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Any irrelevant ailments?

Ellen in PA

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Hi folks.

It just occurred to me that I"m about to deal with my third irrelevant physical problem that has cropped up in the time since dx. Each one seemed like it was a sign of the cancer spreading but turned out to be not cancer at all. Scary tho, till I found that out! So I was wondering how many other such tales are out there -- has any physical problem popped up since you (or your loved one) was diagnosed that turned out to be benign and unrelated to the lc? Here are my three:

1. While I was still in the hospital getting diagnosed last Dec/Jan, a fairly large lump suddenly appeared on my neck, just under the left jawbone. Oh whoopie, a malignant lymph node, I thought -- as did my oncologist. (They'd already found malignant lymph nodes in or between my lungs.) So they swooped me down for a biopsy and it turned out to be (a)not malignant, and (b)not a lymph node -- it was a calcified or whatever salivary gland. Wahoo! My joy was slightly dampened by the fact that a few times a day, for not more than a half hour, it hurts like hell -- stings, throbs, even itches. But since I figured I'd be dead in a few months, I decided not to deal with it. Well, here I am nearly a year later and it's very annoying so it's going to be removed this Wednesay. I can't wait. :D

2. Three weeks after I came home from the hospital (i.e. last February) I suddenly couldn't keep any food down. After 3 days of useless home remedies, I went to the ER and they admitted me (of course). Everybody was worried that the lc had metastasized to my intestine, even tho that's very rare. Only the surgeon had his doubts and kept me for 10 days with a naso-gastric tube (yuck!), hoping the intestine was merely twisted and that it would 'resolve itself'. Well, it didn't and he finally operated -- he had to remove about a foot of small intestine which had gotten messed up by adhesions resulting from two (botched) anterior back surgeries I'd had 7 years before. Everything was benign, as he'd suspected. :D

3. All of a sudden this past fall I saw spots before my eyes. Actually it was a bunch of spots and it was only in front of my left eye. And they didn't go away. Eek, a brain met, I thought. I mentioned it to my onc at my next visit and she told me to go see my eye doctor, which I did. Nope, no evidence of any brain tumor -- it was just 'floaters', a normal part of the aging process (and which my husband has had since his 30s). :D

I should add that I've been a pretty healthy person and, aside from the back surgery in 2000 and a heart attack in 2001 (not unrelated, I believe), I haven't had any physical problem aside from the lc dx. So this is pretty weird. I've decided all my body parts are jealous of all the attention my lungs have been getting and decided to get some attention too. :wink:

Have any of you also had 'jealous' body parts, scaring the **** out of you till you learned it wasn't what you feared?


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Hi, Ellen, I see you've been busy!

The only worrisome symptom I've had the past 2 years was the stiff shoulder, which I attribute to many months of Avastin (slow healing of everyday wear and tear). It resolved after I changed to Tarceva. Actually, I've been a picture of health ever since I got cancer, like it's running the show and won't allow competition! :twisted:

You definitely have my sympathies on the stomach problem, as my wife also had intestinal adhesions about 20 years ago as a complication of a hysterectomy. It required a second surgery a week after the first to get everything unstuck and straightened out, but it was successful and she's had no further problems.

Occasionally (a few times a year) I have what appears to be a MASSIVE floater in my right eye which blocks out half of the field of view on that side for a couple of minutes. But that's been going on for many years, even before I had cataract surgery, and my ophthalmologist doesn't see anything amiss. I'm thinking it may have something to do with the optic nerve or the brain, which may or may not be comforting.



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Wow, that was a lot of bullets to dodge! My mom had just the opposite, her lung cancer randomly led her to ailments she never would have known about. Her routine brain MRI led to an anyerusm discovery. Her anyerusm procedure led to discovery that she needed a triple bypass. She was always asymptomatic.

Tell your body to chill out, there is nothign to be jealous about :)

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