Topic: Lung full of fluid

Hi.  I have used the search forum in all different ways to try and search this subject before I asked everybody.  My dad had to go back into the hospital after getting out only five days before.  He could hardly breathe and after they did a chest x-ray they said his right lung was collapsed because it was full of fluid.  When they got around to draining it, it was a cloudy color with a reddish tinge.  The pulmonologist has not gotten the results back yet but he says he is almost certain it is from the cancer.

The thing is on my dad's last ct scan, the lymph nodes in his lungs were all pretty small. I have researched and the nodes usually get to a certain size before they cause effusion and my dad's are nowhere near that large.

Then I read that a lot of people who had plueral effusion here on this website were doing the chemo combo of gemzar and oxaliplatin, just like my dad.  And a few mentioned the chemo as a possible cause.  I know Jeff G also had thought at one time his plueral effusion was caused by his chemo.

I was hoping someone who has experienced this knows for sure whether or not the chemo can cause this, or is this just from the cancer?

I know nobody can guess what is going on in my dad's body; I am just hoping to hear from others who have gone through this and might know a little more about it.

Thank you.
PS- my dad also has c. diff. again.  My mom is going to ask the doctor about Florastar as suggested on here.  We had been feeding him yogurt and acidopholous pills when we knew he had it, then we stopped when we  were told the c diff was gone and now it is back so I guess we never should have stopped with the yogurt and pills.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Deb,

I can't help on this issue specifically, but it never hurts to be proactive. You could ask about a change in his chemo regimen and tell them your suspicions. Is your dad's doctor familiar with CC and has he administered this before? Also, do they know if the chemo is working?

Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way,

Jan

Re: Lung full of fluid

Thanks Jan for your reply.  The thing is, when he was taking chemo he had some good results.  The big tumors in his liver shrank and his bile duct looked clear on the ct scan.  He has been in and out of the hospital with different infections for a month and a half and we really want him to get back to the chemo. I was just wondering if anyone else was having or has had similar issues.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Deb......I have heard of others having pleural effusion due to Oxyplatin.  Also, I have learned that certain types of cancers can cause pleural effusions due to the location of the nodule rather then the size of the nodule. The Pulmonologist should call you within three days to give you the definite findings.  This will give your Dad some time to recoup.  On this board, we have seen, some physicians switching their patients to one of the other platins which are less harsh then Oxyplatin has shown to be.  In fact, you might have noticed the orange colored Breaking News Flash on our site displaying a first standard treatment of treatment with Cisplatin in combination with Gemcitabine to have shown positive results in many CC patients.  What I am trying to say is that should Oxyplatin be the culprit for the pleural effusion then, very likely, another treatment protocol may be useful. Is your Dad feelings much better already now that his lungs have been cleared?  You have many questions to ask his doctor, next week.
Tons of good wishes coming your way,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Lung full of fluid

Thanks Marion.  Yes, he is feeling tons better since he had the fluid removed.  We will be speaking to his oncologist again in the next week so I will ask about the different chemos.

Re: Lung full of fluid

This is very interesting news.  I am having pleural effusion as well.  But, it started while I was on Nexavar.  Since then, my regimen has changed to Gemzar and Oxiliplatin.  I do have mets to my lungs, though the tumors are little -- probably too little to have cause the pleural effusion.  When I got drained last time, they didn't find any cancer cells in the fluid. My oncologist didn't have any explanation for the pleural effusion. 

I'll be having another drain next week and I'll be curious as to what they'll find this time.

G

Re: Lung full of fluid

I have been told is that pleural effusion can be caused by Oxyplatin but, only in rare cases.  I am interested to hear the results from your next drainige, G, and from Deb in regards to her Dad. 
I will make sure to bring this up when attending the ASCO with Stacie and Barbara, next week.

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Lung full of fluid

Well, bad news here.  The analysis of the lung fluid showed cancer cells so it has spread to his lungs.  It is pretty sad when you end up PRAYING for pneumonia, huh?
The oncologist told my mom that it would be a good idea for my dad to visit his family like he wanted to, so we are going to try to get my dad north to see his relatives.  The doctor said once it gets into the lungs like it is, it all goes pretty quickly from there.  I don't know, I hope not, but have to be prepared I guess.  We will call Hospice when we get him settled up north.  My mom just lost her brother from mesothelioma and now she is going to lose her husband from this crappy cancer.
I know I have to keep hoping but it is pretty hard right now.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Deb,
I am so sorry to hear the latest results for your Dad. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family. I hope he is able to get up north to see family. Take care of yourself also during this stressful time. Take care and God Bless,
Jamie

Re: Lung full of fluid

Deb....I was wishing and hoping for better news then what you were given.  I am so sorry to hear this.  Hopefully, the planned trip up north will come about real soon and that your Dad will find some comfort in being with his relatives, also.  My heart goes out to all of you. 
A special hug to your Mom,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Lung full of fluid

Hi Deb,
I'm sorry for the bad news.  I was hoping it was pneuomonia as well.  I also have mets to the lungs, although no fluid as yet.

Best wishes for you and your family.  I hope your dad enjoys his trip to see your relatives.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Hi Deb, How are you and your father.

My father was diagnosed with CC a month ago and he too had pleural effusion wherein his right pleural cavity was filled with fluid. Pleural effusion is excess fluid that accumulates in the pleural cavity, the fluid-filled space that surrounds the lungs. Excessive amounts of such fluid can impair breathing by limiting the expansion of the lungs during inhalation.

My dad has just been diagnosed and he has not yet started on chemotherapy, so i dont believe that your dad got pleural effusion due to chemo drugs, but its due to the cancer only.

But the pleural effusion fluid is not always malignant, i think because my dad's fluid in lung cavity didnt show cancer cells. It was caused because his veins are getting thrombosed (blood clot in a vein) due to cancer.

My best wishes for you and your dad.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Deb, I forgot to write in my note above that my father's pleural fluid was drained with a pipe and then he was relieved from the breathing problems.

And after taking Diuretics medicine (Lacilactone), my father's pleural effusion has been under control and hasn't re-occured. The same medicine also gave him relief from ascites. We haven't needed to drain off his ascitic or pleural fluid after taking the diuretics.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Thanks.  My dad went back in today to get another lung tap to drain the fluid but they were not able to get anything out.  The pulmonary doctor said he needs either a chest tube which would require my dad to be admitted yet again, or the next time they try to tap him they would have to use an ultrasound to find the pockets of liquid in the lungs.  My dad does not want to go back in the hospital for the chest tube, so when he gets north and settled, my mom will try to get him hooked up with another pulmonary doctor to try again.  His breathing had been better for a couple of days but when the fluid comes from the cancer I guess it comes back pretty quickly. We asked about diuretics but this particular doctor doesn't seem to think they would help. ?  Hmmm.  My father's abdomen is also finally starting to swell so I am sure we will be dealing with ascitis soon enough here.

Re: Lung full of fluid

deb...I am wondering whether another doctor may prescribe some diuretics especially, if your Dad is showing some signs of ascities.  Also, you may have already done so but, in our search function you will find many discussion regarding ascities. I think that the most pertinent information is given to us by our members on this site
Sending all my best wishes your way,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Lung full of fluid

Tomorrow is my dad's 69th birthday.  Today his doctor told me we would be extremely lucky if my dad made it (as in lived that long) to the family reunion on July 11th.  How do you wish someone happy birthday when you know it will be their very last one?
I know I am supposed to be glad for the time I have with him now.  I know I am supposed to be strong for him.  I know this is about him- not me.  I am already having problems with my mother in that regard...she is overwhelmed by the smallest of things.  Today she told my dad how much work he was causing her.  I know she is sad and scared and frustrated but how do you say something like that to someone who is dying?
I probably shouldn't write stuff like this.  But none of my friends really understand.  I figure if anyone would understand, I would find them here.  I have never been that close to my dad.  This cancer has brought us together in the way we should always have been.  But instead of feeling glad for having the opportunity, I am only angrier that now that I finally have a good relationship with him he is being taken away.
He doesn't complain.  He hasn't complained once.  He doesn't feel sorry for himself- a least not that I can see.  The most he will ever say is that he is just very tired.  Meanwhile he is gasping for breath, he is wheelchair bound, he has to use a commode in the family room, he is getting needles stuck into him almost nonstop...
And here I am feeling sorry for myself.  It makes me feel like the most selfish person in the world. I want to talk to him about this, I want to ask if he is scared, I want to tell him I will miss him but I feel that I can't say these things to him because I don't want to upset him.  I feel like I have to just suck it up and be strong and not let him see me upset because then he will be upset and he is already going through enough.
I really wish it wasn't his birthday tomorrow.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Deb,

I am so sorry for all you and your family are experiencing with this horrid disease. I can only tell you that it is all "normal" under the circumstances.  My husband passed on almost 9 months ago & I still remember all of those feelings. I think I remember more now than then as at the time everything was happening so quickly and after I was in shock and disbelief at what had happened.  This is the one place you can come and say whatever you are feeling as you are right, we all understand in a way that no one else can. I too feel all the anger & frustration and was totally overwhelmed as your Mother is now.  I know our sons also feel a lot of what you are feeling. So please don't be so hard on yourself or your Mom and most of all, try to make the most of the time you have left with your Father. Sometimes just being there is more important than talking.  Just take it one day at a time and do the best you can.   You are a loving, caring daughter & I am sure that both your Mom & Dad know how you are feeling & appreciate that you are there for them.  I know that today is going to be very bittersweet for all of you, but I know you can be strong and enjoy it for what it is.  I will be thinking of all of you today & hoping that it can be a good one for you all.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Hi all,

My pleural effusion draining went smoothly.  They got out about 900ml this time, just like the first time. I haven't heard from them as to the composition of the fluids -- whether or not it has cancer cells.

The pulmonary doctor told me there are two other ways to deal with the fluids. One is pleuradesis -- it involves surgeons and several days of hospital stay.  They would inject a talcum powder like substance into the pleural cavity which would irritate the area and cause pain.  And as the area heals, the pleural sack should stick to the lungs and not leave an area for the fluids to accumulate. The last method would be to attach a drain where a family member would need to drain you every so often. Sixty percent of these people would get the scarring and attachment of the pleural sac.  The other forty percent would just keep on draining.

I'm not sure how I feel about any of these options.  Scarring and pain doesn't sound like fun to me.  Getting drained is no picnic either.

G

Re: Lung full of fluid

Glightfoot,
I am glad to hear that your draining went well.
My uncle, who had mesothelioma, had the powder stuff put in his lungs.  It did work but it did cause him pain.  I'm sure the pain levels must be different for everyone but at least they told you up front that it causes pain.  They kind of forgot to tell my uncle that little tidbit.
Regarding the drain that is long term, make sure you ask them about your mobility factor and if you will be allowed up and out of bed.  The pulmonologist my dad saw told us about a long term chest tube, but he said my dad would basically be bed bound after that.  I am still not too sure about that particular doctor, but I think you would want to know if you were not really going to have all the mobility you had before. Maybe that would help you make up your mind.
Supposedly if it is the cancer causing the effusion it will keep happening all over again, but if the fluid is analyzed and shows no cancer then there is a good likelihood they will find a way to resolve it.
Good luck.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Dear Deb and all,

Well, it seems that fluid on the lungs is impacting lots of us. My husband Jim had his chemo port changed last night and developed an infection. His condition changed quite quickly - septic - also had a pleural effusion, drained 750 ccs. They are testing the fluid and will let us know if it is infection, metastisis or pneumonia. There are also some spots on the lungs and what appears to be new mets on the liver. He is having difficulties breathing, his heart enyzmes are elevated and the heart function has decreased. We're praying the fluid doesn't have cancer.

I don't understand what's happening and I am so scared. I don't know how sick he is. He's had lots of infections before and always pulled through.

I am praying for all of you and please include my husband in your prayers.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Deb, sorry, one more thing. Your dad sounds so much like my husband. he never complains (except when he's hungry!) and is being so, so strong and so, so sweet to everyone (esp. me) during this horrible time. It humbles me. I also agree with what you're saying, most of the friends don't understand. I am so scared and don't know what to do other than remaining positive, staying at his side and praying for the best.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Daniellemarg,
I am sorry that you are going through this.  My dad's port had gotten infected too, because it was being used for drawing blood and giving meds other than his chemo.  He ended up with a staph infection.
One thing- the infection could be in your husband's heart.  If his port was infected they should be doing (and VERY soon) a special type of echocardiogram to check for endocarditis. Because the port is in a central line, the bacteria could go straight into the artery and into his heart, so please ask your doctor when they are going to check that out.  If he is positive for endocarditis he will have to take antibiotics for a while to clear the infection up.  Luckily my dad did not have endocarditis.  I think it is the ONE thing he has not gotten. Poor guy.

Re: Lung full of fluid

You all are scaring me.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Lisa- don't be scared.  Information is power.

Re: Lung full of fluid

Danielle.....We have seen, on this board  septic and although,  not easily but,  many times it was cleared through antibiotics.  Is your husband not breathing easier after the lungs have been cleared?  I know too well how hard it is to stay positive but, until more information is given please, don't give up hope.  Hope is what drives us.

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER