Free to Breathe
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Stage 4 Nsclc now dx with COPD

Hello All. Things were going remarkably well for my mo. Radiisurgery was very effective, lung tumor had zero growth over two months and she tolerated her first Keytruda treatment well. Then she was hit with Pneumonia and subsequently dx with COPD. The pulmonologist is suggesting large daily doses of steroids to treat which will of course eliminate the use of Keytruda. We want to avoid this. She’s in great spirits and looks and feels well except that she’s on 5L of oxygen and they can’t get her pulse ox above 89-90. Has anyone been through this? Can we avoid steroids for her? Thanks in advance.

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I don’t have personal experience with this but wondering if you have spoken with her oncologist? Or, palliative care might be a good resource. Hope she gets relief soon and can continue on with Keytruda.

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I would talk to your oncologist. My mom was diagnosed with SCLC in August after being misdiagnosed by her pulmonologist for a couple months. From then on I decided that the cancer was the only focus. You can live with COPD. I’m not here to give advice, just share my own thought process which was to ignore the COPD. So far so good for us. It is your right and responsibility to refuse steroids if they aren’t absolutely 100% medically necessary.

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My half-penny thought is to get a 2nd opinion and maybe even a 3rd. Don't look for the response you want to hear, but listen for what the other oncologists have to say. I am sort of wondering - and I clearly do not know, but others here may - if COPD sort of goes along with a lung cancer diagnosis. Also wondering why the doc would want to stop the cancer treatment when she is responding so well to it. We can and do live with COPD, but cancer is a whole different ball game. I do not have experience with this, but do know that if it were me, I'd want a damned good reason for stopping the Keytruda, and I'm not sure COPD would be enough. BTW, I have COPD and NSCLC and my pulmonologist defers to the oncologist.

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