So the good news is that they drained about a liter of fluid from my lung last night, and it didn't really hurt, though the pressure was a little uncomfortable at times, and I was back in my room in time to meet room service delivering my dinner of cheese tortellini, chef salad and chocolate pudding.
It does take some of the pressure off, and my breathing is easier, and the pain is less. But there's more fluid in there still - maybe close to another liter. The interventional radiology people (a.k.a. lung drainers) said it's dangerous to drain more than one liter at a time, that it can actually kill a person on the spot.
So where does that leave me? One problem is that the fluid obscures the view of the part of the lung it covers, so it's been impossible to see the big tumor that we've been talking about for radiation. I saw Dr. S. (my regular oncologist) this morning, and he said they'd like to try to drain the rest of the fluid out of me slowly so they can get a clear look. This might involve getting a tube inserted that hangs out of me and lets the fluid drain out slowly, over the course of days. And for the longer-term, we may put radiation on hold; depending on whether the fluid tests malignant (which I suspect it will), Dr. S. thinks it might be a good idea to do some more chemo instead of radiation at this point. Sigh.
I feel overwhelmed this morning, and homesick. I'm getting an inkling that this might be more complicated than I'd originally thought when they checked me in Monday night. At that point, I figured this would be in and out - take care of the blood clot and the fluid and let me go home. Now who knows how many days I'll be here?
I miss my boys so much that the sounds of their voices over the phone brought tears to my eyes this morning. (Steve brought Daniel over yesterday, and it went fine until he got bored and decided to show us all the ways my room is not childproofed!) People are calling Steve and offering to help in whatever ways they can - meals, time with the kids - and I really appreciate that. Thank you, everyone. I feel as if I'm in a little parallel universe over here while my real life is continuing at home. Of course this is my real life, here, in the hands of doctors and nurses and aides and people who wake me up at all hours of the night. But on the plus side, I have time to read (I've started Twilight, the first book of the vampire series) and watch TV and occasionally get online here, so I probably should appreciate that.
Breakfast just arrived, so I'd better go eat it before the coffee gets cold. Thanks, everyone, for all your support.