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Hello everyone & thanks so much for reading my post.

I'm Pearl and I am desperately seeking information and advice on a situation with my husband. The short version of a very complicated sitaution is this:

He is about to turn 35, a heavy smoker (of unfiltered, rolled tobacco)since early teens and sufferer of severe depression and anxiety. He is also a very very heavy drinker and works (anywhere from 3-13 hours daily) in an artistic environment where smoking and drinking are regular.

He has had a chronic cough for at least a year - has increased gradually so I am just now noticing how bad it sounds - worse than normal smokers cough. I have noticed him having chest pains, especially in the morning and he has what I am guessing is an enlarged lymph node behind his right ear. I have also noticed him in pain around his neck and down his right arm for the past few weeks to a month. He has recently lost at least 15 pounds, which I initally attributed to a recent major depressive episode. He is also has fatigue, which I again, initially assumed was the depression.

Here is my problem -- he refuses to go to a doctor. His depression recently became an issue in our marraige (we have been married for 10 years) and so our relationship has been strained, so he is not listening to me as he may have several months ago.

I am wondering if you can help me with other early symptoms, and also if you have any advice to help me convince him to go to the doctor. When I tell him he may be seriously sick, he says "good." He has told me to not call 911 even if he were to pass out or be otherwise inabled -- obviously I would anyway.

One other thing, he finally agreed to go in for therapy about a month ago (he is on meds), and the doctor refused him as a patient after a two session of him pouring his heart out (he has serious issues from a very rough childhood and history of suicide attempts) -- this was a major major set back for him and so he feels hopeless right now.

Anyway, I know this is a huge rambling post but I am scared to death and don't know what to do.

Thank you so much for reading and for any insight you could spare.


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Welcome to the site, I am glad you found us. I don't know how you get someone in for a medical evaluation that doesn't want to go. I was wondering if someone was following his depression - if he is taking medication? If so, maybe that person could at least do some blood work or refer him for a check up. Sorry to hear his last attempt at therapy turned badly.

His symptoms could be many things. I hope you can somehow convince him to get help.


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Dear Ry,

Thank you so much for replying -- he does see a psychopharmicologist for meds... Maybe I could speak with her and ask her to prescribe blood work up --

Is there a specific sort of blood workup that I should ask for?

Again, thanks - I know you are all busy and so I appreciate your time to reply.

I am trying to think of other weird symptoms he is having, and he also has swelling around his mid spine, and some spider veins on the side of his face -faint ones. It's tough because he is most certainly malnourished with the amount of "self-medicating" going on, but he also has a family history of young lung cancer death and so I am very very fearful.

Thanks again


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Hi Pearl,

So sorry to hear that you are having these fears with your husband. My husband was also very young when diagnosed with lung cancer (31) and passed away at 34. So, I won't tell you that he's young and you shouldn't be worried because it seems now more than in years past, this is happening to young people.

He was not a heavy smoker, but he was a drummer for most of his youth playing in smoky bars (but don't think the smoke caused his).

I think your husband definitely needs to speak to someone about his symptoms because whether it is lung cancer or not, he has some serious things going on with him.

My husband initially had no symptoms in the early stages. He presented his first symptom which was just a fever and sharp chest pains (actually more in the side and back), and we went to the hospital. He was diagnosed with pneumonia. Upon follow up to that visit they discovered the dark masses they thought were fluid on the chest xray did not change or move, so not really fluid. He probably had an infection because of the cancer that caused the pains but the cancer itself did not cause symptoms. That started the rollercoaster. But after he got rid of the infection using antibiotics for the "pneumonia" he felt fine. He did have a pain in his neck/shoulder he thought he pulled a muscle and was ignoring for months. Came to find out that it was a lymph node that was HUGE and cancerous.

Often there are no symptoms for early lung cancer. Usually by the time symptoms appear, it is already progressed.

Some of the symptoms you describe could sound like issues that could be signs of liver toxicity , such as the spider veining in the face, and swelling, an enlarged lymph nodes can also be an infection or signs of it trying to process toxins. Or it could be many other things as well, without going to a doc it's impossible to say.

I would ask your husband to do this for you. He may be depressed, he may have been suicidal and not want to live. But even if he doesn't go to a doctor for himself, go because he loves you and doesn't want you to have these anxieties.

I will keep you in my prayers and pray all is well with you both.


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I wouldn't panic over lung cancer at this time, the other options of what could be going on are too numerous.

I'm sorry you can't get him into the doctor...Do you have children? Maybe he'd go for them if you do.

Does his mother have any say? I know sometimes men will listen to mom when she gets to pressuring them

Good luck

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Carleen & Kaffie

Thank you so much for your suggestions and for sharing your stories with me -- Carleen I am so sorry for your loss and your post was completely heartbreaking - I am so so sorry.

Thankfully at this point we have no children -- but unfortunately my husband is estranged from his family, so he just has me. I tried to broach the subject again last night when he almost passed out from a coughing fit and he seemed a little more receptive.

I don't want to be paranoid, but knowing his family history, the way he is mistreating his body and how long its been going on, and seeing the list of his symptoms all in one place is just really frightening, and reading everyone's stories, it seems the symptoms show up when it is sometimes later than you'd like to know...

I am going to continue to try and also try and speak with his psycho. dr. about ordering bloodwork --

thank you again


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Probably the first step is finding another therapist who he would agree to see. It sucks that the other ceased to meet with him. Very unfortunate.

But perhaps the other doctor who prescibes the meds could recommend a suitable therapist. Once that is established, perhaps progress can be made on the treatment for whatever may be ailing him.

Re: a blood test. First folks here are right, don't assume LC is the cause of problems it may not be. However, currently there aren't any good bloodtests to diagnose LC. The best way would be a CT scan, but seems like that may be too much of a step.

Sorry this must be a frustrating situation for you to say the least.

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even easierr is a chest xray. Quick and easy and trust me with that kinda coughing going on, you need to get it checked to be safe.If he gets hoarse and loses his voice it may be more serious than you think. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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Welcome to the site. It sounds like you have your hands full. Your husband needs help. You might try to contact some of his friends and see if they can talk him into going to a doctor to get examined. You might contact the doctor that refused to treat him explain everything to him. Ask if there is a way he could be forced to get treatment. There may be a way to have him get physiological treatment by force. These may sound like some harsh things to do, but they may save his life. In the meantime he is going to be miserable and make you the same way unless something is done. I am truly sorry to be so blunt. I will pray for you and your husband. Keep us posted.

Stay positive, :)


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Dear RandyW, ernnol, and NickC

Thanks for your replies -- I totally agree with you that I need to insist at this point, and enlist anyone I can to help me convince him to get help -- It isnt going to be pretty, but you are totally right.

Thanks for the support -- it is very helpful to get outside input

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Randy is right - a chest xray would be a good place to start...

However, not ALL nodules/tumors show on an xray. And there is no blood test for LC - but, if he has an enlarged node, they may be able to find a reason for that - abnormal white cell counts, etc. that may help them pinpoint whether it is infection, or something else going on... Painful, enlarged lymph nodes are usually infection, whereas painless, enlarging nodes are often malignant.

None of this helps if he won't go to the doc, though... Personally, I think it is selfish of someone to refuse such a thing, when they have loved ones who are concerned, and worried. I hope he will reconsider for YOUR sake, if not his own...

Wishing you good results, and lots of stength and luck!!!

Yours in HOPE!!


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As someone that has a serious mental illness I really hate to say this:

I don't know where you live, but I believe most states have laws similar to this.

If someone is a danger to themselves or others they can be committed to a mental health facility for observation. Believe me, I know how much your husband would hate this. But as a spouse, I know how desperate you are to try to save his life.

I know how agonizing it was for my husband to live with my illness when I wasn't receiving appropriate treatment. But I always trusted him enough to know what was best for me. I knew even in my darkest moments that he would always look out for my best interest. I hope your husband has that same faith in you.

I know it seems drastic, but it may be the best chance for him to at least make an informed decision.

I will keep you both in my thoughts.

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Sorry I don't have anything to add. You've already gotten some good advice here. Just wanted to tell you I'm really sorry to hear about your situation. I wish you good luck and strength! Thoughts are going your way. Please keep us posted.


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  • 3 months later...

Hi everyone

I just wanted to post an update -- you were all so willing to give me advice and I really took it to heart.

In the past two months or so since I posted I was able to get my husband into a new doctor -- a psychiatrist and md who I was able to speak very frankly with before the appoitnment - he was extremely thorough and met with my husband for two, nearly three hour sessions before diagnosing PTS disorder along with the severe reoccuring depression and anxiety. He re-did his RXs and for the past few weeks it is like a cloud has literally lifted and my husband has been much much better -- all this to say he has agreed to a full blood workup.

The Doctor prescribed a CBC, CMP, and LFT.

Am I safe to assume, in your experiences, that if there is a serious helath issue brewing like I suspect from his myriad symptoms, something will show amiss in the blood workup? We go in Friday for the tests. I asked the Dr to prescribe a chest xray as well but when he talked to my husband he was too scared to go for it -- the doctor says one step at a time and he will talk to him about it again when they review the blood tests results.

So anyway, along with my question regarding the blood tests -- I just wanted to thank you all for for your advice and encouraging me to be tough and insist that he go into a new doctor. It made all the difference -- and I cant thank you all enough.

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving holiday -- I often lurk around to see howyou are all doing.


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So sorry for what you have been going through. You certainly have a lot on your plate right now.

I do agree, however, with your doctor - one baby step at a time. Maybe going slowly will alleviate whatever fears he has regarding finding out what is wrong.

Please keep us updated and I will keep you and your husband in my prayers.

Patti B.

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Hi Pearl and welcome,

I'm so glad you got him to go to another doctor. Sounds like the doctor is trying to build a good trusting relationship. This is important with people that have a hard time going to doctors.

With his family history a chest xray should definitely be done, and also a cat scan if you can talk him into it. Eary detection to any disease is of utmost importance. Not saying he has anything, but if he does he could get treatment started.

You are strong, so be a positive thinker and between you and the new doc maybe he will get the tests he needs.

I will be praying for you both,


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