Diagnosed with pneumonia during treatment
I was put on Opdivo in April 2017, and received that infusion every 2 weeks. I did fine on it, with a few side effects, until Feb 2019. I started then with fever, shortness of breath, and coughing. I was diagnosed with pneumonia and was put on steroids and antibiotics.
I got better, but then in April I really went down. Still getting Opdivo at that time. My energy level sunk, low-grade fever every afternoon, short of breath. I was given several different antibiotics during this time, and nothing seemed to work.
Lung inflammation and stopping treatment
I continued this way, just no energy, feeling horrible. I received my last Opdivo infusion Sept 17, 2019. My oncologist sent me back to the pulmonologist. I really should have done this myself instead of continuing with my oncologist treating me, thinking pneumonia.
Scans showed inflammation in my lungs, but nothing seemed to help. They had mentioned a lung cleaning and a biopsy. Opdivo had been stopped, and my lung doctor put me on a 60mg prednisone daily for a few weeks, decreasing down, until I finished.
Finally, in November I began feeling like I had recovered. They said at a later time I would probably be put back on Opdivo or a comparable drug. They never gave it a name, other than some type inflammation, so I just called it a lung crud. Well, I did great until it hit again last month, March.
Symptoms came again
Fever each day, and short of breath. I called my pulmonologist and he phoned out prednisone again for several days. I finished those and felt better. March 25 fever came back, coughing, and short of breath. Scans were scheduled for Mar 30. I had those done, and inflammation showed again. Pulmonologist put me on a 42 day of prednisone, which I am still taking now. Feeling much better again.
It appears this is something that will continue every so often. I know now when it hits, I call my pulmonologist. They have said I will not be able to go back on the Opdivo or other drug. So, I just hope and pray the cancer won't come back, but doctor said chances are pretty good it will eventually return according to the medical records on it. Anyway, I wanted to inform anyone taking Opdivo that if they began having these type problems, they will be aware of these issues.
Do you travel for leisure as a lung cancer patient?