Side effects relating to docetaxel an... - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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Side effects relating to docetaxel and nintedanib

GlasgowRangers
GlasgowRangers

Good morning all.

As you will see from my previous post, my husband had his second dose of this regime two weeks ago. He has had a bad cough and breathlessness since last week. Yesterday he was admitted to hospital and after an x-ray it was discovered he has an infection so now on IV antibiotics and getting additional oxygen to help with the breathing. I am really worried that things are starting to take a turn for the worse. The immunotherapy he was on did not work from the outset (nivolumab) and he is now on this new combination but unsure whether he will be able to continue with this.

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RoyCastleHelpline
RoyCastleHelplineAdministrator

HiGlasgowRangers,

Hopefully your husband will respond to the antibiotic and oxygen therapy and that this will ease his breathing.It is reassuring that he is in hospital and being looked after at this time.Speak to the ward staff about your concerns,they will be able to let you know if the treatment is clearing up the infection from his blood results etc.

Kind regards,

All the team at the Roy Castle Helpline.

Thank you so much.

Good morning. Sorry to hear about your husband and your fears are understandable. However not all chest infections are related to the lung cancer. I had surgery to remove half my left lung in Dec 2010, diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011. I have had several chest infections since - some requiring longer stays in hospital than the surgical stay (last year 14 nights!). They usually clear up with steroids, antibiotics (including IV) and nebulisers and I'm told are not a symptom of returning lung cancer.

Hope this may offer some reassurance as generally I am well and work, travel and swim (a lot) regularly. It is easy to get overwhelmed when diagnosed and think everything is related but as we usually caught bugs/infections before the diagnosis, the same is true afterwards. It can be more distressing to watch somebody who is struggling to breathe (whatever the cause - asthma, COPD, infection,) but can usually be controlled with the correct treatment.

One of the major discoveries in recent lung cancer research has been the very personal tumour characteristics and individual patient characteristics that affect treatment and response. The more research is done, the greater the understanding which is why there are different combinations of treatments being tried. Hope he starts to feel better soon.

Hi Janette. That is reassuring. Just back from the hospital. So as well as the chest infection they think he has some fluid behind one of the lungs so will do an ultrasound this afternoon and if this is the case, then will put in a drain to take it away. Hopefully things will start improving soon.

I do hope so for both your sakes. It can be very distressing to watch loved ones struggle in this way but hopefully the medics will get him onto appropriate treatment and he will respond before too long. It's good that they have identified the problem - hopefully the drain will do the trick. good luck.

UPDATE

Husband just out of hospital after two weeks with a bad chest infection. He is still very breathless and has not had any treatment for weeks obviously because he was too weak to get it. We are due to see the oncologist on Tuesday but the lung nurse has told me to prepare myself (she called the house today). I asked what she meant and she said the tumours may have got bigger and the oncologist may not want to continue with this chemo regime as it is very toxic. I am devastated and don't want to tell my husband about this telephone call as he is adamant he will get stronger and this is just a setback. He wants to get back onto treatment asap.

Sorry to read of your dilemma and the strain on you must be immense. It's important that they are aware of his fighting spirit as there are different chemotherapy regimes - some of which suit some patients better than other. Are you able to speak to the nurse on your own or the oncologist? Holding onto such information/fears can be so difficult so if you're able to call one of the helplines (Roy Castle/Macmillan or other) to explain your feelings and seek guidance on what to say to the oncologist. good luck and look after yourself.

Oh Janette, you are always so great with your replies. They just make me feel so much better! I cannot speak to the oncologist on my own but will make a point in phoning the Roy Castle helpline on Monday as I am very tearful and that is not helping at all.

It can be so hard to hold it altogether and carry the burden you hold. Maybe distraction may help - do something where the thoughts are sidetracked to something else - watch a film ( a weepie would also give you a reason for the tears!) , action, thriller or comedy.

One of the worst things about waiting and just focusing on the worst outcome is it's so draining of energy, time seems to stretch on forever and frankly it's a bit of a waste of time as we can't change the outcome so trying out every 'what if' on for size saps our energy. The phrase I always tell myself is 'this too will pass....' Wishing you luck and hope the helpline staff and/or lung nurse can explain things further. It may help to write down what the oncologist tells you as it's easy to forget the various terms that are used when emotions are all over the place. best wishes.

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