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Mary AJ

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Hello I am new to this site, although I have visited many times to read other people's posts. I have not been diagnosed with lung cancer but recent CT Scan found SPN in right middle lobe -it is very small- and I have to go back in three months to have it checked for growth. Had the CT scan b/c of chronic cough, wheeze, generally feeling not myself for a while now- then had an onset of what my OBGYN said was Costrochondritis- which has not gone away though has gotten better. 2008 Four People within my friends/family were diagnosed with Lung Cancer- so as a past smoker, quit almost about two years ago when I got pregnant with my baby girl who is now 11 months old.........I am 39.5 years old. Was what I would term a social smoker/emotional smoker.........usually smoked on Friday nights after work- and out socially with my friends when I was single- but years passed and suddenly I realize I was smoking for about 17 years- many times binge smoking - which I hear is worse than a pack a day or more regular smoker.........I am under major stress/depression b/c of this recent find and am reading as much as I can about what to expect moving forward. I feel extremely guilty for bringing this on myself by smoking. I wonder if that is normal to feel so much guilt and shame for this- and also I am prone to crying a lot b/c I am stressed and worrying- and then I read through a lot of the posts in here and I feel I have no right to be feeling like this when so many people, so much braver than myself, are dealing with so much more. It gives me a lot of strength to read through people's experiences, especially those with young children. Anyway, that is my story, if anyone has any information on what is normal time frame for finding out if a SPN can be removed please let me know. I am scared about waiting- if it is so small, I dont understand why they cannot do something to find out now and then just go in and remove it- what if it starts spreading.

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Mary, I responded on your other post. But just let me say, you are in the right place. We understand.

Please, don't beat yourself up with guilt. We have plenty of folks on here who are "never smokers". No one "deserves" lung cancer. And you can't change the past.

What you can do is be your own best advocate. Pursue this until you are comfortable with the answers. If it does turn out that you do, indeed, have lung cancer, it sounds like you might be in the early stages. Remember that early stages are curable. And you only need to read more on this forum to see that even later stages can be successfully treated. We have many members here who were given a poor prognosis several years ago and are still going strong.

We're here for you. For whatever you need.

Lynn

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Okay, I'm going to officially kick your butt for ever smoking, just once. I'm not going to do it again, and neither are you! STOP IT! NOW!

I am 40 years old and I'm six years out from my diagnosis. I'm a never smoker, yet here I am! People are going to blame you for smoking, don't LET them! Smoking isn't the only thing that causes lung cancer.

The reason they are watching you for growth is because a thoracotomy is major surgery. If what's going on in your lung isn't malignant, they don't WANT to cut your body open (and believe me, after having one, you don't WANT them to if they don't have to!).

So, hopefully, you just have some little irritation going on in there and everything will be fine. You will take this brush as a warning and stop with the smoking so you can have more energy to play with your baby and won't have to worry about ever burning the child's hand when they reach for yours and there's a cigarette in it.

Really, I'm hoping you don't have any reason to belong to our group. It's a great group, but membership comes at a steep price for some of us. It would be great if you're able to step away with a benign something or other and never have to worry about it again.

Best of luck,

Becky

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Welcome, Mary. I'll agree with what's been said so far. There's no point in beating yourself up; what's past is past.

You have done the prudent thing in finding and trying to handle the SPN. Stay on top of that, and let us know what happens. But, while you're reading all of our horror stories, keep in mind that most very small SPN's found in people your age are not cancerous. We all get "scanxiety" as our scan times approach, but you have great odds of having nothing but good news from the next scan, so keep that in mind the next time it's worrying you. Good luck, and keep us up to date!

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What you are experiencing is the anxiety that comes with scans, as they show a lot of detail, and often it is not cancer.

Regarding the "if it is so small take it out" thing. LC is different than a skin cancer. Remove a mole and a little bit around it...good to go. lung surgery is usually a lobectomy...which isn't a small procedure. That's why they are watching it.

If you are having major stress/anxiety/depression, perhaps meds are warranted...that is if you are not breast feeding (I too have an 11 month old) . It's one thing to be upset...it's another thing to be "major" it's worth seeking help for that.

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Welcome Mary,

You've gotten some great replies already.

I just wanted to welcome you and let you know I'm sending you positive thoughts. Keep us posted on you and know that we are here for you.

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Thank you so much to all of you that have responded to my post. I know that I am lucky to have found it early if indeed it turns out to be malignant. I have a very close friend that had lung surgery last yearand she had a lobectomy for a 1.2cm nodule....she is 53 and doing very well now but gets very nervous when she has her scans. My Aunt died last year of lung cancer, my neighbor also and my best friends father- all were in their late 50's and early 60's and found very late stage- all of this in 2008- so I think my nerves are shot from it all - You know what I am confused about is if a nodule is so small can it give you symptoms- my doctor has given me all kinds of medications for asthma (even though my lung function test came back not showing asthma)- and for allergies (my allergy test showed allergy to dust mites only)- and with all this medication I am still coughing, while not as much as before but still coughing- and what is very troubling to me is that I have a wheeze which I can hear the most at night when lying down - my doctor can never seem to hear it. I also have a very uncomfortable rattling or vibrating feel deep in my sternum when I inhale (not all the time but periodically through the day and night it will come and go)- I never used to have that. I just wonder if I had the CT scan wouldnt that show if there was anything else wrong- I dont know why I am taking all this medication and still having these problems.........so I guess the scan results compounded by not feeling well to begin with, well its just got me wondering if you ever feel like yourself again. My family is telling me to go for a brisk walk and "get out of myself" and they really feel a lot of this is perhaps brought on by my stress and depression but I cant imagine you can give yourself symptoms. I dont know- I am very glad to have found this site b/c it makes so much difference to meet people successfully coping and living life- I would come on to this site when my friend was going through her surgery- and I would tell her about people's stories- (she also had lumpectomy for breast cancer the year prior to the lung cancer diagnosis)- now I come for myself b/c I think its comforting to be in a group where people understand how you feel. Thank you all so much.

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You can give yourself symptoms.

Lots of stress in my life right now and I'm experiencing chest pain. I figure, if I pop a Xanax and the elephant lifts his foot off my chest, it's just anxiety. If it doesn't go away, time to hit the ER for an EKG...

Stress does weird things.

You say you are allergic to dust mites and that you are taking medication. Have you done anything to deep clean your house, i.e. wash curtains, vacuum bed and pillows?

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That is exactly how it feels sometimes, just like an elephant is sitting on my chest. Horrible. I am not using the inhaler tonight- and will see how it goes. I have changed out my pillows- and dont use anything feather anymore b/c I believe that the feathers break down and then become infested with dust mites. I actually want to swap out my mattress all together and buy a new one but I cant afford it right now- my mother told me you can get a plastic cover to put over your mattress I was going to look into that. I did not even think of vacumming my mattress, does that work? I will have to try that. I am going to see my PCP on Monday and am hoping he will do an EKG on me. Just trying to get through the weekend without the elephant on my chest.............I wish I had some Xanax!

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Welcome Mary,

Sounds like you are putting the cart before the horse. Your doctor is taking the right steps by keeping and eye on it with regular scans. Could turn out to be nothing. Try not to add to your stress, just because you smoked or you know someone who has lung cancer does not mean you have it. Wait until you cross that (if you do) bridge. Have you tried exercising (walk, ride a stationary bike) to release stress, that really helps and makes a difference. I know it's hard to wait, the best thing to do is keep busy and get on with life. Hang in there, keep us posted and take care.

Rich

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Hi Mary

Welcome to this great site. I will share a little of my story with you. I had some chest pain and after 3 weeks my daughter made an appointment with a GP. One of the test was a chest x-ray and 2 months later I was told they found a spot about the size of a pea on the surface of my left lung. I had alot of test over the next 6 months but they could not determine with 100% certainty if it was malignant or not. I lost my Mother and Brother to L/C so I told them I wanted it removed. Even on the operating table. the thoracic surgeon was still telling me it was not cancer. He removed the spot during they surgery and it looked suspicious so he removed the upper lobe. It was cancer.

I am praying that your's is not. But just wanted to share my experience with you. A lobectomy is major surgery and I'm sure everyone especially you want to avoid it if possible. So I agree with the testing to be certain. Mine was too small to do a biopsy.

I am not sure if you can give yourself symptoms but I do know for sure that every little ache and pain you have, you can find a way to relate it to L/C. While going through that wait and see period if I have a pain in my big toe, I find a way to think it may be L/C. Of course it would not have anything to do with me stubbing it on the stairs yesterday. Take care and please keep us updated.

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I went to see my PCP about getting a different pulmonologist and he came me the name of someone he said was very good, especially with taking time to explain things etc....so hopefully that will work out- its so strange to me how most of the doctors all seem to blow off the CT scan findings as if its nothing to be worried about.........oh its probably just inhaled dust etc......I guess they are just trying to relieve stress for me- he increased my Buspar doseage from 10mg to 20mg per day so hopefully that will help b/c I have been a nervous wreck- on top of all this my son (15) has really been acting out - what a difficult age (teenager)- it was getting to the point I was not sleeping at night at all b/c my brain would not turn off..........I got some Tylenol PM and that seems to be helping.

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Mary-

Welcome!!! You have been given lots of good advice here and I did want to welcome you to our community.

Please don't beat yourself up about smoking - there are many here who never smoked a cigarette in their life!!

Waiting is the worst - we all know how that feels. And it can cause so much stress and anxiety. Of course, having a 15 year old son (mine is 16) can cause lots to stress, too!! :shock::shock:

I hope things work out with the new pulmonologist - getting second or even third opinions is you right.

I truly hope things turn out that this is not LC, if it is, hopefully it will be very early stage and that you have a good prognosis.

No matter what, feel free to come here and vent or ask any question you may have.

Hugs - Patti B.

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Hi Mary,

We have had so mamy people on here who were going through what you are feeling and thinking and it turned out not to be LC. So lets ait and see what the test shows.

There are so many new treantments out there that if there is a maligmency and if it is small enough even though surgery is the number one objective there are some new breakthroughs that you may be able to do without surgery. But that is a big but, as it may not be nothing at all.

Also, you can't beat yourself up about the smoking. Yes smoking does contrinut to LC but 40 % are former smokers (some stopped more than 20 years ago) and 10 to 15% of the 40% are non smokers. Could just be in the genes. Hey, you know there are people out there who smoke like chimmeys into their 90's who never delt with LC. So stop that thinking right now.

Keep us posted on your test results. Then we will take it from there. Hopefully, there will be nothing to take.

Maryanne

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