My wife finished six chemotherapy treatments of Carboplatin, Alimta and Avastin for Stage 4 Lung Cancer about 4 weeks ago and had a PET/CT Scan about 10 days ago to assess chemotherapy results. Her results were very positive with one active cancer spot on in her left lung. Unfurtunately, this spot is causing very painful pleuritis which at times is very debilitating for her in terms of the pain. She will start 15 radiation treatments on Monday to treat this one major cancer hot spot and try to take away the pain she is experiencing. My question is whether there are other ways to reduce the pain. She takes Oxycontin (30mg 2 or 3 times a day), Delaudid (4 mg as needed since this started; she had been on 2 mg.), Ativan (one-half to one mg about 3 times a day, and Prednisone (20 mg twice a day) since the pleuritis began a couple weeks ago. She is essentially non-functional due to all the pain medication but cannot do without these meds on most days. Could the Prednisone be increased. I know she took 80 mg. a day the first three days she had the Pleuritis and that seemed to help. She is on Lovenox for blood clots so cannot take Naproxyn, etc. Would something like a Fentanyl patch control the pain any better because even with all these pain meds she is never completely free of mild to moderate pain in her left side and shoulder. Are we going to have to wait and see if the radiation relieves the pain or is there some other alternative available? For instance, I have spinal stenosis and get periodic epidurals which help greatly for 3 or 4 months minimum. Are there any long-acting numbing shots that would help this kind of pain. Any ideas would be appreciated. It is so frustrating because she was beginning to feel so much better a couple weeks ago before the first indications of pleuritis. She will also be continuing on Avastin and starting Tarceva since she tested positive for the genetic marker for certain adenocarcinoma cancers that make her an excellent candidate. Ideas?
Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:22#1
Lung Cancer, Pleuritis and Radiation - 1246388