Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Is this Lung mets? Petrified with every day...

that goes by with this cough.

So I'd like to start this with the fact that most of my adult life (now 63) when I get a cough, it hangs on for weeks, Most of the time we are talking 4-5 weeks.

I started having a very very slight cough, I want to say last winter. It was so slight, I would cough once or twice in the morning, and then no more the rest of the day. It faded away, but came back in the spring and again was very slight.

No post nasal drip, runny nose etc. In July it came back near the end of the month, I know this because I ended up with COVID mid August. My PCP gave me the tussin "pearls" and it took the entire bottle for it to subside, although it didn't go entirely away. Very light, and sporadic, but I knew I had an appointment with my MO the first few days of January.

By the time I went in Jan to see my MO, it was just about non existent, so I forgot to mention it. Long haulers?

Going from the first to second week of last month (Feb) I started coughing a little more. After a week I had a couple days with a runny nose and have been blowing clear junk out of my nose here and there, although now not very much, but when I do blow my nose it's watery or clear slimy, I usually have to work to clear out my throat in the morning and somewhat during the day. I don't cough anything up, I never have in the past, but I'm swallowing something when I get it into my throat and can hear it.

I went to see my PCP almost 2 weeks ago and he said my lungs sounded clear so he gave me a script for the pearls and Prednisone if the pearls didn't work or I got worse in a week. He suggested an xray in two weeks. I had 10 days of the pearls, and used 5 days. So, here I am almost two weeks later, after finishing prednisone (Saturday was last day) and am only slightly better. I restarted the pearls, but the best things that work are a hot shower, a cough lozen, sitting outside, blowing my nose, or flonaise. The cough really subsides then, but it doesn't last.

I know I need to either set up the x ray, or call my MO and talk to her about it. I'm petrified my life is about to change forever (however long that is), I wanted to retire in a couple years and enjoy my life without stress for once, but now I'm fearful that won't happen. If this just popped up after having COVID, I'd be a lot more relaxed, but the previous inconsistent history of light coughing has me freaking out that it's been there a while, if it is there. The pollen here has also been off the charts for over 2 months, which does affect me, but again, no scratchy throat and no real significant other symptoms. Which makes me sitting outside for relief odd. Normally I'd just wait this out, but the PCP wanting an xray has me on edge and not very patient.

My husband thinks I'm overreacting since everything here is covered in the orange pollen powder.

I'm in my 10th year since diagnosis and treatment.

Sorry so long.

Comments

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 843

    Homemom, Having an X-ray is a good start. If that doesn’t show anything I would suggest an appointment with an ENT for a chronic cough evaluation. There are so many possible causes and mets/lung cancer is one of the rarer ones. Coughs can be caused by allergies, infection, fungus or inflammation. Silent GERD is sometimes the culprit and some meds (including anastrozole) have chronic cough as a SE.

    My dry chronic cough was more severe and I had different symptoms (low grade fever, SOB, dyspnea.) It turned out to be due to radiation induced pulmonary fibrosis, something I had never heard of. A doctor who investigates coughs regularly will probably discover the cause more quickly. I hope you can find an answer soon.

  • malleemiss251
    malleemiss251 Member Posts: 50

    Homemom - an x-ray is a good idea. I also have a history of chronic dry cough. It turns out it was a likely side effect of a pericardial effusion. The things I am learning about my body since de novo dx have been many and varied. But it may be something very simple, so it is important to check it out.

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830
    edited March 13

    Thank you ladies for responding! I am feeling much better, and the cough has subsided quite a bit. It's more like I'm clearing my throat and occasionally a cough. I went back to the pearls and I also added a humidifier for at night. I still plan to go get an x-ray, the order is sitting in my portal and I can schedule anytime. I want to get even better before I go. 😜 So most likely next week.

    Maggie15, I finished radiation almost 10 years ago, do you think it could still be that?

    Malleemiss251 - Thank you, I looked that up. Do they have meds to help with that??

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 843
    edited March 13

    Homemom, There is such a thing as radiation recall pneumonitis which can show up 10 years or more after finishing rads. It would appear on a chest x-ray as consolidation or ground glass opacities. A HRCT would be needed as a follow up to this to distinguish it from all the other things that look similar on an x- ray.

    My RIPF showed up six months after radiation with no prior pneumonitis (very unusual.) There is a small group of RIPF posters on a large active PF site and 6 of the nine of us (7 bc and 2 Hodgkin's) are recall. It’s rare but can be triggered by certain meds or further chemo. Lung cancer patients get this more frequently since their lungs are targeted but they don’t have the longer survival times that breast cancer and lymphoma patients do.

  • malleemiss251
    malleemiss251 Member Posts: 50

    @homemom it turns out that it is likely that I have had the problem for years and it tends to resolve itself because it is so small. Unfortunately, it pays me regular visits, but now that i know what to watch for i can manage it better. I don't take medication for it. Oncologist is watching and waiting.

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830
    edited March 17

    Maggie15 - when I had radiation, the radiologist talked me into having additional radiation to my breastbone at an angle towards my affected breast. He mentioned that it could eliminate the cancer using those lymph nodes to show up in my other breast. Makes me wonder if that didn't affect my lung on that side.I assume an HRCT is a High Resolution Cat Scan?.

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830
    edited March 17

    Still coughing although it comes and goes. I have my x-ray appointment for Friday at 10. Fingers crossed!

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 843

    HRCT is a high resolution CT which creates smaller imaging slices than a regular CT and does not use contrast. It shows the lung parenchyma in detail to help with diagnosis.

    While many people end up with a bit of fibrosis in the radiation field RIPF is out of control scarring which moves throughout the lungs. It has a distinctive scarring pattern that differentiates it from other causes of PF. It also caused low-grade fever, severe coughing and significant low oxygen with SOB (I was on O2 for a while.)

    I'm glad you scheduled your x-ray. Here's hoping for a good result!

  • malleemiss251
    malleemiss251 Member Posts: 50

    @homemom I manage it by trying to be careful about infections and colds. Not always successful - but I make a good effort. I exercise for at least 20 minutes a day but don't overdo it. However, talking about it has made me realise why oncologist was so keen to schedule next set of scans so soon after last set, as ct scan showed the effusion. We have an ongoing discussion about the timing of scans. My tumour markers have a steady downward trend and my bone mets are all sclerotic so it is difficult to mark any definitive progress. While last set showed stable which was very good news, the scan process was an absolute disaster. Which makes me even less eager for another set of scans.🙄

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830

    I don't have any shortness of breath or a fever. I think my oxygen was a little low at the PCP's office. I'm going to start thinking the worst again. I've never been so nervous for an x-ray in my life. 🙄

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830

    Had my x-ray yesterday and the tech said he would send it to my PCP in three days (Monday). I'm just going to enjoy my weekend and start the worry wart stuff on Sunday night. Ugh.

    Still coughing although much less but with the same intensity at times. The humidifier makes for easy mornings and I still pop a lozenge once or twice during the day. I talked to a friend and she has had a cough for 3 months! What's going on around here??

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 843

    Homemom, I hope your x-ray results are good. Many different things can cause a cough so it's hard to tell what the problem is.

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830

    Thank you! The results are in MyChart but I'm afraid to try and decipher it so I'm going to wait until my PCP looks at it in the morning. So nervous.

    I hung out with a couple friends Friday night and had a glass of wine, I didn't cough the entire time I was there. Crazy

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 365

    So many good wishes sent your way!!!!

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830

    Thank you! I have not seen the results, but I have not been contacted by any of my doctors. There isn't even a message in mychart from my PCP. The cough is continuing to get better, and I feel great. So I'm confident this is a nothing more serious than what my friends are dealing with!

    I'll post if it shocks me into believing otherwise…. feeling confident it isn't though.

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830
    edited April 7

    Had a missed call from the imaging center yesterday late. Back to scaredyville. The cough is mostly clearing my throat with a dry cough here or there.