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are they doing enough?


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My dad saw his pulmonologist yesterday. He said my dad's lung is stil partially collapsed and he's not getting any air from the bottom of the lung. He was concerned about that because my dad has now had 20 radiation treatments (he's scheduled for 10 more). He said as the radiation shrinks the tumor the lung should reinflate. However, he did confirm that my dad has an effusion, but he said there was no need to test the fluid for cancer since he's not getting chemo. Okay, but shouldn't they at least remove the fluid? Wouldn't that help the breathing and the coughing? Maybe that would help to reinflate the lung?? We are now going on 2 months and nothing has been done to drain the fluid. I don't know I guess because he isn't really improving I just feel they can do more! This is so upsetting!

Thanks for listening and sharing any experiences you have had with this.

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I don't understand the pulmonologist's reasoning at all. After my thoracotomy, during the month I had to wait before starting chemo, I was told by at least two of my doctors to let them know if I started getting SOB again and they'd order another thoracentecis. Turns out it wasn't necessary, but the offer was there anyway.

Maybe the pulmonologist doesn't fully realize the discomfort your dad is experiencing, which is very possibly from the effusion. Maybe he is not especially proactive and would respond to a more direct request. From my perspective, the thoracentecis was a rather simple procedure. It was done with a local anesthetic while I sat on the edge of the table watching the ultrasound monitor as the radiologist guided in the needle. I would never hesitate to have another one done if the need arose.



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