Rayven198 Posted March 5, 2017 Share Posted March 5, 2017 Hi all, My name is Sydney and I am a 33 year old first year resident in Internal Medicine at Howard University Hospital. I am originally from Jamaica and recently moved to the states to further my career. Last year January, I began having these sticking left sided back pain, but thought it was a recurrence of a muscle strain I had, when I was working out. Couple weeks later, I began having left sided chest tightness, so I went to my hospital and asked a colleague to write up an xray form. It showed a large left lower lobe consolidation, The radiologist brought me into a room and began asking me quite a few questions, about my symptoms, if I was having any weight loss, cough, fever. At that point in time I had none of those, but I was on steroid treatment for really horrible eczema, so they thought it was likely infectious since steroids lower your immune system. I was given antibiotics and a couple months later followed up with a pulmonologist with a repeat cxr still showing the consolidation, which was clearing. Fast foward to later that year, after I migrated and started working at Howard, I realised that while at work, when they would clean a patient's room with this strong chemical, that i would start wheezing. I am more susceptible to developing asthma, my family is full of it, so i thought that was the case for me. I decided I would check with a Pulmonologist, but didnt go right away due to the crazy hours at work. In January 2017 I went to the Pulmonologist when I noticed the wheezing to be persistent. Originally I was sent to an allergist, do pulmonary function tests and cxr. I got the cxr done on Jan 25th. It again showed a left lower lobe consolidation, which totally freaked me out because I knew something was wrong. We did a CT scan on the 27th which confirmed my fears, that i had a mass. Due to the fact that I am young, perfectly healthy, have no weight loss, fatigue, or coughing, my pulmonologist tried to convince me that it was likely benign, probably carcinoid. We did a bronchoscopy on Feb 3rd, which showed a very friable mass (worst description ever! From I heard the word I knew it was cancer) and the pathologist in the room stated that the cells looked malignant. Honestly I was just floored. I was the annoying friend that used to scold my friends who smoked, how the hell did I get lung cancer??? So many emotions flowed, I cant even fully express them. We did a PET scan and MRI brain, which were both negative, so we though that we caught it early, and I was referred to a Thoracic surgeon, who deals with a lot of lung cancer at another institution. The day I met the surgeon, I felt something was wrong. He told me he saw nodes on my CT, which were not mentioned in my PET or Bronchoscopy. We had to repeat the bronch, and get nodal samples. He also said that I had some thickening of the base of my lung, and he wasnt sure if it was just scar tissue from the repeated pneumonia, fluid or cancerous cells, so he wanted to do a pleural biopsy. February 14th, we went in and I did the repeat bronch. Again a pathologist was in the room, and he confirmed that nodes were positive. So now I was looking at stage 3a, which was a dramatic difference from the stage 1 that I thought I was. I was just shocked, annoyed and wondering when would I get a break from this bad news train. We did the pleural biopsy on February 20th, which he said looked great, looked like it was just scar tissue, so I was relieved and thought the train finally stopped. I was referred to an Oncologist On February 28th, I went to the oncologist, who bless her heart, is young, caring and very specialized in lung cancer. She told me that it was Stage 4, that the pleural biopsy was actually positive. Due to this upgrade in staging, surgery is now not an option, only medications. They had however done genetic studies which showed i have a mutation in the cancer, so I am to start on lifelong targetted therapy. This would have been an easier pill to swallow, but due to toxic effects, I would now not be able to carry my children, and I have none. I have a wonderful partner who has always said he cant wait to see me pregnant with his children, and now that cannot happen. This cancer has changed my life in an instant, my career, my future, just so uncertain. I refuse for this to end this way, I didnt push myself through all sorts of crap for it to end here. I will fight this, and I will beat this. I just found this site on a google search, and decided to join. I've spoken to a few cancer patients, I was actually diagnosed when i was on my Oncology rotation, oh the irony! I appreciate the fact that i have found somewhere where people can help me since they have been through it As my mother always told me "Many extra-ordinary things were done by ordinary people who persevere." I will persevere. Michele, corinnecasebeer, Mally and 2 others 5 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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