What is lack of oxygen due to?

Dad is on the third treatment of his very first cycle of chemo. He went into the hospital a couple days ago and is very weak and havingdizzy spells. His pulse-ox is around 80. We have been told the chemo has shrunk the tumor in his lung significantly so I would expect his breathing / oxygen levels to be better than they were -- not worse. Does anyone have any experience with this? What might be causing the lack of oxygen?

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Bill had that. Went ot hte dr with him and he was compalinig of wheezing, more difficulty breathing. O2 sat was 97 at rerst. Took a stroll down the hall and back-it ws 91. Doctor said they get concerned if it drops more than 3 points and his was a 6 point drop. Sent him for a CAT scan. Said he had pneumonia and the positionof the tumor onhis bronchus was making it difficult for him to cough up phlegm-hence a wonderful breeding ground for pneumonia. In your Dad's case, I would think that he might be anemic-if you have a decreased red blood cell count there are less cells to transport O2 around. 80 is a low O2 sat and the dizziness and weakness are signs of anemia too. Hoping his bloods just bottomed out and maybe a transfusion will do the trick.
Praying for a quick and simple treatment for him

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Thanks Pat. We're meeting with the doctor tomorrow and I'll ask about anemia. We're at a country hospital now so there are no cancer specialists. We maymove him tomorrow. His pulse- ox goes from 90 to low 80s as soon as he sits up and be's also having pretty big swings in blood pressure. This dr is good but is a little puzzled by it. Hopefully we'll know more tomorrow.
Take care,

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I had huge b/p swings, highs & lows. It is the chemo. I came very close to passing out on the low. No one seemed to care. The good news is that my b/p has finally returned to low normal.
Nutrition did help me. My recommendations if you are interested are:
"Natural Strategies For Cancer Patients" by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D., and retired neurosurgeon.
The book is about $16 at some health food stores and assorted web sites.

For me this was very empowering.
Nutritionist from Cancer Centers of America 60 minute audio specific to lc. http://www.gildasclubtx.org/resources/mp3/BeckyWright_Lung.mp3
My advice would be to support his body with serious nutrition and supplementation. That is what I do and I think it has helped me a lot. The easiest and least expensive is to keep well hydrated at all times with water. Keeping hydrated is extremely important for a number of reasons. Wet fruits such as watermelon straight or blended with ice and wet vegetables such as cucumber help too.

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He may have a pneumonitis (inflammation of the lung) from the treatment. My pulse ox would drop after Alimta for about 4 days , not that low though, and then go back to normal. Pneumonia is also a possibility. Is he on antibiotics?

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Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be retaining CO2, because they lost the compliance (elasticity) in their lungs. Also, there is a possibility of some sort of tumor lysis syndrome from the first chemotherapy, making breathing acutely worse.

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Anemia can cause breathlessness.

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Thanks for all the replies. The doctor has rules out anemia, pneumonia ant tumor lysis syndrome. His BP continues to be erratic though. The dr here has consulted with his primary cancer dr and they've agreed to start treating that separately. So we're gonna stay put for right now and see what tomorrow brings.

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