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Has anyone had pleural effusion?

NBee Member Posts: 4

Has anyone had pleural effusion? I developed it and I have to drain my lung once a week. I have stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer that has metastasized to my bones and my left lung. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this? I have a tube sticking out of my left side that I'm using to drain.


    • chicagoan
      chicagoan Member Posts: 1,009

      I had pleural effusion-it was really bad at first. When I came in for treatment, they took out 3 litres of fluid! This was right at the time I started cancer treatment. I had a catheter inserted and drained the fluid 3x/week. As the Ibrance/Letrozole beat down my cancer, the fluid eventually dried up and I could have the catheter removed. I still have a small pocket of fluid in my left lung but the only time I notice it is in certain inverted yoga poses. I hope your pleural effusion also dries up.

    • sadiesservant
      sadiesservant Member Posts: 1,875

      Hi NBee,

      I was diagnosed stage IV as a result of malignant pleural effusion. I had a PleurX Catheter for about six months and drained about 1,5-2 litres per week for quite some time but then it finally dried up.

      Hang in there. It will get better.


    • MameMe
      MameMe Member Posts: 215

      I just went in today for a throcentesis, my left lung has a pleural effusion that has been causing problems. I am so glad to see this topic introduced! Does anyone know how long it takes for normal breathing to resume? I can feel a sort of ragged rattling when I breath in on the treated side, and I was told not to be too vigorous in coughing or breathing til the tiny puncture wound heals up. I hope that my stamina improves and that the bunchy sensation around my ribs goes away. Anyone who can share about this, please do

    • AnnieLNZ
      AnnieLNZ Member Posts: 7

      Hi NBee

      How is your drain working out? It's really heartening to hear the positive experiences of others who have had pleural effusions :)

      I too have a pleural effusion (right lung, plus bone & liver mets). I had a catheter/drain put in yesterday after three thoracentesis each of which took around 2 litres of fluid out. I will be drained 2-3 times a week - here in NZ we have district nurses come to your home to do the drainage (!!). My MO (and me) are hoping fluid reduces over time - am on Letrozole which is a slow burner as far as a response rate. It's a little uncomfortable but I guess that's 'cos it's only just gone in, and it's an annoying reminder of the stupid cancer - but the relief in breathing is wonderful. And I'm told I can get back to normal activities (horse riding, hiking, pilates, gardening, etc) in just over a week. Yay!! As I'm sure you all know - it's the little things that make your heart swell that matter the most.



    • wallaby715
      wallaby715 Member Posts: 183

      My pleural effusion was how I was diagnosed with Stage IV. My PCP finally sent me for a chest xray which should have been done two months before and found out I had a tumor in my right lung, which was filled with 3 liters of fluid! No wonder I had been out of breath! I had a chest tube in from March 17, 2016 until early Oct of 2017. There is still a little fluid in the right lung but not enough that it causes problems. I do know I was surely glad to get that tube removed! Best of luck to you!


    • sadiesservant
      sadiesservant Member Posts: 1,875

      Mame, give it a couple of days. I often had a lot of discomfort after a major drain but then... magic!

    • holmes13
      holmes13 Member Posts: 192

      i had a pleural effusion when I was first diagnosed stage 4 Jan.2018. The drained it once and got about 3 liters out. I started on Faslodex and Ibrance and never had problems with it since. I hope that you feel relief soon.

    • Hokay
      Hokay Member Posts: 3

      When did u first diagnosed with Malignant pleural effusion? i learned from google the prognosis is bad... 3-12 months and I m threatened!

    • Liveinthepresent
      Liveinthepresent Member Posts: 24

      I was dx with pleurall effusion in July 2013. It was ER+. I had it drained three times and then it dried up from the Letrozole I was prescribed. That took about five months. It didn't reoccur until 2017 when my cancer changed to ER- and I had it drained four more times. I refused the catheter because I felt the fluid would go away with treatment. I was put on chemotherapy for four months because I was now ER- and the fluid decreased to just a small amount. Then my treatment changed to Xeloda pills for the past two years and no increase in fluid. I am short of breath when exercising, climbing stairs, inclines or lifting heavy things due to the scaring from the previous fluid. I'm seeing a pulmonologist about this. It is annoying because I was previously a jogger but I'm just glad the fluid I not presently a problem.

    • SofieKatz
      SofieKatz Member Posts: 13

      I have malignant pleural effusion. It occurred after a lung resection (to send to Foundation One for dna analysis and personalized medicine). I coughed so much that I got pleurisy. I had a thoracentesis, but it filled up again within a week.

      Stay away from Google regarding plural effusion. I got really scared, but my oncologist assured me that it can drain when treatment works.

      The pain from the pleurisy is terrible. Like a knife stabbing me. Like post surgical pain . Tramadol takes the edge off, but if I move the knife stabs still.

      I am currently on Navilbine and Xeloda, but that was prescribed while I was waiting for pathology results. Turns out I am pdl1 positive, and no longer triple negative, so that opens me up for hopefully more effective treatments.

      In the meantime, my onc thinks that the fluid will drain if/when the treatment works. I have to confer with my thoracic surgeon tomorrow to discuss whether I should have another thoracentesis, or catheter, or get the procedure (forgot the name) where the surgeon attaches the lung to the chest wall.

      I hated the thoracentesis. This is not my first rodeo. I have had many procedures, including core biopsies while under topical anesthesia. This procedure was so uncomfortable because at the end of it I couldn't breathe well and it was scary. I had to take short shallow breaths. Horrible. I hope I don't have to have it again because I think I'm just gonna fill up again. But I have to talk to the surgeon.

      Between the pleural effusion and the pleurisy, the terrible pain and shortness of breath, I've been home for weeks. I cough so much I puke. As I said but I'll say it again, the pain is terrible. Has anybody else had this happen to them?

      I have found that if I sleep in my recliner at an angle, the fluid is not as bad in the morning.

      Has anybody else had pleurisy from coughing? I am certain that the coughing exacerbates the pleurisy, and that exacerbates the pleural effusion.