I woke up Sunday morning with the same cough I had on Friday. Thinking that I certainly couldn’t have filled up with fluid again that quickly, I took a Benedryl to try to stop post-nasal drip. The rest of the day was OK, though I get a little loopy on Benedryl. This morning, though, I woke again with the awful cough. It’s the kind of please-put-that-person-out-of-their-misery cough that is awful to listen to and leads to terribly sore core muscles.
First, Mark told me that I probably attributed too much to post-nasal drip. OK, point taken. I was ready to just call for another drain of my lung, but then Mark reminded me that I am not a health care professional and I probably should get some medical advice first. OK, another good point. So, I called my nurse and the wheels of the cancer center were set in motion. I started with an x-ray and ended with a temporary drain installed in my back.
Basically, today’s lung x-ray showed that fluid had built up again. Dr. Campbell thought that rather than having it drained, I should have a drain put in so that it doesn’t keep building up. After it has stopped producing fluid, I may have a pleuradesis (sp?) in which the lining and the lung are stuck together. When I heard I would have a lung drain, I asked if they could do it today. Not only did it get done today, but my favorite interventional radiologist did the procedure. (Who doesn’t have a favorite interventional radiologist?) This was an answer to a few silent prayers offered up while waiting for x-ray results, scheduling, etc.
The procedure went well. My amazing parents tag-teamed time at the cancer center and hospital. And now I sit here at home with a drain coming from my back tonight, but with not one cough. The drain feels bulky and odd, but it’s a huge improvement over the coughing. I’m hoping and praying that the drain does what it needs to do and that I can feel good over the holidays with my family.
Pleural fluid, though annoying, doesn’t necessarily mean that the cancer is growing. I am reminding myself of that tonight and taking things one step at a time. My first step will be seeing my sister and her family in the morning–yahoo!!