alicia Posted December 29, 2006 Share Posted December 29, 2006 Hi. My name is Alicia and I'm 29 years old. My dad is 63 (will be 64 on Jan 1st) and was dx'd with nsc Lung Cancer in on May 11, 2006. He never smoked, and was healthy and active and hardly ever went to the dr since having his tonsils removed when he was a kid. In November 2005, he started havin leg/hip pain, which he thought was a sciatic nerve problem. He had been playing on an adult softball league and thought he might have pulled something. He then started noticing SOB and some wheezing. (He'd been dx'd with "athlete's asthma 5 or 7 years prior because he would wheeze a little bit if he was exercising and sprinting the last lap on the track) The wheeze started turning into more of a bubbling or percolating sound like when water is boiling on the stove, which he found odd and that's what pushed him to go the dr. After months of going back & forth and having x-rays, CAT scans, inhalers, antibiotics, etc., we finally demanded that a biopsy be done. It was done on May 10, 2006 (my birthday), and on May 11, he was told that it was indeed cancer. The PET scan revealed that it was Stage IV and that it had spread to both lungs, lymph nodes, the liver, portions of the spine and he has a tumor on his femur bone. (I know there are several other small spots, but I'm not thinking clearly enough to name them all) Anyhow, he started Carbo/taxol on June 14, 2006 and did okay the first treatments but had severe leg pain as his main side effect. On June 19th, the dr. called and said that his CAT scan revealed the he had a pulmonary embolism and told him to go to the ER and be admitted to the hospital. They saw that he also had some pleural effusions as well as some fluid around the heart, but decided to let that be for now and see if the chemo, blood thinners and lasix would alleviate that. They started him on blood thinners (Coumadin)which he's been on ever since. When he went for round 2 of Carbo/Taxol on July 6, 2006 he had a reaction and they sent him to the ER. They did not "challenge the Taxol" as I've heard be done to others after this event. He was switched to Carbo/Gemzar, which he started on July 14, 2006. He then began getting Aredia infused for his bones as well beginning August 4, 2006. He did okay throughout these treatments and was still playing softball when he felt up to it. He had 1 or 2 treatments postponed due to low counts, and was eventually given procrit beginning in October. CAT scans showed that there was a slight reduction in tumor size after the carbo/taxol treatment, but with the Gemzar, things had just been held at bay by the end of his 6 cycles. He had a month off from November to December and was feeling great. Said he felt better than he had since being dx'd and was playing baseball and seemed to have his wind back for the most part. He began a new treatment with Alimta on December 6th 2006 and thats when everything went downhill. He was really tired and then had some type of stomach issues for a few days with diarreah. On Dec. 15th, he started having pain across his chest that became severe along with shortness of breath. He was rushed to the Er, and they kept giving him nitro in case it was a heart attack. It took hours before they could give him pain meds and my dad doesn't usually complain, but his pain was like a 15 on a 1 to 10 scale, and you could tell. They finally did a CAT scan, etc. and found that there was excessive fluid in between the heart and the pericardium that was constricting the heart. On Dec 16th at 7pm the dd a "window" operation to drain fluid and make a hole in the sac to allow fluid to drain so that it wouldn't build up. They drained 1200ccs (more than a liter) of fluid just from around the heart. He looked much better the next day, but then each day he seemed to feel worse. He still felt short of breath, he had pain in his back, his blood pressure would get low and his heart rate high. They monitored him and he stayed in the hospital until Friday Dec. 22nd. We knew he didn't seem that well to come home, but the doctors said he was okay. The whole weekend, he had a lot of pain in his chest and back and had to take pain pills, which he tries to avoid at all costs. He was very tired and still had labored breathing and his blood pressure and heart rate kept going all over the place. We had a nurse check on him and she said he seemed okay. Then on Dec 27th he just slept a lot and seem out of energy. On Dec 28th, the nurse checked on him again and his blood pressure was only 90/76 and his heart rate was 140. So he went to the Er yesterday and they still haven't been able to get his heart rate to go down after several does of medication that would normally help. Last night at about 9pm, they drained 1 liter of fluid from his right side with a needle and decided not to do the other side for fear he would be to weak. As of yet, this hasn't helped. The dr's don't know why the heart is racing except to guess that the cancer has spread to the heart, yet the fluid tested from the heart drainaged was negative for cancer and they haven't seen anything in the x-ray, EKG, CAT scan, etc. His heartrate is still 130 and up. Anybody with any symptoms even remotely similar? Was it coincidence or did the Alimta really screw things up? I'm reading now that Alimta isn't reccomended for those with pleural effusions, yet they knew he had them, so could that have made it worse? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. He hates hospitals more than the average Joe and he just go out before Christmas and was in there for my mom's birthday, and if he's in the hospital for his birthday on Monday, I think he'll just walk out. 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