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Scared...feel stupid

scarlet pimpernel
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2012

46 year old female....I woke up one Saturday late November with a pinched nerve in my shoulder blade. Very painful, was super uncomfortable and went to see the chiropracter I've been seeing on and off for the last 5 years. He said I had winged scapula, adjusted me, told me to ice. The acute pain went away but the feeling of a pinched nerve persisted. I went back for adjustments twice a week, iced shoulder every night, and took advil when it felt really uncomfortable. Three weeks later no change, I started researching shoulder blade pain on the internet and learned that this can be a symptom of lung cancer. Sinking feeling - I did smoke and for many years. Still, no arm tingling, no numbness, no coughing or any other symptoms except pinched nerve in shoulder blade. To put my mind at ease, chiropracter sends me for x-ray of spine and it comes back clean.

January still no improvement, despite regular chiropractic adjustments. I'm working out and doing all of my normal activities with no problems, but shoulder blade always hurting. Chiro tells me this is perfectly normal, takes a long time to heal, blah blah blah.

It's now mid February. My shoulder still hurts and feeling strain in surrounding muscles on that side. Neck muscles strained and underarm feels weird at times. I feel pressure in my chest in the area that corresponds with the scapula. My imagination, or is it real? More dull, achy discomfort than pain. Frustrated with the lack of relief, I went to GP this morning and learned that the spine x-ray done by chiro would not have ruled out lung tumor. Awesome. He agreed that a CT scan was in order and so I'll be scheduling one ASAP. I'm terrified. And I'm kicking myself! I should have gone to GP 2 months ago! Why did I listen to a chiropracter??? I'm an idiot.

Any words of wisdom? Any words of comfort? Do these symptoms sound familiar?

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 388
Joined: Aug 2008

Welcome to the lung cancer survivor site. That is exactly what it is Survivor Site. Try to stop beating yourself up over the chiropracter thing. The important thing is that you will be having a CAT Scan. This will show any nodules that may be in your lungs. I can't help with the symptom part I didn't have any. 2 months isn't really that long to have waited to see the GP. Hopefully it is nothing. Try not to worry. I know that is easier said than done. Keep in touch and let us know what your test results are.

I'll be praying that you don't become a member of this site. Good luck.

scarlet pimpernel
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2012

Your prayers mean a lot to me. I'm going to try and focus on other things until I have the test results or I fear I'll drive myself insane.

ellenm4's picture
ellenm4
Posts: 124
Joined: Dec 2011

Welcome to the most wonderful site ever! We are all survivors here and great warriors! Please do not be so hard on yourself. We could all say, "What If" but the truth is a week, a month does not matter...does not change things much at all. We all have learned to live for the moment and savor every second. My symptoms was not as you described at all. But everyone responds differntently to symptoms just as they do with meds or even treatment. You GP is right, get the CT scan and wait for the results of it. Do not dwell on it. All that does is stress you out and gives your mind free range to roam where it should not....a place of nothing but negatives. Please keep us informed and I will keep you in my prayers and hope for nothing but good news for you. So, until then try and carry on with your life and do not worry. It is always the "fear of the unknown" that bothers us all. Take care and God Bless you!

scarlet pimpernel
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2012

Thank you so much for responding to my message. I've been reading through a number of threads and I'm really touched by the compassion and support here. I'll post again when I've got my CT results. Please keep me in your thoughts as I am doing the same for you guys.

AlanRinHBG
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2011

You're right, easier said than done. be patient and when you have the ct scan, make them tell you right away about the results. that waiting is totally uncalled for. they are behind the glass looking straight at it. I see all the time where people are made to wait a week or more until their next visit. It pisses me off to no end... Threaten to sit in the waiting room that same day even.. OK, maybe extreme, but the next morning should at least be the standard. That's the definition of "scanxiety" I wish you well as mine began in a similar fashion. Try not to worry and remember that you are the boss.
p.s. are you a birdwatcher too?

scarlet pimpernel
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2012

I was just catching up on some of your earlier posts. Pancoast is what I fear is causing my shoulder pain. We'll find out soon enough. My CT is scheduled for this afternoon! Can I really make them tell me right there and then? Will they?

Sorry not a birdwatcher. Why do you ask?

ellenm4's picture
ellenm4
Posts: 124
Joined: Dec 2011

Wow...some of the institutions will tell you your results right then? I have been doing this with scans since 2008 and have yet to get them to tell me right away. I have always had to wait. Over time I have learned not to worry or even think about it until i hear from the Dr. It is hard to train yourself to do...but you are right, it is "Scanxiety" at it's worse! It is our body and our money in which has paid for it....they should tell us right then if possible!

AlanRinHBG
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2011

I was thinking a scarlet p---thingy was a bird specie. pipernil, sorry that is a bird isn't it? And yes, mine is was a pancoast tumor. also known as superior sulcous tumor. My pain started between the scapula and spine. It was upper right. surgery was impossible due to spine involvment. I know a few cases where they did the surgery though. I hear that these are less than 10% of lung cancers. A Dr. who is familiar with it is necessary. I would say not to dive right into surgery before you do the homework. If that's what it is, it is slow growing as far as I know so you have time to thoroughly check out your options. I'll hope for the best for you. I'm doing fine almost 3 years since dx. no surgery...

scarlet pimpernel
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2012

Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my favorite movies....it's a period film from the time of the French Revolution. If you're into that kind of a thing, I highly recommend it. It's on the light side, given the topic. Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews star.

So, did my CT scan and now waiting, waiting, waiting. Thinking happy and healthy thoughts. Seriously considering a glass of merlot even thought it's 3:15 lol. I figure if they find anything, it'll be a pancoast, too. Symptoms would be consistent.

Waiting sucks.

AlanRinHBG
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2011

I knew it was something I've heard of. still sounds like a bird. waiting does suck...especially when you know the answers are right in front of them. The radiology tech has to wait for the proper Dr. to write a report, then turn that over to your Dr., then you have to wait til he's good and ready to let you know. He'll know by days end, I'm sure. How long do you have to wait?

scarlet pimpernel
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2012

This is unacceptable. There are at least 2 people right now who know whether I have a life threatening cancer or a seriously annoying muscle issue. I am not one of them. How can that be? The system is broken.

I was doing great and in the finest of spirits until I was trying to explain to my friend why I couldn't make it to girl's night out tonite. I wanted to be there and I got on the highway....but traffic was at a standstill. At the same time I was having a rather heated discussion with my boss. The frustration overtook me and I turned around and went home. As I described this to my friend, I burst into sobs....an event so uncharacteristic of me I had her in a panic. I'm not sure why I was crying but...it may have something to do with waiting for these PHREAKING test results (which I may have neglected to inform her I was getting).

I appreciate you all indulging me, by the way. I realize I'm in that gray zone....and it may turn out I have no reason to be here and I get to walk away freely. But, you know, I really don't. I've been exposed to significant cigarette smoke since I was in the womb, some inflicted on me, much self inflicted. So even if I skate this time, it's likely I'll return. There is NO ONE who deserves to be a member of this club. And yet, it is thankfully here for those who need it. My love to all of you.

And I'm STILL WAITING!!!

kado4
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 2011

I just wanted to let you know that you have much support. I would recommend calling your doctor tomorrow, since the weekend is coming up.If you are upset on the phone, maybe they will get a doctor to talk the ct results with you.

I wish you well.Try to be calm.You still need more information...

Let us know,Cathy.

tdejonge7684
Posts: 11
Joined: Jan 2012

Waiting is the worst part, the not knowing is awful.

With my dad they took a xray, noticed something, did a ct scan that showed more of something then sent him home.

It took over a week after the ct scan to schedule and preform a biopsy on the mass and then 5 days to report the results (sclc). One week after getting the confirmation he finally got to see a oncologist.

The whole process from going to the emergency room to starting chemo took over a month and the whole time you sit online reading how fast it spreads while they take there time.

When this first started my dad had no insurance and the oncologist said they would have to transfer him to a major hospital about a hour away and he would not be able to start for a few weeks. I asked if we could pay in cash and when we could start at his clinic, the next day chemo started.

Sorry for the rant, I guess the moral is they will take there time to properly diagnose you and there is no point in worrying (even if its impossible).

ellenm4's picture
ellenm4
Posts: 124
Joined: Dec 2011

Yea you are right about not having insurance and having it or like you said paying cash! I have seen this too many times. My Onc is so great! I have seen a woman lose her insurance because they jacked the premuim up so high she could not afford it. My onc...discounted his rate so she could afford it and worked with her and even helped her get insurance again that she could afford! It is just wrong the way our government has messed with the insurance and doctors to run the prices up so high. Did you know without insurance you can get a CT w/contrast for $600.00 if paying cash and if you have insurance you pay $1600.00 or your 20% of that amount. Don't know about you but having cancer once for me has almost sent me to the poor house (so to speak) and just recovering somewhat to only do it again. The first dotcor is now driving a lambrogini (spelling ?) LOL

AlanRinHBG
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2011

I truly hate everything that has to do with cancer of any variety. I've lost friends and relatives to several kinds. It truly SUCKS. and yes ,you can go broke. I was hit at the hight of my career and the income vanished, the bills kept coming, then the cancer related ones on top of that. Who needs this ****?

scarlet pimpernel
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2012

Never heard from the dr., still don't know results of CT scan. I called the office first thing this morning and told the receptionist how anxious I am, and to PLEASE have the dr. call. She said she would, but they only call quickly when there is something on the scan. Now that's exactly the kind of reassuring (and totally over-reaching) wisdom I heard from my chiropractor who for 3 months insisted that no improvement in shoulder pain is absolutely normal and that a tumor was completely ruled out by the spinal x-ray I had. Ha. Soooo.....not trusting information from inappropriate sources....and

....still waiting

Rosi's picture
Rosi
Posts: 69
Joined: Dec 2009

Scarlet, did you get the results yet? I remember when I had a mamogram. and the Dr. schedule another mamographic film asap. The waiting was terrible, but thank God it was not the evil cancer.
I am praying for you!

scarlet pimpernel
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2012

I finally got the results yesterday, and the scan is clean. I'm amazed, quite frankly. The way that I'm experiencing this shoulder blade pain (radiating right thru my chest) had me convinced and I was a trembling wreck when they finally called. I am obviously incredibly relieved. I need to find out what's wrong with my shoulder but I almost don't care now that I know it's not cancer. That and the combination of Naproxen 500 mg and a glass of merlot seems to help quite a bit... :)

I don't mean to make light although it's my nature to do so. It was a HUGE scare that brought me here and I'm thankful to have found this site. I've read many of the stories and trials.....and I'm humbled by the strength, love and support. I will continue to stop in regularly as the tenacity and compassion are important to me. I feel great love and admiration for the warriors here.

Thank you for your support and caring. Love you all and wish for you the best of all possible outcomes.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1251
Joined: May 2009

Great News for your clear scans! I hope we never see you again, lol, I mean that in a good way. I wish you well. Lori

AlanRinHBG
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2011

That's great news but an inexcuseable wait for the results. I bet you had more than A glass of merlot. congrats to you and thanks for the kind thoughts.

ColoradoDani's picture
ColoradoDani
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

It's great news and too bad you had to wait so long to find out.

ellenm4's picture
ellenm4
Posts: 124
Joined: Dec 2011

Great news to hear indeed! Our prayers still go out to you that you may stay healthy and keep this evil cancer away!
Best of luck and stay in touch from time to time

kit2600
Posts: 12
Joined: Mar 2012

thank God your scan was clean.so you had to wait so long.He went to va with a cough and that same day he was given a xray that went straight to ct scan ang was told in one hour he had lung cancer,just had to wait a few days to get a test to determine the type which was smlc limited.then things moved really fast.with this type time isn't your friend you need treatment asap

Emily1975
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2014

Scarlet did you ever find out what was causing your pain? I did A search for my symptoms and found that mine are exactly yours...to the T! This shoulder blade pain is making me crazy and my chiro is at a loss. Did you ever find out what it was? If so, I would love to know and if it ever went away. Thank you SO much in advance!!

Woogers
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2014

Familiar story. Always have had back pain on n off for 20 plus years.  Got pain in my shoulder blade, went to chiro.  That was in October.  By December, still had pain, only it was worse, I knew this wasn't right, went to GP who did a chat X-ray, said it looked like pneumonia, but not really, had a cat scan same day which showed a chest tumor. Got a biopsy which revealed small cell lung cancer.  It's my own fault, I was a smoker. I quit 7 months before diagnosis, wasn't soon enough. I was also diagnosed 3 weeks after losing my mom to the same thing. How's that for luck. My family is still reeling

shugally
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2014

try not to do what ive done self diagnosis not good i jioned lastweek read all the grim  outlooks i had coghed for 4 days tickely cough dry  lost my apetite and im a good eater that was the  first time everloss of apetite went to docs on emergancy appiontment  sent atraight to ane x ray showed 5 cetemeter shadow on my lung loast 6 lbs over 4 days  not good signs did cat scan next day although i didnt sleep fetereble for 5 days they said it looked like scaring from coughing so mutch then just found out i had very bad gastroiteritas cuasing loss of apetite and  loss of weight at night i was having acid reflux in my sleep cuasing iritation to my airways  that started the bad coughing for 4 days  ofcourse i was like you think the worst  i had stopped smoking for 7 months  and i thought just like it stop smoking got cancer  well i dont have it  great but to all the poor people that do i hope all the best  keep fighting  the lucky one me   lots fo hope i will keep hoping for yous

 

 

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