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New Doc - CT Scan - Symptoms?? Menopause? - Just ranting here

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1213
Joined: Nov 2009

Well after finding a really great doctor and a doctor who did my recurrence surgery in 2010, I am once again faced with finding a new doctor since this doctor has moved to Texas.    I met with the new doctor at the end of May.    As first meetings go, it went ok.   He did a PAP and ordered a CT Scan and chest X-ray.   This was the first scan I have had for two years after getting them yearly (and sometimes every 6 months).  (no results on anything yet)

Prior to my previous doctor leaving, I started to have back pains in my lower left back and some pain in my left leg (how it started previously). This was in February.   I went to the chiropractor and after three weeks it was still bothering me so I called my doctor and spoke with the PA who indicated to me that cancer usually doesn't recur there and she said just to get a back x-ray. (this was before I knew my doctor was leaving in March).  So I went to my local PCP who ordered the back x-ray and I also told my PCP about a fatty small mass I could palpitate on my back.  She felt it too but told me she could not order a CT.  I would first have to have the back x-ray and then go to physical therapy first (due to insurance) - Really?????  The back x-ray report indicated that I had arthritic bumps along my spine (there was a specific name but it has gone from my memory).   I was also getting pinchy feeling in my stomach and when I looked at the x-ray film I see a lot of surgical staples there.  Now I am wondering whether or not the PA even spoke with my onc at that time.

Anyway, I received a letter from my onc telling me that he was leaving and giving me a list of other physicians.   Made an appointment with one and had my appointment on May 31st.

So I had my CT scan on Monday and the tech there said that the doctor reading the scans was in the office that day and that I should have my report faxed to my onc that afternoon and that if I didn't hear from anyone to call.  So I waited until Wednesday.  First I called the scan place and asked if I could have the report faxed to me.   She indicated they were not allowed to do that.  So I called my onc and they indicated they didn't receive it.  So I called the scan place again and she indicated that they faxed it to a number on the script (but it was for his other office).  So I called my onc's office and got the new fax number and then called the scan place and had them refax to the new number.  Still not hearing from anyone, I called today to speak with the PA but she was with a patient and so I left my number and indicated to the girl answering the phone that I wanted to know my CT results.  I further asked her if she could tell me but of course she said no.  That was at 9:30 this morning.  It is now after 4 pm and I still didn't get a call.

All I want is my report.   Now I am getting anxious.  I have gained ten pounds since February since having the back pains.  I feel like something is going on but cannot pinpoint it.   Can I be going through menopause?    Does your body go into menopause at a specific age whether or not you have had a hysterectomy?   

Sorry to rant here, but I know that you all understand my concern and my ranting.    Frown   I was 45 years old when first diagnosed and will turn 53 near the end of June.

Thanks for listening!

 

Kathy

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

As my 21 yr old daughter would say...YOU'RE A HOT MESS!!  lol, but sure have to laugh about what we endure with cancer.

Did you not have a hysterectomy?  That pulls us into menopause, but what I'm finding even menopause symptoms can come back years later after the surgery.  Great, as I didn't have a single symptom of menopause.  The loss in hormones due to hysterectomy definitely causes us to gain weight.  In my case I'm so active, I have issues keeping the weight on...crazy I know!

Lower back pain, and into your leg?  Hum, sounds exactly what I had and even my chiropractor (didn't do xrays as didn't have a machine) over 1.5 yrs couldn't fully relieve my pain.  Plus pain started to go down my left leg, which "usually" means sciatica issues.  Finally convinved my oncologist to get me in for an MRI.  (NOTE: MRI's do not emit any radiation)  This scan showed "bulding disk, plus pressure on sciatica causing the leg pain".  Found a new chiropractor whom got me setup with a "decompression" machine which today after 1.5 yrs. have NO PAIN.  

When all my lower back pain started 6 months after treatments ended in '09, my oncologist told me NO NOT CANCER, YOU'RE GETTING OLD AND MOST LIKELY ARTHRITIS.  That  calmed me down so I tried everything in the alternative type arena, but when the pain was worse over time, I knew it was time to do the MRI.

PCP and xray?  Xrays truly aren't detailed enough to notice anything such as cartlidge, etc, so that's why most docs do the MRI.  My insurance didn't cover much of it, but at least I know what it is and no more guessing, therefore, know how to treat.

I'm not surprised you didn't get a call back from your PA...have you ever looked at how many of these offices are run?  Gosh, wonder how they can keep patients.  Bet the doc has been with patients all day and only has time at end of day or after hours to call you.  My GYN who called me about my cancer at the beginning of the journey, didn't call me until 7pm at nite.  

Try to breathe in deeply and let 'er rip!!!  Cancer is such a downer to our lives, as we are always in a frantic state of worry.  Oh to have those "normal" days back again.  I give you my examples in hopes you only have some minor back issues.  Did you have radiation?  That's one thing that zaps all our tendons, joints. bones and one thing my new chiropractor thought was a contributing factor to my bulging disk diagnosis.

Let us know what the CT result are and know we're all here for you, so keep unloading.  

Jan

 

BTW, I love your picture!!! 

 

 

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1213
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks, Jan!

I had my hysterectomy in 2005 and that is when they found my cancer.   My cancer is unusual (even though it is endometrial adenocarcinoma) they do not know where it originated from (ruled out MMMM).  It was found in my ovary and uterus.   I do have arthritis.  It runs big time in my family.    I had chemo (carbo & gemzar) and I had brachytherapy. (2005/2006)

I think maybe I am getting too stressed.  My youngest son is just graduated from high school - now I will have three in college.   Yikes!  I also run my husband's office.  I have been feeling tired and I seem to have a 99 temp (ear) a lot of the times.  Could this be a side effect from the radiation?  I also have a slight thin blind spot in my left eye (although passed all eye exams and MRI/MRA looked good - except it said my selia was empty).

Thanks about the picture.   However, I can't seem to get it upright!  lol.    My youngest son was in the high school musical and I was asked to play in the pitt with my accordian.  It was a one in a lifetime experience.  My middle son also played in the pitt.   I never played in front of anyone before and I had two (mini solos).  GULP!!!   I was never in the band when I went to school - I learned the accordian when I was in my 20s.   (Check that off my bucket list!)  P.S.  I am a terrible player but it was just so fun being a part of it.

I know what you mean about getting old.   I had been real good with my weight and didn't change my eating habits but then all of a sudden.    Can a CT scan show if you have a partial blockage?   I did have my hernia repaired when they did my debulking surgery in 2010.  I believe there is a mesh in there too.   After 3 c-sections, a laparoscopy, hysterectomy, staging surgery with removal of appendix and omentum, debulking surgery, hernia surgery....it has to be a mess in there!  Although the mass removed in 2010 was in my lower left pelvic area and it did effect my left leg.  My then onc said that if it ever came back there that I might lose the use of my leg.   (A different doctor originally told me that it couldn't be operated on and that I would end up having a permanent colostomy)

Thanks again, Jan, for letting me talk.   Just being able to talk to someone who understands is comforting.   Talking with family members they can just say - eh - its nothing, but your mind starts to wander, especially when you are feeling tired and not quite right.   I will let you know what the CT results are.  Hopefully, it too is just nothing.

Kath 

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 623
Joined: Jun 2012

I've tried to type this x2 and lost it so will be brief.  I hope you will be posting good news any minute.  Things have been rough on this and the ovarian board lately.  It's time for good stuff and my fingers are crossed for you.

 

I went to aconcert last Sat and the accordion player was a 4 time world champion.  He was amazing.  One piece sounded just like an organ.

Ruffy7
Posts: 126
Joined: Sep 2011

My cancer was appendix (dx 2 years ago).  I'm 53 now.  Menopause hit with a vengeance after the cancer dx.  It caused lots of problems with weight gain, fatigue, and arthritis.  Since cancer was taken care of 2 years ago, I've been dealing with all of these issues plus was dx as glaucoma suspect and have a retinal dystrophy in both eyes.  My rheumatologist says I have arthritis everywhere (runs in my family and xrays first showed it when I was 30 years old) but it only started bothering me since menopause.  I can deal with all of this stuff though since the cancer was the worse dx I was ever given but everything is going good now.  Hate to admit it but I've resigned myself to I'm just getting older and the body just ain't what it used to be :).  Guess I just wanted to say that not everything is cancer related, but I do understand your concerns.  Hope you get some satisfactory answers soon!  Ruffy

 

 

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1213
Joined: Nov 2009

I turn 53 on the 24th of this month.   That darn arthritis!  That darn menopause!  And while I am at it:  Darn Cancer, weight gain, fatigue, pain, and all the other stuff too!  Tongue Out

 

Thanks for the well wishes.   As you can see, I got good news!

 

I do have to say, it really feels good to have a good rant.

 

Kathy

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1213
Joined: Nov 2009

I know it has been rough on the ovarian board too.   I get stressed about that especially when they joined around the same time as me or later.   Thanks for the well wishes.   I would have loved to seen that accordion player.     I learned to play when I was about 21 years old.   I can play a few polkas and waltzes to amuse myself and a few family members.

Kathy G.'s picture
Kathy G.
Posts: 116
Joined: Dec 2012

Hi Kathy!

I hope you are able to get your results tomorrow rather than have to wait and wonder over the weekend!

I can relate to what you are saying as well as Jan and Ruffy. I think we will always worry that any suspicious or 'undiagnosable ache or pain may be a re-occurence...it is the nature of the beast and a reminder of the trauma it caused. I pray that you are okay and can continue to move on.

I started menopause before my hysterectomy and had very few symptoms, but the past 3 months I have been having hot flashes like nobody's business! I am also still struggling with fatigue, and despite trying to eat better cannot lose weight. In fact, I think I am gaining which is really ticking me off because I have tried to make better choices, but as is my luck when I do let myself splurge it takes a few days to get back on track and the weight is right there to remind me of my 'relapse!'

I am also having right leg pain which makes my walking a little painful. The dr. told me I might have that as a result of the lymph node removal. I am also getting stiffer faster than I would like at 56 which I really don't think is THAT old yet...lol! My mother was running around like a 20 yr old in her 70's!

I go for my 3 month check-up next week and I am already getting nervous. I continue to have UTI's which I think are partly due to a worsening problem with incontinence now. Since the UTI's are what led to my diagnosis the fact I am still having them makes me wonder if I need to have my bladder looked at next. But I am SO tired of doctors, tests, etc.

So feel free to vent....I think we are all there with you. I agree your picture is beautiful! Who cares if you can't get it turned around? God knows all of us on the board have learned there are more important things t worry about!

Let us know how you make out...

Kathy

Stabler
Posts: 49
Joined: Feb 2013

Kathy,

I hope and pray your 3 month check up is good, I'm sure it will be.  But I know how how nerve racking it is.  My 3 month check-up all he did was check and make sure I was healing ok and he asked me how I was feeing and if I had any bleeding.  Two weeks ago I went for my 6 month check-up and he did a pap smear and checked me out.  Everything turned out good, I am still cancer free.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1213
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks, Stabler:

 

Happy everything turned out good for you too!   I think we are on the same schedule.  My appt was May 31st.   So it will be another six months from then until my next appointment or sometime in December.

 

Kathy

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1213
Joined: Nov 2009

I know what you mean about being tired of doctors and tests!   I will be praying for you for your 3 month check up that everything goes well.

 

Thanks again!

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1213
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks everyone for the replies.  I finally got the call and further I asked to have my results faxed to me which they did.   The report indicated unremarkable.   They still see the mass in the lower left pelvic area but it hasn't changed.  In 2010 it did have a 2.8 SUV (or whatever the initials are) from my PET scan, but the recent report indicates that it hasn't changed in size.  Chest clear.   Just surgical changes.   Good for another 6 months!

 

I am probably worrying too much, but when I had the debulking surgery in early 2010, they removed a lymph node which tested positive for microscopic cells and I just took a wait and see approach.

 

I ended up going to MedExpress today, though, because I have this mucus in my throat for six days and just can't seem to cough it up.   Of course they didn't give me anything and said if it doesn't clear in 4 or 5 days to come back for antibiotics.  Frown    I hope it clears by tomorrow.   I can't sleep and don't feel like eating or talking.

 

I better go on vacation!  Looks like I need a change of scenery.

 

Kathy

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 623
Joined: Jun 2012

WONDERFUL!!!

 

There seems to be a summer cold making the rounds of the North Country.  I am trying to hide from it.

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

Now you can slow down and not be on the "worry whirlwind".  Life with cancer is always up/down, so get on the upside of it.  Great to read about the mass not changing in size.  You know our bodies do grow things that never are cancer, but must be watched.  I have a spot on my liver which was noticed on CT right after treatments were completed.  Not cancer, but on the watch each time I have any scans.

 

VACATION TIME FOR YOU GIRL....enjoy the weekend!!  Life isn't so bad is it?

 

Hugs,

Jan

Kathy G.'s picture
Kathy G.
Posts: 116
Joined: Dec 2012

Yay Kathy! Glad to hear the 'nothing remarkable' report AND before the weekend!

I am actually going for my 2nd 3 month check-up....been 5 months since my surgery. The first one I knew had to be okay being so soon out of surgery.

In my last post I said I thought I gained weight despite dietary changes I've made, but I forced myself to see PCP because of UTI I can't get rid of. Actually lost 5 pounds! Another yay! However, did want to ask about hair loss. No chemo treatment, but I have been noticing the past few months my brush is full of hair every week or so. I was never much of a meat eater...used to eat chicken a few times a week and that was it, but now I've cut that out. Could that be causing hair loss?

Anyhow, so glad your report is good and hope the mucous clears up. Alot of folks around here are really dealing with sinus issues due to the weather.

Now go enjoy your weekend....

Kathy

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1213
Joined: Nov 2009

I feel so much better getting all of that off my chest!   Thanks everyone for all the support.

 

Also, 

Connie, I will keep the summer cold away from you!  lol

 

Jan - Just made plans for a 5 day vacation in Orlando in July

 

Kathy G. -  Great news on your weight loss - however, I am not sure what would be causing your hair loss.  It definitely could be dietary.   When I changed my diet, my body went whacky for the first several months but finally adjusted.  (ie:  stomach pains, etc.).   

 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Kath

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