I am back here after a long break.
Mom was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lungs in September of 2011 at age 77. She was treated for pneumonia for 5 months, had 11 thoracentesis procedures and no one suspected cancer as there were no tumors, no nodules just fluid. The ER doc ordered a biopsy of the fluid that was drained and it was determined she had stage 4 lung cancer.
Mom has been on alimta since then after a short trial with Tarveva. She usually goes almost a year with no symptoms until the cancer reoccurs. It always manifests itself as fluid in the lungs which is suspected to be pneumonia. In November 2015, she was admitted to the hospital for shortness of breath, treated with lasix and sent home. After two more such hospital stays, it was determined her cancer was back. She was put on Alimta and within a week was breathing better and finished her once in 3 weeks x 6 sessions with alimta last April.
Mom started to have breathlessness again three weeks ago and her PCP thought it could be pneumonia. He put her on amoxicillin after a chest x-ray. Her onc said the X-ray showed no sign of cancer (her last CT was in October and was clear). This past week, mom's breathlessness has worsened, after 2 more visits to the PCP, she had to be taken to the ER yesterday. They have been treating her with lasix and have started her on erythromycin and rocephin. They did get a CT this morning. There is not enough fluid "settled at the base" for them to do a tap. The X-ray showed the lungs to be "plump" with fluid (one doc said), another said it shows "condensation." The onc reviewed the CT and doesn't think there is progression to re-start chemo. Mom has been hospitalized, they might let her go home tomorrow depending on how she is but her breathlessness has not improved.
I am writing here to ask if there is any test or any other way to determine that her cancer is back. That is the only way they will put her back on Alimta.
Thanks so much.