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Phenumonia - Lung Mets Symptoms Question

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1490
Joined: Nov 2011

Hey all...

I have never posted here before, but hope you all don't mind if I seek some advice / symptoms of those who have had mets to lungs (gosh, I feel guilty for some reason bothering this board) ...

My wife and two of the kids several weeks ago developed a cough and had runny noses, the usual "kids just started school and brought home the germs first week" thingy.

Anyway, my wife prohectically (joked of course) said to me "I'm concerned you will get a bug". Well, sure nuff, I got what I thought was the "bug" just days after them, which as been 4 weeks now. They are all better and I'm not trying to sound like I'm am bad sick...but here is where I am at and wanted to know if I should get checked for Phenumonia (and you all know we worry about spread to lungs...and lately there have been some posts for that ..so of course I get a little worked up though I try so hard to just ignore the nagging thoughts)...

I do not have nor did I have a runny nose.

I DID have and still do have what feels like a "chest cold" where I can feel a "soarness" when I breathe in deep. I don't hear or feel congestion but when I cough very often some clear, not real green or yellow, stuff comes up...slightly green I guess at times.

I DO have a pain in my back from my shoulders blades down to mid-back, but that just seems to be getting worse, was not bad at first. This pain is not constant (I woke up this am with no pain and felt like I could breath just fine) It seems like the pain starts coming up a few hours after I awake. When I cough hard, I feel the pain more intense but it's a dull aching pain, not a sharp pain, but still noticable for sure.

I DO just the last few days feel a bit short of breath and my chest hurts in the front middle (like where they put their palms to give CPR). Again, the pain is not constant but by the end of the day seems to be quite pronounced (as in really bothers me)and if I move a certain way the pain can be sharp.

I got this cough, but it's the same cough my wife and kids had, but mine has just lingered now for four weeks. I don't think I'm getting worse, but just can't seem to get better and the pain seems to have upticked a bit in the areas I described above, especially my mid to upper back, in particular when I cough.

I do have (and it's been there for some time so not sure this means anything) what I swear feels like an IV bag of fluid to the left and north of my belly button under the skin. Good grief this little pouch is just like an IV bag of saline under the skin...My daughter thinks it's gross, but wife says I look like I have a baby bump, but it does not feel like a tumor or anything...it's soft and mushy (like an IV bag) and when I cough I can feel the liquid in that area kind of jolt around a bit ..sorry if all this sound gross. When I stand up if feels really hard and when I lay down it goes back soft.

Some quick history:

For an unrelated infection I just finished a 10 day round of Keflex (antibiotic) a few days ago (had an infection in my toe if you can believe that) from a hanging toenail, the infection lasted a good four weeks before I sought out a doctor who presribed Keflex. I don't know why I waited soooo long, but I have never had a dag-gum infection that would not go away like that ....so my wife made me go to the doc.

I had my CT/w Contrast August 6, 2012 of the head and neck, got a NED for that.

I saw my Oncologist September 8, 2012 who did a scope and finger exam, all looked good.

I saw my ENT Sept 19, 2012 who did a scope and finger exam, all looked good. My ENT did note "extreme dry vocals" and said I had radiation induced Laryngitis. My voice is still shot as

May 2012 I had an MRI of the brain, all was clear.

I had my PET/CT 3 months after my last rad (May 7, 2012) and got a very good report (just a very mild hot spot on vocals)which of course has since gone away.

I have had TONS of energy lately, been out in the forest cutting wood with the chain saw and loading up all that wood in my Scout ....We have a LOT of smoke here in Idaho where I live from all the wild-fires ...so I'm really thinking that with the bug with the radiation induced Larayngitis is all compounded and just making my mind race...

I know the PCP is useless to go see, but I thought I would go see him tomorrow and ask for a chest X-ray (which I also think if I am correct is not that great at detecting lung cancer) but more for Phenumonia...??

Here is what I do know, lung mets is not uncommon and in fact one of the areas BOT SCC can spread to, so why not just ask them to look at it...early in our world is always best, so why do we always feel like we are being "jumpy" ..and on that note I have tried soooo very hard to not let my mind race or be jumpy as much as I was the first four months of my lat rad..good grief I had a time getting a handle on this "looking over my shoulder thing" the first four months....I do not like being that way.

As I post this the pain in my back (mid-shoulder area) really is bothersome.

Thanks,

Tim

Stage III HPV+ Base of Tongue w/ spread to 1 lypmh node left side of neck - DX October 2011 / finished TX January 2012 Radiation and Erbitux only - Clear PET / CT 3 months after last Rad / August 6, 2012 NED CT / w Contrast / All monthly scopes and finger exams have been good to date.

dennycee
Posts: 641
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Tim and welcome to the LC section. Another voice, another survivor or another caretaker is always welcome here. Sometimes I get caught up in my own little world and forget that there are others out there! Congrats on your survivorship and the great results on your last scan. If I understand your question correctly you are concerned that some of the symptoms you've been having are similar to pneumonia or more to lung cancer. And yes it is always good to check if you are bothered by any of those symptoms.

You are doing the exact thing that I or anyone else here would recommend by visiting your PCP tomorrow. That doc should be able to tell by listening to your chest if you are in early stage of pneumonia or other chest infection. Definitely ask for a lung x-ray to rule out pneumonia. The radiologist who reads it will be able to tell pneumonia from lung mets. At the very least he should be able to tell if you need a ct.

I don't know if the dye that they use for bol is the same contrast dye they use for lc so I can't speak to whether or not an issue would have shown up in the lungs. The PET should be a different story though and it sounded like a good report. Even if there is an issue on a lung ct or pet right now, we lungers have to learn to be patient because a recent cold or other infection can cause nodes to be enlarged. There have been many a thread here devoted to false positives on the PET. If I remember correctly squamous cell is one of the slower growing cancers right? Your energy level is a good sign for you too. So let's not borrow trouble here. See the doc, ask (assert!!) that you want an x-ray and take it from there.

While you are at the docs tomorrow show him that squishy thing. It sounds a bit like the hernia that I have on my chest. It has gotten to a size that I joke with my doc that it will need its own bra cup soon. Lol.

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1490
Joined: Nov 2011

Thanks so much for the feedback...

Hmmm..hernia...dag-gum if that turns out to be correct, my wife will be able to say "I told you so" ....shucks! Oh well, better that than something worse. : )

Bra cup! Now that was a good laugh...thank you for that too.

Tim

dennycee
Posts: 641
Joined: Mar 2011

Promise you will let me know how things go at the docs.

dennycee
Posts: 641
Joined: Mar 2011

Wha'd the doc say?

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1490
Joined: Nov 2011

Well, no word yet on the lung X-ray, but I do have a hernia it appears! :) Drat!

I should hear back on the lung X-ray today or tomorrow....

I do have my 6 month PET/CT scheduled for October 4th ...that always is an anxious time though we try so hard not to think about them.

Thank you again for your response and feedback.

Best,

Tim

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