In mid January I was suffering from the worst case of bronchitis known to mankind and when the antibiotic prescribed just wasn't getting me better fast enough, my doctor ordered a chest x-ray showing a large amount of fluid had built up on my right lung. Was sent for a CT scan that very day and was told lung nodules were seen on the right lung as well. Referred to a pulmonary specialist who ordered the fluid drained and tested. The 1200 cc's of fluid drained was found to contain malignant cells and I was referred to an oncologist at our local Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic affiliated with St. Lukes in Milwaukee for further evaluation. A PET scan confirmed lung cancer - largest nodule 2.5 cm. Was sent to a oncology gynecologist to confirm no breast or ovarian involvement. A med-a-port was installed and a second fluid drain done of 1500 cc's the day before chemo treatments of Taxotere and Carpboplatin were scheduled to begin. Three weeks later had second round and was scheduled for my third treatment on April 5 but unfortunately the pleural fluid has returned (verified by x-ray) and I can barely breath again. Chemo has been cancelled and I am now scheduled to have a pleurodesis done on the 5th instead.
Needless to say I am scared about this operation but my oncologist feels it is the best way to stop this fluid from coming back so I can breath and have some quality of life while dealing with the side effects of chemo and fighting for my life. Right now it's all I can do to walk up the steps to go to bed at night without huffing and puffing and no matter how this ends up, it would be nice to be able to work in my flower garden and take my dogs for a walk again. I can do that with my bald head and the other ugly things that you have to deal with on chemo but not if I can't breath.
Can anyone who had this done tell me about their experience? My thorasic surgeon explained the procedure very well and is highly regarded in his field so I trust the surgery will go well - God willing - but I'd like to know about the recovery from the time you woke up following the operation until you were out of the hospital and strong enough to return to your treatment programs. Discomfort level, length of discomfort, was it successful, any after effects, etc.
I will be grateful for any info you can share. Information is power and helps get me past the anxiety of the unknown.