Pneu-mo-WHAT?

If your remember, on my last update, I was sad to report that I had been diagnosed with Flu B.  Thankfully – I had just finished a round of Tamiflu, so I think I was able to kick the flu a little quicker because of that.  About a week after my diagnosis, I was feeling better thank the Lord.

Last Thursday I was scheduled for my baseline Bone Density Test.  That was one of the fastest appointments I’ve had at Duke.  I was called back before my appointment time, changed into a gown and less than 5 minutes later, I was dressed and on my way back home.  What a pleasant surprise.

My radiation oncologist had made a return visit for me last Friday to follow up from the flu.  She had said if I was better, I could cancel it……and I seriously thought about it…..especially since I had just been to Duke on Thursday – who wanted to go back again if it wasn’t NECESSARY.  The only thing holding me back was the fact that I still had a very nasty cough that just wouldn’t seem to go away.  But I’d talked to several folks who were recovering from the flu and most of them said the cough just hung around forever – so I kinda thought it was just part of the process.  Of course, I mentioned to my mom that I was considering NOT going to the doctor and she quickly informed me that she thought I should definitely go and see what they said about my cough.  Hopefully it was nothing – but better safe than sorry.  And truthfully – she was right.  She even went with me to the appointment (I think mostly so she could make sure I went and didn’t take off shopping)!

My lungs sounded great when the PA checked me out.  She agreed, however, that my cough was going on a bit long and she felt like it was prudent that we investigate it a little further.  She ordered a CT scan and I was blessed to be able to have one that day within an hour.  Some days you just hit the hospital lottery!  I walked over to the Medical Pavilion to have my CT scan and was called back before I could get seated good.  The CT took about 3.5 minutes and then I was on my way.

I wasn’t really expecting to know anything from the CT scan til probably the following week…..but I actually received a voicemail from the PA Friday night about 7:41 saying she was just calling me to follow up on the CT and if I hadn’t heard back from her by Monday morning, to give her a call on Monday…….which I did.  When we were finally able to connect on Monday evening – she informed me that the good news was there was no signs of cancer …….HUGE sigh of relief…….but that there was evidence of pneumonitis.  Grrrrr.  My doctor had told me of the possibility of pneumonitis literally the very first day I consulted with her….but of course we had hoped that we wouldn’t have to deal with it.

For those of you who are like me and may had never heard of pneumonitis before –

Pneumonitis (noo-moe-NIE-tis) is a general term that refers to inflammation of lung tissue. Technically, pneumonia is a type of pneumonitis because the infection causes inflammation. Pneumonitis, however, is usually used by doctors to refer to noninfectious causes of lung inflammation.   If pneumonitis is undetected or left untreated, you may gradually develop chronic pneumonitis, which can result in scarring (fibrosis) in the lungs.

Pneumonitis, a noninfectious inflammation of the lungs, is a side effect associated with several cancer treatments, including radiation and chemotherapy as well as newer targeted drugs and immunotherapies. The symptoms range from mild to severe respiratory symptoms but may not appear until weeks to months into treatment — and sometimes long after treatments end — leading to frequent misdiagnoses, particularly because the symptoms resemble those of pneumonia.

if you’d like to read more – here’s a link with some additional information

https://www.curetoday.com/publications/cure/2015/summer-2015/pneumonitis-a-delayed-reaction

 According to the doctor – one of the types of chemo that I received can cause pneumonitis as well as the radiation……so I kinda had a double whammy.  On top of that, the breathing issues I experienced when I had those few Taxol treatments already had my system compromised a bit.
Even though the doctor had mentioned this all along – of course we had HOPED and PRAYED that I would avoid it.  But that wasn’t to be the case.  Soooo…… they put me on a high dose of steroids for the next 5 weeks and I pray that will take care of.  They have all ready warned me if I’m not better at the 5 week mark, that we may do an additional 3 weeks of steroids.  Whatever it takes.  The Good Lord has seen me through the past 11 months…..I have faith He will see me through this hurdle too.  (gosh is it possible that next month will be a year since all this started)???
That being said…….to quote Uncle Joe from Madea, I may be “big as a Buick” by the time I finish these steroids.  So if you are looking for me any time in the next 5 weeks, if I’m not at home, check the closest buffets! 🙂
So…….as bad as I hate to say it…….Mom was right.  It was prudent for me to take the time to go back to the doctor to have my cough investigated.  While we didn’t get the news we had hoped – at least we know and have a plan.  I’m glad I went and let them check me out a little further.  Better safe than sorry.
Now you know that when you see me and I’m still coughing like a villain, I’m NOT contagious……but just having a difficult time shedding this cough.  Hopefully I will start to see some improvement soon.
On a brighter note……today we celebrated Hunter’s 15th birthday.  How is it possible that my child now has his learner’s permit?  God blessed us with a wonderful son.  He’s kind, sweet, sensitive, caring, smart, compassionate and just an all-around good kid.  I am so proud to be his mom!

Prayers for a great rest of your week.

Sonja

Romans 15:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

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Author: temporarylumps

A Christian wife, mom, daughter and friend

2 thoughts on “Pneu-mo-WHAT?”

  1. The main thing is that there is no cancer!!! You got through that, this shouldnt be near as bad. Would have been nice, like you say, not to end up with that pnue…. but you can handle it and thrive once it is done. Gosh, I hopae it is done i. The 5 weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

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