiting the 5 days is too risky? Sorry about the rambling..........


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Dear Tammi,

Sometimes a Duck really is a Duck. I think that with the Dr. monitoring him while on the antibiotics, you can probably relax. Just remember that our immune systems are pretty shaky at best & if some little bugger wants to crawl in a set up house, sometimes the only & best thing we can do is get on a good antibiotic right away. I can see that you are a very loving daughter. Just remember to let him feel he has some control over his treatment. That has been a very difficult thing for my Hubby to deal with. When to just let me make the decision over who & when to call. There have been times (being totally honest) when I won't tell him how I am feeling because I know he's going to over-react.

I'm not saying that this is nothing but that I believe that you've done exactly what you should have - called the Doctor & let what is probably a Duck be a Duck.

Take Care,


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Maybe it's allergies. Today is my third day on Clarinex (the prescription stuff) and I can FINALLY breathe. Cold medication that normally knocks out cold symptoms weren't touching it. I haven't had a problem with allergies for a few years (before cancer, actually), but that's what I'm dealing with.

Runny eyes, runny nose, sneezing, tingling in my sinuses, congestion, not sleeping...I know that in my case, allergies can lead to a sinus infection, but I think I got it soon enough...I hope I did...was worried about my ears for a while there...

I didn't have allergies as a child, my family doctor says I grew into them...and it's been an odd year here, freezing one week and in the 50's another...

Could be allergies...really could...ask the doctor about him taking Benadryl or Claritin (both over-the-counter medications) to see....

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