Update-Sept. 5, 2007

A message from at 8:01pm about Dad, Lung Cancer. Comments Off.

Just as we thought things were improving steadily, here came the surprise.

The CT scan at the end of July revealed a few new patches in my right lung. At that time the lung doctor was suggesting inflammation as a result of radiation but the radiologist disagreed. So they agreed to wait and see. About one week later, I started to cough day and night with shortness of breath and occasional fever up to 101 F. So they did chest X-ray, lung function tests and another CT scan only to find out a big shadow in my right lung which wasn’t functioning normally.

I was given a cycle of antibiotics, thinking the cause was the pneumonia I had in July coming back. The follow-up chest X-ray, however, was worse than the previous one. So I was given stronger antibiotics which could cause diarrhoea. I lost five pounds in two weeks and the cough got worse. Enough is enough. Finally the lung doctor decided to have another bronchioscopy and biopsy. This time it confirmed that I had the so-called radiation pneumonia. Only about 15% of the patients receiving radiation therapy will develop this disease. I guess I’m in that lucky 15%. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket.

I am taking prednisone for two weeks starting today. The medicine has lots of side effects including loss of bone mass, suppression of immune system, weight gain, high blood sugar, weaken muscle, loss of sleep, belly pain … (Here we go again. zzz….) Sometimes it makes me wonder if the modern technology is helping or shifting problems. Seriously, though, I have to be very careful about not getting infection. Nothing is small when the immune system is not in full strength.

Because of these troubles, chemo has been put off for three weeks, i.e. the earliest they can resume is next Monday. I hope this is just a temporary unexpected setback. I’ll continue to walk with my chin up.