Has anyone encountered Ascites from MBC?

Posted by keepmoving2 @keepmoving2, May 9 7:25am

I have just been diagnosed with a mild case of it – been uncomfortable in the abdomen for a couple of weeks with a few other ever changing issues that come and go. An abdominal ultrasound revealed no apparent issues with kidney, liver, gall bladder. But liver numbers off a little. I am a double mastectomy diagnosed Stage 4 to the Skin October 2020 who is on Verzenio and Arimidex. CA 27.29 just started bumping out of acceptable range. Waiting to get expanders out, reconstruction being scaled back and host of tests lined up. But wondering how I can help myself? Already low in salt but will be try harder, exercise a lot but wondering if swimming would help with the pressure, reduce fluids, lots of small meals??? Docs have already indicated they will change meds & explore trials. Know in big picture tough road ahead but like to help myself. Thanks for thoughts.

I'm tagging fellow mets members @wandering @mom23boys @18dee @saltis @lisman1408 @trivia in case they have experience with ascites.

@keepmoving2, from what I've read not drinking alcohol and being very careful about salt and reducing/eliminating sodium in your diet are the two things you can do to help. Obviously, don't add salt to your food, which it sounds like you're doing. Remembers, that salt is in many prepared foods. These include bacon, canned foods, snack foods, sauces, and soups. Look for products that are low-sodium or have reduced salt.

I didn't read anywhere about exercise helping specifically with ascites, but exercise can be so good in general and for your mental health. Have you tried swimming yet? Does it feel good? Does the water help relax the pressure?

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Thanks for that information. So, that sounds like liver mets I guess. Good luck with the tests. You're doing everything right. That's the hardest part about this disease.

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Hi keepmoving! I have stomach and liver mets with a small layer of ascites above the liver when diagnosed (November 2019). I didn’t notice any change until August 2020 when my abdomen started getting larger by the day. I hd my first stomach draw in September. After that I was able to go about 5 weeks before the next draw, then 3 weeks, then weekly. I then had a permanent catheter placed to be able to draw from home (all prior draws were done at the hospital). I now drain 2 liters daily. While I was not provided any information about what I could do to help myself, I echo what was said above, I believe you are doing everything right! I’d be interested in what you learn about new meds and trials. I wish you well!

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@colleenyoung

I'm tagging fellow mets members @wandering @mom23boys @18dee @saltis @lisman1408 @trivia in case they have experience with ascites.

@keepmoving2, from what I've read not drinking alcohol and being very careful about salt and reducing/eliminating sodium in your diet are the two things you can do to help. Obviously, don't add salt to your food, which it sounds like you're doing. Remembers, that salt is in many prepared foods. These include bacon, canned foods, snack foods, sauces, and soups. Look for products that are low-sodium or have reduced salt.

I didn't read anywhere about exercise helping specifically with ascites, but exercise can be so good in general and for your mental health. Have you tried swimming yet? Does it feel good? Does the water help relax the pressure?

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@colleenyoung . Thanks so much for responding & tagging others. And thanks too for all you do in this board. Salt suggestions perfect for overall health & less retention although my understanding is no real correlation to ascites. Kidneys & liver not believed to be impacted but reduced alcohol also good, & I seldom drink. Expanders have come out so no swimming until stitches dissolve. I am sitting waiting for my PET, then MRI’s and upper/lower GI stuff. As they say – a hunting we will go. And that brings me to those differences in that common cancer journey. Early stage folks can hope to be cured, can ring a bell, and can hopefully move through their lives with a slight nagging thought. MBC folks like myself learn to live with our cancer and the ever present battle of keeping it at bay.

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@ja5747

Hi keepmoving! I have stomach and liver mets with a small layer of ascites above the liver when diagnosed (November 2019). I didn’t notice any change until August 2020 when my abdomen started getting larger by the day. I hd my first stomach draw in September. After that I was able to go about 5 weeks before the next draw, then 3 weeks, then weekly. I then had a permanent catheter placed to be able to draw from home (all prior draws were done at the hospital). I now drain 2 liters daily. While I was not provided any information about what I could do to help myself, I echo what was said above, I believe you are doing everything right! I’d be interested in what you learn about new meds and trials. I wish you well!

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@ja5747 A huge thanks for sharing your journey. You have no idea how your story buoyed my spirits. Your story showed me that I can live with this condition even if not convenient. Lots of tests planned for me as we have no idea why the ascites has come up – thinking more related to my breast cancer which had spread to my skin – a soft tissue issue and perhaps correlation to my soft tissue peritoneal lining. My meds completely turned down the cancer in my skin. So their thinking the cancer looking for something a little more susceptible. Will definitely reach back when I know better specifics.

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