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Pleural Effusion Concern

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  • Tidler
    Tidler Member Posts: 2

    Hi Everyone.

    I joined the group, or tried repeatedly too, in 2014 but could never get my password to work. However I found the conversations and info very helpful while going through Stage 3a BC. By the end of 2014 I thought the Ca diagnosis was behind me. Fast forward to Dec 2020 and not so sure! It has taken almost 6 months to get my GP to believe I am having incredible pain in my back. ( New GP as my Dr retired early 2020. ). GP eventually ordered an e-ray and MRI to get me off his back. X-ray showed spinal Stenosis, Dr not too concerned. MRI two weeks ago showed 3 compression fractures in my neck and pleural effusion. Suddenly the Dr believed me and now has a full spinalMRI scheduled, a full bone scan and a CAT scan for my lungs. This waiting is the pits. Will be so glad when results are back and know the plans of action. Would be great if they can get the pain under control too! It means a lot to know you ladies understand the frustration and the worry.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293

    hi Tidler, glad you made it back on the board. I hope you get your results quickly. I ageee the waiting is horrible. Update us when you know more. Hugs

  • gr4c1e
    gr4c1e Member Posts: 124

    Cytology is as follows: "Positive for malignancy. Rare malignant cells present consistent with metastatic mammary carcinoma."

    So, yeah. That sucks.

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511

    Hi GR4C1E,

    It sucks, and one doesn't know what to say Devil but I will try: I send you best wishes, and I hope that your excellent MO puts together soon a good treatment plan that gives you durable remission. Here is also wishing that your support network kicks in, in full gear, to comfort you. And here is hoping that you are starting to feel the full benefits of the thoracentesis, beyond sleeping comfortably, and you are getting ready to enjoy the treadmill, and all of life's pleasures, to the greatest extent possible. Did the molecular type of the cancer change? And how are you doing?

    Tidler: compression fractures...ouch! Hope they start acting quickly to fix that!

    LaughingGull


  • Tidler
    Tidler Member Posts: 2

    Thank you Moth and LaughingGull for your support. GR4C1E. I am Sorry to hear you test results, certainly not what you were hoping for Sending hugs and positive thoughts your way. You beat it once, and can do again.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293

    GR4CIE, sorry to hear of your news. That does really suck. Do you have a plan yet? What is your MO recommending?

  • gr4c1e
    gr4c1e Member Posts: 124

    I just spoke with my MO (man, this is taking too long!) and now he's sending me for a biopsy. Here's what I know so far:

    In the pleural fluid:

    TTF was negative, meaning no lung cancer

    GATA was positive for breast cancer (malignant)

    PET scan (head to knees) shows the three masses in the lungs and one lymph node in the middle of my chest is enlarged - but all my other bits and pieces were clear of cancer. Bones are also clear. (big sigh of relief)

    The cells collected during the thoracentesis were not sufficient to make a treatment plan. So back to the hospital for a biopsy, which is pretty much done the same way as the thoracentesis, with lidocaine through the back and into the lung. Upside: no surgery. Even better upside: depending on the genetic make-up of the tumor biopsy, I might not need chemo either but we'll know more when the biopsy results are done.

    So, now more waiting for the hospital to call and schedule the biopsy.

    Unfortunately my breathing is worsening and MO thinks the pleural effusion is coming back so I might have to have another thoracentesis to relieve the pressure in my chest which he said they would do when I went for the biopsy.

    I'm starting to get anxious. I just want a treatment plan and then I'll relax!



  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511

    Hi GR4C1E,

    Thanks for the update. Hurrah for the clear-except-for-lungs PET scan and no bone mets! Of course, you want to have a plan and start treatment asap. Frustrating that you need another biopsy. Hopefully you will get it soon, and treatment will also bring the pleural effusion under control -if it is confirmed that it is back. When are you going back for the biopsy? Get help for anxiety -I am in a meditation group for cancer patients that my hospital runs, and it helps. Anxiety meds help in stressful times.

    Best,

    LaughingGull

  • gr4c1e
    gr4c1e Member Posts: 124

    I had the biopsy on Wednesday of last week, right before the holiday, so I wasn't surprised that I didn't hear anything last week. BUT, now I'm waiting again, and what's worse is OTHER PEOPLE, you know, the "cancer-free" crowd giving me advice. I have stopped giving them updates because their uneducated words of encouragement are really pissing me off! Yes, I have successfully crossed over into the anger stage of this process.

    The biopsy was surprisingly easy. I had braced myself for pain, but the only thing I felt was the lidocaine (little pinch, little burn). I also had some Versed and Fentanyl on board, so although I was awake, I felt nothing and all I heard was the click each time the Dr. took another sample. Four in all. He said I had a "tiny" lung collapse around the biopsy site, but it resolved itself and they discharged me an hour earlier than expected. From the time that I arrived to the time I was back home in my own bed was four hours. Easy peasy!

    And now we wait! (and try not to slap well meaning cancer-free people giving stupid advice) Yep, definitely knee deep in the anger stage.

    I think a support group is in order. I need to be around my people.

  • sunshine99
    sunshine99 Member Posts: 2,583

    Oops, I think I lost my post - sorry it if shows up twice. I totally get the "unhelpful things people say". You want to smack them, but that's hard to do with social distancing.

    I hope you get your results soon, and am glad that the procedure wasn't painful other than the lidocaine pinch.

    I'm off to get a COVID test and then my scans. The COVID test appears to be a new procedure prior to my infusion. Never had to do that before - just the COVID test prior to the biopsy on my spine.

    Happy Monday, everyone.

  • gr4c1e
    gr4c1e Member Posts: 124

    Just spoke with my MO. I'm starting Abraxane this week. Waiting for the call to have a port implanted. Yeesh. Here we go again. The biopsy confirmed TNBC mets in my right lung. Also, MO suggested we might redo the BRCA test. Said the newer tests look for more genetic markers than when I had it in 2011. I guess it's time to jump to a Mets board!

    On an up note: I did find a Mets support group in my area and it currently meets twice a month on Zoom.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293

    GR4C1E - here is the lung mets thread https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/8/topics/...

    There's also a TN stage IV thread https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/8/topics/...

    Any chance you can get immunotherapy? Atezolizumab + Abraxane is the first line of treatment recommended for TN mets.

    I have a metastatic support group that meets by Zoom twice a month too! I've had to miss the last couple ones due to medical appointments but the ones I attended were very good.


  • gr4c1e
    gr4c1e Member Posts: 124

    Thanks, moth.

    And I don't know about immunotherapy just yet. My understanding is we are starting with Abraxane. The way I understood my MO is that the new BRCA test and outstanding pathology on the biopsy would give more information to make that decision. When I spoke with him I got the understanding that there were enough test results to start therapy, but there was still information he was waiting for from the biopsy. I think he was saying that not all the biopsy pathology reports were complete, and that new information with the BRCA info might change, or enhance the course of treatment. My head is still spinning, BUT my port was installed yesterday so I'm good to go! I'm ready to try anything. I'm just waiting for the MO office to call with my treatment schedule, then it's off to the races!