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Question about breathing problems


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When my mom was dx back in April, one of the symptoms that took her to the hospital in the first place was shortness of breath. The docs told her she had COPD and, later, SCLC. She had a tough time with the breathing in the hospital and had to use oxygen at times, but some of that seemed to be stress-related. In fact, her oxygen saturation levels weren't too bad.

She left the hospital, started chemo and within a day or two, her breathing issues were largely resolved. She carried a rescue inhaler but only had to use it a few times, and only after exertion (a long walk, climbing stairs). She finished her sixth round of chemo last month (85% of the tumor gone after fifth round of Cisplatin/Etop) and is now on a "treatment break" until a scan in early November.

In the last week or two, the shortness of breath has returned. It's not crippling by any means, but it has happened while she's just been sitting around. Also, she's been having some intermittent nausea -- nothing like the kind during chemo, but noticeable nonetheless.

My concern is that the SOB and nausea might indicate the cancer is progressing -- but she does not want to call the doctor about it. Her reasoning is that her body needs a two-month break from the chemo, so there's no point in getting a scan and then having to worry a month longer. I see her point, but at the same time, I wonder if this is the smart approach.

What do you folks think? Would the SOB and nausea indicate a progression -- or could be they totally unrelated? Should I press her to call the doctor? I will say that beyond those two problems, she feels good and looks healthy.

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Well, my first suggestions would be to call the doctor. PLEASE don't think this is like anything else your mom has every had or gone through, because it's NOT!

This could be COPD related, it could be Chemo related, and it could be cancer related, it could mean her blood is low or a problem in that area. This could be something you can't imagine, and I'm sure her doctor told her to call if she had problems. This is nothing to monkey with!

Please take notes and call her doctor. Your mom doesn't sound like she is taking this very serious either. She's NOT bothering anyone at her doctor's office. That's what she is paying them for. They expect these kinds of calls. So, PLEASE make the call!! This has NOTHING TO DO with her taking a break! This could be a major problem.

God Bless and Good Luck,


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