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Pleural Effusion Fluid " Trapped " in Major Fissur


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First, thanks to all for the post-chemo SOB post replies. The latest in my wife's heroic battle to survive another day is a CXR today with a rad report concluding that she has a reforming pleural effusion but it's " trapped " in the major fissure. Docs state that they can't safely drain it, at least until it reforms enough to spread out to accessible areas. This finding is consistent with her recent complaints that she can't deep breath. It sounds like the lung tissue below the major fissure is being choked off. On the CXR the ~ lower 1/2 of her right lung is snow white. This initially fooled the docs into thinking that it was all due to pleural effusion. Not so. She sees her med onc tomorrow morning. He will be presented with this dilemma. Pretty clear that her current chemo regimen isn't working and now this development. Anybody with the same or similar lung / trapped fluid development ? If so, what course of action, if any, was used to correct this problem ? My wife's quality of life is zero. She is being kept alive, but if this inability to deep breath is uncorrectable and worsens, it will be the last straw as far as she is concerned. She has developed a full-blown fear ( anticipatory anxiety ) of going into respiratory arrest AGAIN. It's been a long battle, since May 2004, and she's just about out of gas. An open ended ( prn ) narcotic order for high dose schedule 2 narcotics for pain & comfort has now been ordered which is a clear signal to her that palliative care has officially arrived.


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Dear Bill,

I am so very sorry this is happening. I hope you will always know that you have done everything - and even more than everything - for your beloved wife.

I hate to hear she can't take deep breaths because that must be very frightening for her. You didn't say what the drugs were but I know that morphine relieves the horrible anxiety that comes with not being able to breathe.

I just wish I knew more to say to make this better, easier, or less painful for you, but I just don't. I hope you can at least gain some comfort knowing that so many of us have walked in your shoes and know how hard and painful this is for you.

God bless you, Bill!



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