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My first visit to pulmonologist


Max L

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Had my first visit with a pulmonologist today and in her opinion after looking at PET Scan, along with the fact that PET scan showed an SUV value of approximately 3.9,she cannot say for certain whether I have lung cancer. She feels that it may very well be valley fever, expecially living in Arizona 30 years. Am having a blood test to check for valley fever, sometimes known as Arizona Flu and she is arranging for a needle biopsy the first week in November. She has a great deal of experience in the field of pulmonology and stayed with my wife and I until every question we had was answered to our satisfaction. She is also going to test me for sleep apnea, as Inez mentioned she sometimes has to nudge me when we are asleep as I do not sound like I am breathing. Stop worrying about one thing and another crops up. The doctor seemed confident that if this nodule does prove to be malignant that it should not be difficult to just go in and take it out, as there does not at this time appear to be any other problems. Inez and I do feel better and are trying our best to stay as positive as we can. Thanks again for all your thoughts,advice and prayers. You can never get enough. Stay well and keep fighting.

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I am praying for you that this is not LC. How does a person get Valley Fever? My son lives in Phx and I have never heard of it. Let us know as soon as possible what she decides.

At least if you have sleep apnea it is easier to treat than LC....

Barb

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Wow, Max..............I think your news sounds pretty darn good. Who would ever think that Valley Fever and sleep apnea would be GOOD news :? !? It's also so wonderful to hear of a doc who takes their time and answers all questions. Your pulmonologist souds like a keeper! Good news and good luck, Max. Glad you checked in.

Kasey

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May I have adose of Valley Fever? Max if you get one, take it!! My husband has sleep apnea, I recorded him snoring/ stop breathing one night when, I could not sleep. I then finally fell asleep, and forgot about the recording. I thought of it weeks later when the subject came up,when friends were visiting. I snuck the tape in and pushed play......everyone in the room was alarmed!!!! what is that noise? OMG! Is there a rinaserrrious in the house? , . That is when my husband got tested . Nights are quieter around here now. Keep us posted. Mary

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Sounds encouraging. Maybe they can establish that it is valley fever.

I have a comment about the needle biopsy. It does not make sense to me to have a needle biopsy if you are a candidate for surgery. Lung needle biopsies are very unreliable for negative results. If no cancer is found, they call it inconclusive. And, most of the time they are inconclusive. The next step after an inconclusive needle biopsy would be surgery by a wedge biopsy or VATS to see if it is cancer and then a lobectomy if it is positive for cancer. Lung needle biopsies are very reliable if cancer is found. So they may find cancer and it is on to surgery if you are a candidate. So why bother with the needle biopsy at all? The only time I can see that it makes sense to have a needle biopsy is if there is no chance of having surgery.

If you find cancer, I would forget about the sleep apnea thing and do it after your cancer issues are solved. I hope it is just Valley Fever.

Don M

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Good Morning Max!

I'm on my way for scans this a.m. but I HAD to check in on you! Sounds funny to hope for VF but here's hoping!! :roll::wink: Your pulmonologist sounds like a gem! So many of these docs just seem to have no time for questions. I may PM you for her name, although I am in East Mesa, I am ALWAYS open to options! How large is that nodule? My largest is 1.1cm and I could not get anyone to biopsy it. Thankfully, it has not changed much over the years, but I've grown several new ones. I would love to have more definitive answers as to what exactly this is, although like Don mentioned, even biopsies aren't always conclusive...( I recently underwent both bone marrow and lymph node biopsies - both non-diagnostic :roll: )

I still think VF is a possibility in my case, although I've tested negative many times, and the docs kinda roll their eyes, now, when I mention it. BTW - Barb, Valley Fever, also known as Coccidioidomycosis :shock::lol:, is a nasy fungus present in the soil of the desert southwest. It is endemic in AZ, and also found in many parts of So. Cal. as well as Texas, New Mexico, and South America. We Zonies tend to be exposed during our summer dust storms, as well as during ANY activity that kicks up dust. Most never even develop symptoms but in a small percentage, pneumonia develops, often followed by nasty, cavitating nodules. It is managed (there is currently no "cure") by anti-fungals, or surgery in some cases. They can perform blood tests, but my research has shown that (negative) blood tests are often inaccurate. NOT a fun disease and occasionally deadly, as well, but DEFINITELY a better alternative than LC. The Valley Fever Center for Excellence in Tucson has alot of info. I'd post more but I'm gonna be late for my scans if I don't get my booty movin' :roll::lol: Wish me luck, huh? :wink:

My prayers for an easy diagnosis and CURE!!! Please keep us "posted" :wink:

Your fellow Zonie, in HOPE!!

Stacey

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Sounds great to me, Max!

Like many others in the group, I'd never heard of Valley Fever. I found a good mayoclinic.com article on the disease here:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/valley-fever/DS00695

...If you don't become ill from valley fever, you may only learn that you've been infected when you later have a positive skin or blood test or when small areas of residual infection (nodules) show up on a routine chest X-ray. Although they don't cause problems in and of themselves, nodules can look like cancer on X-ray, leading to unnecessary biopsies.

If Valley Fever is confirmed by the smear or blood test, would a needle biopsy still be done? Maybe you could join the Nodule Watchers Club instead...

Anyway, very encouraging news! Aloha,

Ned

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I am thankful to all of you that have replied with your great advice and your caring. Barbara if you read the reply from Stacey she described Valley Fever as: Barb, Valley Fever, also known as Coccidioidomycosis , is a nasty fungus present in the soil of the desert southwest. It is endemic in AZ, and also found in many parts of So. Cal. as well as Texas, New Mexico, and South America. We Zonies tend to be exposed during our summer dust storms, as well as during ANY activity that kicks up dust. Most never even develop symptoms but in a small percentage, pneumonia develops, often followed by nasty, cavitating nodules. It is managed (there is currently no "cure".

Stacey, the doctor's name is Carla Rotering. She started the practice, but is building a home in the Carribbean so is not here all the time. Claims the doctors in her practice are fantastic. We will see. She did give the time and answer the questions as Dr Lam (medical oncologist) did on my first visit about prostate cancer. He spoke to us 2 1/ hours and more important handed us a tape of the complete conversation. Most doctors enjoy playing CYA.

My doctor did say that she did not expect great results from the valley fever blood test as it should have been give when I spent 5 or 6 weeks coughing and sputtering.

Mary, Kasey, Don, Barbara, Stacey and Ned. Thankyou all again for your concerns, your caring and your advice. Will stay in touch.

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