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SOB again - after chemo and Rad/PCI


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Moms back in the hospital having problems breathing and has a fever.

O2 sat was 90 without supplemental O2 so they admitted her. Apparently, they could also hear a slight wheeze in the lung that wasn't affected before.

They mentioned a number of possibilities.

Pneumonia (I'm thinking this would explain the fever)

Other sort of infection possibly side effect of rad (again, would explain fever)

Blood clot (which I think has been ruled out, will find out tomorrow)

One thing I seem to recall hearing the doctor saying was that it was too soon after chemo and radiation for him to strongly suspect the cancer spreading (I'm probably not phrasing that very well)

I guess the really scary thing about all this is that she sounds just like she did before chemo and everything started. We know that her hemoglobin is low but they've yet to suggest or do anything to give it a boost.

I think what I'm looking for right now is some reassurance that what we're dealing with is "just" and infection and not the return/spread of "the beast".

Anyone had an infection after radiation/chemo that affected your breathing and a fever like this??

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Hang in there! Mom had many complications throughout her treatment including pneumonia a few times - quite common actually. She also experienced quite a lot of shortness of breath after radiation - she was put on a steroid and it has been much better since.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and your family. Here's to hoping your Mom starts to feel much better soon!


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Hi there,

About 3 weeks ago my dad was admitted to the hospital because he had a fever and had trouble breathing. It ended up being radiation pneumonitis (like pneumonia). Is your mother coughing a lot? My dad was. Be careful because my dad is back in the hospital because his lung collapsed due to the coughing. Don't worry. The doctors have told me that this is quite common......

Hang in there,


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Thanks for your responses everyone.

A bit of an update..... they seemed to think it was either pneumonia or radiation induced pneumosistis(sp?). They put her on Levaquin to treat that (if thats in fact what is involved) Hemoglobin was way down so they finally gave a transfusion to get that back up. She looked and sounded much better after that. Best blood pressure I've seen in a long time.

They are talking about steriods to get the ol' appetite back again.

In the meantime, tomorrow they are doing a bronchosopy to see if they can further determine why she's having trouble breathing.

This in itself is kind of scary, as I thought they'd pretty much decided that it was pneumonia or a side effect of radiation that was causing the SOB.

So everyone here is on pins and needles. Wish us luck tomorrow!

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hi again,

actually the bronch wasn't done till today. They seem to think that it's radiation pneumonitis and did a CT scan and a number of chest xrays. The bronch was done just to make sure that this is in fact what we're dealing with.

They don't want to start steriods until they are 100% sure, and since cancer takes a holiday on weekends here, it'll probably be Monday or Tuesday before the cultures are finished to confirm pneumonitis.

At least shes got some color back to her from the transfusions. Just getting up to brush her teeth gets her all winded. It's very worrysome,but I read in the other thread about pneumonitis that this is "normal" and will dissipate.

Gee its always something isn't it?

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