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Well this sucks


Thomas3857

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Hi everyone - what a gut punch I am about to receive! I just turned 53 never smoked and was the picture of health until 3 months ago. My symptoms were primarily shortage of breath nasal congestion and a small cough. Assumed allergies. Way wrong! Couple of weeks later notice eraser size blood in mucus and then rust colored specks that looked like dried blood in mucus as well. Also lost weight and have chest pain as well as hoarseness. Yesterday got an x ray that was negative for cancer but identified hyperinflation of lungs. Dr set up ct scan for tomorrow but I’m 100% sure I’ll be a member of this club. I’m shaking now as I type this. Not even sure where to start. Married with two kids. Spent all last night in a fog. Didn’t sleep for a second. Any advice suggestions would be great. I know it’s premature since I don’t know type size location etc of tumors. I will post again when I get the results. Thanks-Tom

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Hi Tom and welcome. The place to start is with a CT scan, which you're set for. Next, you need a pulmonologist ASAP, regardless of what the CT scan shows, so if  you don't have one already, I suggest asking for a referral now, and getting an appointment. Maybe you have cancer and maybe not. Something is definitely not right in your lungs. It could well be an infection. There are bacteria and fungus diseases, as well as cancer.  You could start looking at reliable lung cancer infomation so you can understand how it is diagnosed. Here's the link, https://lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/lung-cancer-101  Best of luck and keep us posted.

Bridget O

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Thomas, 

You sounds exactly like what ever other one of us has at least thought when we heard news like this and had frightening symptoms (just to convince ourselves it must be the worst possible condition!) Have you ever been told you have asthma, COPD or had bronchitis several times. The Ct scan will be much more sensitive to what is actually trapping so much air in there. They may see the air sacs have even deflated a bit since the X-ray. If they are “downplaying” your worst fears of lung cancer, ask if a bronchoscope could be more definitive than images. They can even look at your sputum under a microscope or send it out to pathology. Something tells me a clearer images might look like some infiltrate or consolidation that they often want to treat as infection and do the old  “wait and see” and have you come back, see if the infection cleared or if something more solid is visible. I remember those sleepless night “like they were yesterday”, but they were over 4 and 1/4 years ago and I was ultimately diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC. So (and you’ll hear that we’re all different, which we are, so don’t compare). Just trying to illustrate that people finding themselves in your position have a lot more to be hopeful about than the people diagnosed years ago. Good luck. Sleep better tonight and let us know when you’ll have your results.

Cynthia

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Thomas I understand your concern. I am a paramedic for 20 yrs. A couple years ago I got a cold. Only about two days in I had chest tightness and pain.  Went to out pts. Had an xray. Turned out to be pneumonia.  A couple mths ago had similar symptoms and xray showed a nodule in lung. My point is that even with all I have seen I still could not have known by my symptoms what was going on. Take this one day and one test at a time. I am waiting for an appointment date for lung surgery. Up to now the worse time was waiting for my C.T. results. They show a lot of information. Hopefully it will be something easily treatable. If not you have a great resource place here with a lot of experiences  to learn from. It is normal to be nervous. I was so consumed by thoughts of the worse it was all I thought about. Do something to take a break from the google searching etc.. Just take a break by doing anything that takes your mind off things even a little while.  Listen to the doctor, ask questions and write down information and dates to keep track. This advice is for whatever this turns out to be.  And remember we all are here with best wishes hopes and prayers. May God give your peace and hope. 

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So went for ct scan with contrast today. While filing out paperwork I notice order from primary care doctor that says “nodular density in upper left poll” referring to X-ray report. This same Dr told me that no nodules were found when asked. Was he just trying to alleviate my anxiety’s? Is it some type of notation so insurance will cover? I don’t know but I’m freaking out. Now I wait for ct scan results. How in the world do you handle that anxiety?  Will update when I get results. Thanks for letting me vent. Tom

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Tom, You made it through the CT scan waiting anxiety. You can make it through the ct scan results waiting anxiety now! When will you find out? You never really get used to a different radiologist reading every image, having their own way of reporting and terminology that isn’t always standard. I don’t even know what a “poll” is! Density, nodule, nodular, opacity, consolidation, infiltrate...just when you think you understand something, somebody throws in a new term. If there is a solid nodule visible on the ct scan, they will probably give a measurement in mm (which is small). Many people have benign nodules. Now I sound like I’m contradicting what I was just going to say. In my experience (and I have to assume that in at least MOST others’), a doctoris not going to tell you something just to “alleviate your anxiety”. Believe me, it might sound more comforting,but you don’t want that. You want to know clearly, concisely and with no question unanswered, the truth about your health. Will be waiting to hear your results. Cindy

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Update 1 - Dr told me I didn’t have any nodules didn’t see any but the radiologist report identified a 5mm nodule in upper left pole. Got that bit of info while waiting on my ct scan. Took my anxiety level to an even higher level. 

Update 2 - get a text from Dr that my ct scan results are back so I go to his office and am told everything looked fine! The nodule was apparently  calicified and may have been a result of previous injury infection ( I had asthma and pneumonia as a child 40 years ago. Does that sound right? Both radiologist and my dr seemed confident. 

Still no explanation as to symptoms but am planning on seeing a pulmonologist soon.

i really wanted to thank everyone for the concern and comments  it really helped during my anxiety laced couple of days  

I pray that each and everyone dealing with this insidious disease finds peace and comfort  Thanks again everyone - Tom

 

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Tom, The results are encouraging. I bet you’re having a much more relaxing evening! Did the doctor treat you for infection? I understand this has been an experience you’d rather forget about, but don’t completely ignore those symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, blood in mucus and pain. Most of us never had any symptoms, which is why lung cancer is found at such late stages. Do follow up with a pulmonologist; he or she may want to evaluate the hyperinflation and do some pulmonary function tests or give you some breathing exercises or an inhaler or whatever it is they do to care for your generallung health. If that 5 mm nodule was a calcification or scar tissue from a long ago illness, they still may recommend you have it checked for size or any new ones in 6 months or a year. (?) Don’t freak out if they do; it’s good practice to follow up and make sure it’s still 5mm, less or gone and there is nothing new. Lung cancer isn’t just a smoker’s disease. If you have lungs you can get lung cancer. Best wishes. Cindy

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Results sound good!  Calcified areas in the lungs  from past injury or illness are pretty common, I have some cthat are probably the result of Valley Fever as a child. Pulmonologist knew what they were right away. Cindy is right about your needing to follow up with  a pulmonologist. The symptoms you have need attention.  Keep us posted! 

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13 hours ago, Thomas3857 said:

Update 1 - Dr told me I didn’t have any nodules didn’t see any but the radiologist report identified a 5mm nodule in upper left pole. Got that bit of info while waiting on my ct scan. Took my anxiety level to an even higher level. 

Update 2 - get a text from Dr that my ct scan results are back so I go to his office and am told everything looked fine! The nodule was apparently  calicified and may have been a result of previous injury infection ( I had asthma and pneumonia as a child 40 years ago. Does that sound right? Both radiologist and my dr seemed confident. 

Still no explanation as to symptoms but am planning on seeing a pulmonologist soon.

i really wanted to thank everyone for the concern and comments  it really helped during my anxiety laced couple of days  

I pray that each and everyone dealing with this insidious disease finds peace and comfort  Thanks again everyone - Tom

 

 

18 hours ago, PaulaC said:

 I called and talked to the oncologist's nurse and she sees what I did,  The needle biopsy shows adenocarcinoma and the lobectomy Squamous Cell Carcinoma.  I also had the PT nurse read my reports and she agreed... I'm waiting to hear back.

 

Tom my new friend .  The worse time for me so far was waiting for C.T scan results. I understand anxiety about that. I over think most things. Been a paramedic 20 yrs so over thinking, looking at every angle and possible scenario is how to do my best for my patients. Had to change that line of thought. I had to relax a bit. Realize I was not able to do anything. Many nodules are something other than cancer.  If cancer my worrying was not helping nor changing anything. I research everything  but I take breaks away from it too. Something that distracts you even a little while will help. Nothing you can do but look after you right now. Do something you like . At this point nothing you do will change results of report. I know all this sounds easy . I went through the wait and I understand the anxiety.  But in life we must learn to truthfully use facts , calm and think rationally.  You can do this. Won't be long and you will have the whole picture and start dealing with WHATEVER the doctors discover.  I am hoping for the best outcome for you. May God give you comfort and strength my brother. 

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