Fluid on Lung? Fluid in Lung? Stopped Maintenance what next???

I have stage IV NSCLC Adenocarcinoma. No mutations! Diagnosed June 2011.....

Unfortunately, I had to stop Maintenance Chemo - Pemetrexed after only 2 cycles. My Onc said my bone marrow was suffering and unable to fight infections. I was neutropenic and was hospitalised. My Onc did mention a couple of other chemo drugs available to try but I was feeling rough from chemo and neither my husband or I wrote them down, I can call her, but wondered if any one out there has experienced the same thing??

My dilemma at the moment is - I have been told my my oncologist that there's is a very small amount of fluid. I was referred to a respiratory consultant to do an aspiration to enable us to find out if there were new cancer cells or if the fluid was part of the ongoing infections?? Only when we were looking at the scans did he say that the fluid was on the outside of the lung not inside as I presumed it. I did feel a little foolish not knowing the current situation. What I really want to know is. When I read about 3-4 litres of fluid being drained is it from around the lung or inside? I imagine if it was inside then you'd drown??

I start radiotherapy I think next week for a tumour in the retroperitoneal cavity. I received radio for this 18 months ago and it has raised it's ugly head agin......

I have been told this is an unusual place for metastatic lung cancer??

I'm usually very good at taking each 'incident' as it comes and tackling it head on but,

maybe it's the weather getting to me and I'm still very tired from 4 rounds of full on chemo and then maintenance!

Any info, advice or whatever would be greatly appreciated, thank you.


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4 Replies

  • Hi Maggie

    I was diagnosed with incurable nscl lung cancer in November 2010 and am now starting my 4th year on the biological treatment Iressa (gefitinib). Onc doc says I could transfer to Tarceva if my current treatment begins to fail.

    I had over 2 litres of fluid darined from the cavity around my right lung in 2010 (tests on tghe fluid led to my diagnosis). After the fluid was drained some kind of powder was injected into the cavity in order to stick my outer lung wall to the inner side of the chest. This was to ensure that there was no space of the cancerous fluid to gather.

    My tumours shrank and have now been stable since January 2012.

    Hope this helps.



  • Hi Anne, thank you for your reply. I understand from my Onc that I was tested negative for biological treatments. She has not ruled out me trying Iressa or Tarceva (I think these were the 2 drugs she talked about) but it means that statistically the chances of my lung cancer responding to these drugs are low. Saying that I have already outlived my sell by date! I usually ignore statistics........

    Many thanks again Anne. Regards Maggie

  • hello Maggie

    It must be an unsettling time for you not knowing what will happen next. I hope the radiotherapy is easier for you than the chemotherapy. I certainly have not heard anyone else talking about mets on that site, but as you know every person is different and cancer is not always predictable.

    There is some information on different chemotherapy options and when they are used in our Answering Your Questions booklet. We can send you a copy or look on the information pages of our website: roycastle.org

    best wishes


    on behalf of the Information & Support team

  • Thank you Lorraine, I will request a copy of Answering your Questions booklet.

    When my Onc stated "it is a very unusual place for NSCLC mets" I did ask her if there was a possibility of this being another type of cancer?? She said there was a possibility but.... Unlikely. I asked if it was possible to perform a biopsy? She replied that it would be too much of a risk as a) it is close to my spine and b) too close to other organs. I do trust her and accept her opinion. I have just heard that the Radiotherapy will start on 10th Feb for one week only, and once I get this over with I can get back to discussing chemo options!!

    Kind regards Maggie

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