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Father is a cancer survivor dealing with it again


Donna B.

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Hi everyone,

It's my first time posting on this site, but I've found good information and comfort in reading your messages over the past months.

My dad had NSCLC of the left upper lobe back in 1990 (smoker for 20 years; quit in the 80's) and beat it with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemo. It came back again in another area (right middle lobe--new primary tumor) early this year.

He had a lobectomy and brachytherapy (internal radiation) in July and seemed to be doing well as far as oxygen saturation (95-96%) without much shortness of breath. However, he developed shortness of breath at the end of August and we found that he had a pleural effusion on the right side. This past week, he had a surgical pleurodesis to stop the pleural effusion from returning. We don't know yet what caused the pleural effusion (most all doctors think it's the progression of the cancer)--biopsy results from the pleurodesis should come back this week. His CT surgeon says his right lung is now expanding (it was "trapped" before the surgery). I know he just had surgery, but he seems to still need oxygen as much as before and he is coughing a lot more than usual. He has underlying emphysema to complicate things.

It's so hard to see my dad go through all of this and wish I knew that his breathing will get better for him. My dad is now 72 and not as strong as he was in 1990 when he was "cured" from his first bout with lung cancer. Before he was diagnosed with cancer this year, he was quite active and very strong. I can see that this cancer and the treatments have really been taking its toll on him. Normally the positive and strong one, he has been feeling quite down lately. I think his recent compromised breathing brings him a lot of anxiety and depression. He is also in the midst of chemo--could this also contribute to his feeling "down" as well?

Anyone have similar experiences like this due to a trapped lung and after a pleurodesis?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Donna

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Welcome to the boards. I am so sorry that you need to be here, but I am glad you found such a supportive group. These people are amazing!

I first have to ask...do they really consider that it "came back" if it had been gone for so long? It is considered a new diagnosis, right? I would assume that that is a good thing in terms of the fight.

Blessings to you, and please, keep us informed.

Jen

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Hi Donna,

So sorry the your Dad and your family have to go through this again. I don't have much in the way of advice, but I do know that anxiety can certainly contribute to shortness of breath.

It sounds like your Dad is in good hands. That mixed with getting through this successfully before gives me a good feeling that you can all get through this successfully again. 72 isn't that old and it sounds like he is a pretty determined and active guy. Your Dad is the same age as my Dad who is batteling L.C. He isn't taking it laying down either, in fact - he's mad as hell and determined to fight this b*stard and win !

I wish the very best for your family. This must be such a knock to have to get up and fight again, but you will !

I will hope and pray the the second time is just as successful as the first.

Hoping your Dad feels much better soon,

-Rod

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Thank you for your responses. Yes, my dad's recent diagnosis of cancer is not a recurrence, but a new tumor that occurred in a different part of his lungs. My dad was blessed to have been able to overcome his cancer back in the early 90's. (Because he had the maximum dose of radiation, he wasn't able to have external radiation in his chest again. Brachytherapy (internal radiation) was an option suggested by his surgeon--esp. since his margins weren't clear.)

Thank you as well for the reminder that he has a good chance to fight this recent cancer given his track record.

Warmest regards,

Donna

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Hello Donna and welcome

I am sorry to hear about your fathers recurrance. Please let us know how we can help you out along the way. There are so many great people here that are more than willing to offer up some great advice and loads of hope and encouragement

Chris

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Hi Donna, welcome to the boards.

I am sure that being on chemo can be a downer plus not being able to breathe like you once did is also a downer. I have just one lung now, and every time I exert myself, I can't get enough breath. I kind of get mad when I think about what I used to be able to do. I still push myself though. I take lexapro to help fight depression and I think it helps me. Maybe your dad should try an antidepressant. I think the chemo itself can cause shortness of breath sometimes, depending on the chemo. I hope your dad gets some breath back soon and the chemo is effective.

Don M

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Hi Donna,

I can't offer more on the trapped lung, but I hope there will be others who reply that can.

I just wanted to welcome you and let you know that I'm keeping your dad and your family in my thoughts and prayers. He's battled it before and won, he sure can do it again.

Keep us posted okay?

Hugs,

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