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Cough- Metastatic Breast Cancer

KiahdeeKiahdee Member Posts: 10
I’m Deanna and last week I was  diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in my bones. Aged 48. Not bone cancer thankfully. Slow-growing and got it early. hormone receptive.
 I was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 at age 41. Was an invasive ductal carcinoma and consequently had  surgery chemo radiation and five years hormone therapy.  (Zoladex) 
Original Cancer was estrogeon postitive. 
My treatment plan now is back on to Zoladex injection’s, Aromasin, dexamethasone. Targin and Endone for pain. I’m to start radiation next week. 
 Cancer Is in the the thoracic spine and both hips.  My mobility has been compromised on the left side due to hip.
Now after all this my question is this. 😄
Since May 2019 (pain in left hip appeared in April 2019)  I’ve had a cough and what I could best describe as a sinus/wet cough bug thing. Phlegm moves around from back of nose and throat to upper chest area. I’ve had 2 CT scans in past 2 months  and an x-ray yesterday and nothing has showed up on lungs.  
(That was another thing, no secondaries in my organs either)
im just wondering if this is my immune system at work, or nature of the complaint? Has anyone  else experienced this? 
(I find the phlegm mostly appears at nightfall and early morning when temp changes. I live in Brisbane. Phlegm is clear no nasty discolouration of any kind.)
So enough talk about phlegm I think. 😄
Would love to hear of any similar experiences. 
Take care of yourselves everyone.

Thank you for reading. 
Lots  of love,



  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,197
    That's a real bugger, Deanna - but good to hear it is the slow growing one & caught early.  Good that no organs involved.  You are sounding positive & upbeat which is terrific.  I have a ukulele buddy who was diagnosed last year BC mets in her ribs (16 years after diagnosis) & she's been told she will die 'with it' not 'from it' - so another slow growing one.

    One of my best kayak fishing buddies was diagnosed with BC mets in her left hip just 2 weeks ago, 15 years after her original BC diagnosis, surgery & treatment - but they think they'll be able to get it all out with a hip replacement tho she still needs chemo & rads afterwards. She has surgery next week in Brisbane.  She lives on her own ....but luckily had moved into a house with no steps just 2 years ago - and hopes her kids will be able to take a week off work to stay with her (consecutive weeks) to see her thru, after the surgery.  Sadly, it will badly impact her quality of life as she'd been on the road kayak fishing around Australia - and won't know if she can get back to it  :(   But knowing her - she will do what she has to do to get back onto the yak, as it is her passion.  (Even more than me!)  I really feel for her, as I love my kayak fishing too.  She's won many women's divisions in the kayak fishing series thru Qld, NSW and Vic and even gone to Tassie to compete there!!

    That is VERY interesting - your observations about your sinus/wet cough & phlegm - and it has nothing to do with the seasons!  I had the exact same thing in the lead up to my own diagnosis!  I know I've mentioned it here on the blog before.  For a good 6 months prior to diagnosis, I had an 'eternal cough/bronchitis' producing HEAPS of phlegm (specially in the mornings) and ended up on prednisone to try & stem it, after antibiotics did nothing.  Mine started off as ordinary phlegm, then went to my chest & was green hence the antibiotics - but as soon as I'd 'got over it' it started again! They now say I have COPD - but I don't take any meds for it as it isn't 'bad'! I haven't had any nasty ones since diagnosed Jan 2018 - tho I had a bad reaction to phenergan just last week when I had a runny nose & took some to dry it up & hopefully get some sleep!  It didn't work!  I was very agitated & up & down all night.  It dried up the nose tho!

    I still have an annoying 'every day cough' that drives my husband MAD!  Always worse in the morning (gagging sometimes when coughing & spluttering in the shower, producing lots of small amounts of 'normal' phlegm!)  I really think the act of getting out of bed in the morning aggravates it (gravity perhaps?)  I even had my phlegm analysed in case something was hiding in it that no-one knew about, but it was clear.

    I am pretty sure others had had nasty coughs in the lead up to their original diagnosis as well.

    All the best with your ongoing treatment xx
  • KiahdeeKiahdee Member Posts: 10
    Why thank you Arpie! 
    I feel much at ease now. I am an asthmatic too, which only occurs on an onset of a flu or cold and I definitely haven’t had any symptoms of either. School mums recently said to me, are you sick Dee, you sound chesty and I’d say I’m fine, just got this cough thing but nothing else. Now I’m diagnosed it’s much more clearer as to what’s going on that’s for sure! I get the gravity thing too, if I change positions phlegm moves around. I got the “chemo cough” when I had my original chemo in 2012, so that could be something also. 
    I was a passive smoker from birth to 24 years, my father smoked heavily around us, so this played on my mind and whenever I cough, I get the look from my husband like “that better not be a lung tumour cough!” But nothing has revealed itself lung wise thankfully. 
    Since last weeks diagnosis, I’ve adopted the attitude that I’ll die with this but not from it too. Yet to tell my oncologist that. 😉
    He’s very confident and I’m so thankful we live in an age with so much research and treatments. 
    My 11 year old daughter and 8 year old son have too many milestones ahead of them, that this mother is not going to miss!
    This journey is way different, last time it was surgery straight away then chemo, but the focus now is pain management, my hormone receptive drugs and radiation begins next week, so the last week has been a huge learning curve, dealing with bone pain plus the side effects of medication and all the emotions that go with it. 
    You have some amazing buddies too! Superwomen! and your one yourself.
     Thanks again Arpie. Xx 

  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,197
    Interesting - your asthma may also affect it - but it would be a totally different cough, I reckon, as the asthma really narrows your airways & makes a wheeze more than anything.

    I forgot to mention that I also used to smoke quite heavily for 5 years (20 a day) but stopped in 1984 - and they DO reckon I also have emphysema!!  But I don't need any medication or 'exercises' as I don't believe I am not affected by it at all!!

    My sister has the same chronic cough as me.  We are always clearing our throat too. (it annoys my hubby BIGTIME!)  Mind you - he has dementia & talks to himself all the time & that annoys me too!   LOL  I never know if he is talking to me!

     Some years back, I bought a 'salt inhaler' that I actually should start to use again - the theory being that salt miners in Salzburg Germany NEVER had any congestion problems ..... as inhaling the salt as they worked kept everything 'dry'!  Matter of fact, it is right here by my chair & I will put fresh Himalayan Rock salt in it & start using it again & see if it makes a difference!  You can buy them for about $15 on ebay - it has tiny holes in the bottom & you inhale thru the top, with tiny 'particles' of salt entering your lungs!  Every now & then you replace the rock salt.  You can even go to 'salt rooms' and pay for the privilege of inhaling it!

    Nah - YOU are the superwoman!  You will deal with this & see all those milestones for your kids. xxx

    Take care and all the best for your treatment xx

  • KiahdeeKiahdee Member Posts: 10
    I shall be getting a salt lamp then! and it’s always been something I’ve meant to do. 
    Our son is allergic to dust mites and suffers hay fever from it. So it will help us all! 
    Take care yourself too. Xx 

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