Xeloda 4.10.5 and thoracentesis

After the flurry of fear that surrounded me the last couple of days, today I remembered, through the helpful and supportive letter of a dear friend, that it’s time to take it all one step at a time. Whatever needs to come next next in my journey will happen whether I welcome or reject it. Being in a state of denial is so much more work. So, today I am enjoying the benefits of the procedure from this morning and breathing much, much easier.

My procedure started a little bit late because the pulmonologist was called to an emergency; he came to the waiting room himself to tell me what was happening, and, of course, I was certainly not going to argue with him about his priorities. The delay was about 30 minutes.

When we started, I remained sitting up, leaning forward over a table. The nurse held my hands and my arms to give me gentle support. The doctors made the incision for the thoracentesis after numbing the area outside and in with local anesthetic. Then, they inserted the needle (more like a small tube) between my vertebrae on the outer left of my back. I could feel some pressure, and the surgeon warned me that I might feel it a bit, but it was not really unpleasant. As they worked inside the pleural cavity to extract the fluid into tubes, my lung, which was folded up like an accordion, began to expand. They told me that I might feel some pain from that happening. While they worked on me, they asked me to breathe steadily with pursed lips and pressure on the exhale while also moving my feet in a tapping motion all the while. I was fine except that I have been having a lot of nausea, which I get from the chemo but more than usual, which seemed to be accompanying my difficulties with breathing. So they kept stopping the procedure until I stopped retching. They would ask me if I could continue, and all I could think about was them getting out all of that fluid and insisted on continuing as soon as I recovered a little bit.

Finally, the surgeon said they were done; they had gotten all of the fluid out. A whopping 1800 ml, which he said was like a half a gallon. He said he was was sure I would feel an amazing difference in being able to breathe again. I kept coughing and could feel the lung expanding and hurting as it did so, but they assured me this was normal and would continue until the lunch had resumed its normal size and I coughed up all the residue that was caught up from the lung being compressed. They gave me some oxygen, and it seemed to help calm down the nausea. They also gave me an injection of Zofran®, so between the two I started to feel human again.

When I was time to go, I was surprised at how much of a difference I felt immediately in breathing. The last few weeks I could barely walk two steps before being out of breath. When I got off the wheelchair to get in the car, I felt like I could breathe again like I normally did before all of this trauma. The rest of the day I simply slept as I was exhausted for some reason. At first, it was hard to sleep because I kept coughing, and the coughing was causing my lung to hurt. Finally, it just happened, and I woke up a few hours later feeling like a real person.

 
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© 2004–2012 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.
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8 responses to “Xeloda 4.10.5 and thoracentesis

  1. Roni (RaptorRapture)

    This is such wonderful news! I am happoy enough to dance for you! It is the best outcome for the day, and gives you immediate relief from the breathlessness! Wonderful! Tomorrow will come soon enough, so enjoying today and tonight is enough for now. I know you are more mentally exhausted than anything, and you have spent your reserves of adrenaline for a few days, so just relax, enjoy, breath in that stardust that you are made of. Hugs, tho very gentle ones, to you Sweet Lady. Thank you for the update!

  2. I just woke Deb to read this to her. She is relieved. Hope you can get more rest. Take care Donna. Love you. Tom

  3. So happy to hear that you are feeling better finally! I hope you continue to do so every day. Wishing you dreams of dancing! ♥

  4. Donna,
    I had no idea this was even happening. I’m still trying to find a way to “organize” my life. THIS is why. I can’t have things like THIS going on and I’m lost in some nonsense.

    I’m glad you are on the mend, my dear friend. Very gently hugs and tons of love your way.

    xoxox

    AnneMarie

  5. Donna I am so glad that you are breathing again and this procedure is behind you. I sense a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders having to wonder why your breathing was off. I hope you have a relaxing weekend and continue to breathe effortlessly! Hugs to you! ❤❤❤❤❤ – Susan

  6. I remember when my mother-in-law had fluid removed. She felt so much better. Wishing good things for you. Taking things one hour at a time is a good plan. And I appreciated your thought that whatever is going to happen to us will happen. We will do better just letting it.

  7. As James frequently told me, we’re not in control as much as we think we are, so instead of worrying, just let it be. Easier said than done though, isn’t it? Those of us faraway who love and care for you, are totally powerless, except to lift you up in prayer, so we should also just let it be.
    XOXOXO,
    Brenda

  8. I am getting colon surgery on December 10th. It is nothing compared to what you are going through. You are always in my thoughts.

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