Terrified:p

I don't have a diagnosis yet as I am waiting for my first ENT appt. April 10th! I saw my PCP last month as I had a extremely sore throat and my nose was blocked on one side. I have very bad allergies and thought that may be the problem or infection. Doc put me on enough antibiotics to knock out a horse and added Flonase. The Doc also could see the blockage and reffered me to an ENT. That was 3 weeks ago and naturally I am terrified as I fear the unknown. I am a former smoker, I quit almost 9 yrs, ago. Although I am no stranger to sinus headaches, this one is persistent! I also have very slight swelling one the left side of my nose and slight bleeding at times. I am reasonably sure I am looking at something heinous and I am terrified:( I have kept this too myself and have tried to hide the tears from others as I don't have a diagnosis yet and can't see worrying others if it's unneccessary. I am almost as terrified of any disfigurement as I am of possible death! And can't even conceive losing a part of my body. And I need a voice for my career in the public schools. I have been reading through these disscussion boards as well as trying to educate myself as much as possible just in case I get the worst news. I have heard great things about proton therapy, targeted therapies and sterotactic body radiotherapy. If it is in fact cancer can I not get targeted therapy without any surgery? I recently read where Michael Douglas had therapy with a stage 4 and didnt need surgery? If it is in fact cancer I would like to find the best and closest place to be treated which may be MA or NY from what I am reading. There is so much on my mind that I am depressed, scared and totally overwhelmed. I am alittle underweight but in general good health overall according to my PCP. This is the first disscussion board I have ever joined and just praying that I can get some info, ect. I can see you all have been through so much. I always hope the best for fellow human beings and God bless!Cry

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Comments

  • MrsBD
    MrsBD Member Posts: 615 Member
    We have all been there!

    We have all been there! Waiting is so hard. There are other causes like cysts and infections, but even if it is cancer, there is much hope. I had Stage 4 and did not have surgery, just chemo and radiation. It wasn't a picnic, but it was doable with the support of faith, family, friends, and the wonderful people on this board.Today it is 6 months since my treatment ended and I feel wonderful. Keep in touch with us. You'll get support, advice, and many prayers.

     

  • Linewife7
    Linewife7 Member Posts: 43
    MrsBD said:

    We have all been there!

    We have all been there! Waiting is so hard. There are other causes like cysts and infections, but even if it is cancer, there is much hope. I had Stage 4 and did not have surgery, just chemo and radiation. It wasn't a picnic, but it was doable with the support of faith, family, friends, and the wonderful people on this board.Today it is 6 months since my treatment ended and I feel wonderful. Keep in touch with us. You'll get support, advice, and many prayers.

     

    Terrified:(

    I can't thank you enough for your reply! You all seem so nice and I appreciate any info! I am no stranger to cancer as I lost 2 Uncles and another one just had stem cell. Also one aunt had cancer that was cured. As terrified as I am to see an ENT and get a diagnosis, I am equally as anxious because I need to know and act apon this asap! Thank God there are places like this and people like you who have undoubtedly helped so many! My other fear is that I am severely Claustrophobic and can't imagine a mask:( I did get through an open MRI, with 3 valium and my Sisters help but just thinking about one makes me want to cry. Back in 2008 I was diagnosed with hemangioma tumors on my liver. They are benign and I am one of the fortunate ones but I don't think I'll be as lucky this time! I just pray to that it doesn't take too long to diagnose onve I see the ENT. It will be 3 wks from the time of the referral. I have so many questions and fears and realize many of you have been through this! I am so sorry you have had to go down this road and wish everyone good health and happiness! So good to hear you feel well:) Again, I thank you immensely!

  • HobbsDoggy
    HobbsDoggy Member Posts: 276
    Do Jump the Shark Just Yet

    As others on here say it ain’t cancer until they say its cancer.  I had the same sinus things all my life and when I got what I thought was a bad sinus infection got my usual antibiotics for it and they did not work.  Long and short of it that it was cancer and I figured it was over for me.  I had stage IV a because it spread some to a few lymph nodes.  A friend of mine gave me the best advice I got, “your job now is to be the best cancer patient you can be and that is your only job now”.  I jumped in with both feet and said give me your worst treatment I want it gone.  They did and while it was rough for sure I made it to the other side and so far, over two years out and back to work for a year, then retirement, then a trip to Europe and more stuff its all good. 

    I had surgery and at first it looked like I was in a really bad knife fight, but that mostly is gone and while there are still a few side effects from the radiation and chemo they are very manageable. 

    It may be just a cyst or bad infection or who knows so you may never have to cross the cancer bridge.  If you do choose your doctor/nurse team carefully tell them or they will tell you its cure time and jump in. 

    Let us know how its going.  By the way terrified is about normal.  That too will lessen.   

  • Linewife7
    Linewife7 Member Posts: 43

    Do Jump the Shark Just Yet

    As others on here say it ain’t cancer until they say its cancer.  I had the same sinus things all my life and when I got what I thought was a bad sinus infection got my usual antibiotics for it and they did not work.  Long and short of it that it was cancer and I figured it was over for me.  I had stage IV a because it spread some to a few lymph nodes.  A friend of mine gave me the best advice I got, “your job now is to be the best cancer patient you can be and that is your only job now”.  I jumped in with both feet and said give me your worst treatment I want it gone.  They did and while it was rough for sure I made it to the other side and so far, over two years out and back to work for a year, then retirement, then a trip to Europe and more stuff its all good. 

    I had surgery and at first it looked like I was in a really bad knife fight, but that mostly is gone and while there are still a few side effects from the radiation and chemo they are very manageable. 

    It may be just a cyst or bad infection or who knows so you may never have to cross the cancer bridge.  If you do choose your doctor/nurse team carefully tell them or they will tell you its cure time and jump in. 

    Let us know how its going.  By the way terrified is about normal.  That too will lessen.   

    Terrified

    I thank you for your reply! I am grateful for any info or insight on this! I will say the antibiotic made my throat better but it is still quite sore. The headache is moderate and unfortunately the nasal is blocked and still swelling:p I am really interested in knowing anything I can about these targeted therapies without surgery. I am also wondering how others made it financially. I do Bhavioral Health in the public schools and have Anthem for insurance. I also have a supplemental insur. for Cancer and Short term disability. I think the disability only covers 3 mos. however! Can I draw on my Social Security? I am seriously thinking of starting a Go me fund as well, although I am embarrassed as I have worked since I was a young girl and never had anything handed to me! I know this will be physically, emotionally and financially draining! I am worried as I may be out much longer than 3 mos. I also know ther are many other benign DX that this could be but because of these persistant symptoms and Doc said no sign of infection at F/U, I am at least reasonably sure I may be looking at Cancer. I hope things will progress quickly once I see the ENT? Is there anywhere to find out about help financially, if I am diagnosed and will need to be out of work more than 3 mos? That is awesome that you are doing well! So happy for anyone who can get through this and start to enjoy life again:) Will ENT referr me to a cancer center of my choice? So many questions if anyone can help! Both replies have helped already! The only other person who knows is my Supervisor as I go through her with paperwork for medical leave, ect. when I need time off for appts. ect. I feel I can't burden anyone or worry them even though I am on overload right now:p Thank you so very much for sharing and your reply! 

  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
    Take a deep breath...no....take a bunch of

    of deep breaths....We have a saying here..."It ain't cancer till somebody in the know says it's cancer!"  There is a huge chance that this is something benign such as a cyst.  You sound like me when I first got here.....I was terrified of them slicing and dicing on my face, and had a list of "what if's" as long as my arm....none of which came true.  I had no surgery....I did have 35 rads, and 6 chemo's but seemed to come out of that with little to complain about.  For the time being, the best thing you can do is get through each day, one day at a time.  Yank your head out of the future....the future scares the hell out of everybody. 

    If it turns out to be cancer.....which again....it very well may not be....there is probably a great cancer center reasonably close to you....Drs. who are very familiar with Head and Neck cancer.  Most of us had pretty much the same treatment....the order in which things happen can be different....some chemo's are slightly different.....some have surgery, some don't....some have chemo before rads, and again during rads, some have rads during chemo, with more chemo after radiation.....

    Where you sitting right now in the world of the unknown,  I can promise you it is the worst you'll feel emotionally no matter what the outcome of the diagnosis.  I was like a fart on a hot skillet....I couldn't stop my mind, my body had to keep moving, and I couldn't really talk to anybody about it till I knew what was going on.  I had to wait 3 weeks, too (between PCP and ENT)....felt like a lifetime.....but as time does, it just keep moving on, and then the day arrives, and I was wanting one more day before I heard anything bad.  Smile  The human condition, I guess.

    You just stick close here, and talk all you want...spill out those fears....get it out....we're always here, and there's always someone to answer questions.  This is a very active board....they saved my bacon 3 years ago....and I'm still  here.

    p  

  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
    Welcome to CSN H&N

     

    You are in the right place so don’t let it get too you because it is not cancer until the doctor says it is cancer. I know this is hard to do but have faith because cancer today it nothing like it was just 10 years ago. Today you have a lot more and better options for treatment and the cure percentage nowadays is high. The only advice right now is if the doc says it is cancer go to one of the major cancer institutions for treatment. I am also claustrophobic but that is no longer a problem with open MRI machine and using a mirror so you can see outside on the PET scan machine. Will be praying for you that it all goes well

     

     

    Tim Hondo

  • corleone
    corleone Member Posts: 312 Member
    Try to think positive. There

    Try to think positive. There is no need to be alarmed at this point.

    The symptoms you describe are not typical for something very serious. Pain is not “usually” among the symptoms, especially at early stages. Any lymph nodes that you can feel around the neck area? You might feel them, but if smaller than ~1.5 cm there are most probably inflammatory (doing their job, during infection).  More likely sounds like an infection, +/- allergy.

    For sure you need to have this checked by the ENT (he can perform a nasal endoscopy that would rule out any atypical growth), but until then try to relax. You seem like you are almost having a panic attack. Do some long walks, these might help. Try to keep yourself busy. You can also ask the PCP if he would recommend some weak anti-anxiety drugs, just until you pass through this period.

    Also, you would better stop reading too much about this on Internet, you’d only maintain a vicious circle that will increase your anxiety.

    You will have plenty of time to get well informed, if it will ever be case. 

     

  • Linewife7
    Linewife7 Member Posts: 43
    corleone said:

    Try to think positive. There

    Try to think positive. There is no need to be alarmed at this point.

    The symptoms you describe are not typical for something very serious. Pain is not “usually” among the symptoms, especially at early stages. Any lymph nodes that you can feel around the neck area? You might feel them, but if smaller than ~1.5 cm there are most probably inflammatory (doing their job, during infection).  More likely sounds like an infection, +/- allergy.

    For sure you need to have this checked by the ENT (he can perform a nasal endoscopy that would rule out any atypical growth), but until then try to relax. You seem like you are almost having a panic attack. Do some long walks, these might help. Try to keep yourself busy. You can also ask the PCP if he would recommend some weak anti-anxiety drugs, just until you pass through this period.

    Also, you would better stop reading too much about this on Internet, you’d only maintain a vicious circle that will increase your anxiety.

    You will have plenty of time to get well informed, if it will ever be case. 

     

    Terrified:(

    Thank you all and you all have great points! I admit I am terrified and will try to focus on important things until I see ENT. No problem with keeping busy with a full time job doing Behavioral Health working in the Senior High School! I do love my job and my Supervisor said, " Come what may, we will support you 100%". That felt good to know! Currently an emotional mess admittedly. I am so glad I found this site! I am also so glad I have supported cancer research for so many years and hope it essentially helped someone out there! Right now feeling like a babe in the woods, lol. I am also very much a planner and it helps me to know things and get my ducks in a row. One more week until the appt. and praying for the best but will continue to arm myself with knowledge. I believe every single life is equally important:) I am usually a very stable person but not feeling it lately and the water works don't want to stop. I hope nobody minds the questions? Just talking with others is helping as I've held everything in and will continue to keep this under wraps until I get a concrete answer. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart! I will defininately keep you posted! Be well!

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,721 Member
    welcome

    LW7,

    Welcome to the H&N forum, so sorry you are terrified, but hopefully a premature affliction.

    My cancer was stage IVa, scc, bot, 1 lymph node, hpv+ (surgery, rads & Erbitux) and it did not hurt at all.

    Yes, there are a variety of treatment options and many great cancer centers, but you should confirm the condition and extent first.  I held out hope for “no cancer” until that fateful day, December 23rd 2011 and I still had plenty of time to plan.

    If I were you (and I was) I  wouldn’t even bone-up on cancer yet, but if you must, then check out the SuperThread.

    Good luck,

    Matt

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    Welcome to the H&N Group

    Welcome to the group and I hope you won't need to stay but it is the best group for suport. We all have gone through it. Some were caregivers which I think it sometimes harder on them. This is a good plact to come because we do understand the fear and what someone goes through. Now about Michael Douglas, If you resaerch what he really had it is not exactly what he said on talk shows. He had BOT [Base of tonge] and it was HPV+ stage 4. 

    The waiting ie the hardest because of the unknow and all the what if's. First and formost if it turns out to be, you can beat it. Just make sure to go where they have a tumor board to have treatment. That is where all the team of doctors get to gether and discuss what is the best treatment for YOU. 

    I was told I had cancer and did my research and was ready for what ever they could say, wrong. I had what they called stage 4 at first T4;N2;M0 and the tumor was 3cm and sitting on my left vocal cord and stopping it from working. But when the head doctor came in and said "your lungs are so bad you won't survive radiation or surgery". I thought it was over.Then he said we can remove your larnyx and you will breath through your neck the rest of your life and we then can do surgery. Took about 2 seconds to say Ok, lets do this. I ended up T3;N0;M0 and stage 3 SCC and they removed 86 lymph glands as a precaution. I went to Stanford in California and got the Doctor I wanted to have do it. Now part of my job was talking to my team, truck drivers and on the phone a lot. I was back at work in 10 weeks full time and doing great. I do recomend take someone with you to the appointments as the doctor will say something and you will go blank. If you have questions, and you will, write them down and leave space for answers and hand it to the doctor. Mine wrote the answers in as he anwsered them and gave it back.

    If you have a sinus infection the drainage can and will give you a sore throat and you can strain your vocal cords and when the infection is over and you rest your voice you will be back to normal. I hope they find what is causing you the discomfort and it be nothing to worry about. Will add you to my prayer list.

    Bill

  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
    Linewife7 said:

    Terrified:(

    Thank you all and you all have great points! I admit I am terrified and will try to focus on important things until I see ENT. No problem with keeping busy with a full time job doing Behavioral Health working in the Senior High School! I do love my job and my Supervisor said, " Come what may, we will support you 100%". That felt good to know! Currently an emotional mess admittedly. I am so glad I found this site! I am also so glad I have supported cancer research for so many years and hope it essentially helped someone out there! Right now feeling like a babe in the woods, lol. I am also very much a planner and it helps me to know things and get my ducks in a row. One more week until the appt. and praying for the best but will continue to arm myself with knowledge. I believe every single life is equally important:) I am usually a very stable person but not feeling it lately and the water works don't want to stop. I hope nobody minds the questions? Just talking with others is helping as I've held everything in and will continue to keep this under wraps until I get a concrete answer. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart! I will defininately keep you posted! Be well!

    Just keep asking questions when you

    have them....talk when you need to....and know that every one here is more than willing to answer and listen.  One piece of advice I took right away, after scaring myself half to death.  Don't do a lot of Googling....what you're reading isn't up to date to the lastest information.

    p

  • donfoo
    donfoo Member Posts: 1,771 Member
    deep breathes

    Hi. I hear your anxiety buzzer going off full blast. Unless you have some special reason to expect cancer then it is like any other potential scary event that can happen to you on a daily basis. Walk acrossing the street and getting run down; driving to the grocery store and getting broadsided; falling down and hitting a curb; SO many potential for harm. Cancer is just one of the thousands of these other examples so try to put your fear in the same box as the others. 

    That said, you are still very concerned and that is real. Just try to do the standard CSN chant already shared here - It ain't cancer until proven. And that requires results from a biopsy and that is a couple steps away, so please don't stress. The ENT may check you out and not even order a biopsy. 

    Focus on what surrounds you every day and take a moment to enjoy the wonders of life each day. Life is great today so try to live it well. And that means minimize the stress and anxieties.

    Best wishes. Don 

  • Duggie88
    Duggie88 Member Posts: 760 Member
    Linewife

    I was a Boy Scout and our motto was be prepared. Stop, take a deep breath and wait and see what you have to prepare for. I know how overwhelming it is because I remember it all so well. But I over "what if" everything, but when I knew exactly what I had to fight, the decisions although not easy became easier to make. Right now you need to stay positive and God forbid if your told you have to join our club there are so many warriors on this site who can talk you through anything cancer throws at you. I also needed my voice for my carreer, I now use a different voice as I am using my voice of reason with you.

    I completly understand your stress and we have to worry about the things we have control over and not the ones we don't. I established a mindset that I had no control whether I had cancer or not but once I found out I did, I had control how I was going to get rid of it.

    We are here to help.

          Jeff

  • fishmanpa
    fishmanpa Member Posts: 1,227 Member
    One more thing.....

    I'll just second what everyone is saying. That and the fact the antibiotic helped. Cancers don't respond to antibiotics ;)

    I don't have to tell you that scaring yourself like this does no good and reading cancer forums and consulting Dr. Google will only make you feel worse. If I had listened to Dr. Google, I wouldn't be here. He had me dead and buried and I'm a stage IV two year survivor!

    Good Luck! Positive thoughts and prayers

  • Linewife7
    Linewife7 Member Posts: 43
    fishmanpa said:

    One more thing.....

    I'll just second what everyone is saying. That and the fact the antibiotic helped. Cancers don't respond to antibiotics ;)

    I don't have to tell you that scaring yourself like this does no good and reading cancer forums and consulting Dr. Google will only make you feel worse. If I had listened to Dr. Google, I wouldn't be here. He had me dead and buried and I'm a stage IV two year survivor!

    Good Luck! Positive thoughts and prayers

    Trying to remain calm~

    I can't thank all of you for your insights and advice! I read each one carefully and I want you to know that it calmed alot of my fears! The ENT visit is Friday and I will update! I would like a CT scan in light of these smptoms~Persistant moderate headache, slight swelling side of nose, nasal blockage one side, intermittent bleeding. Although the throat is better since antibiotics, I am still feeling some soreness, hoarseness and the feeling of something in there! I realize it could be from constant post nasal drip however! You people are the best and I don't even know you! You jumped in with helpful and thoughtful advice and you didn't have to! What all of you did means alot to me! Again thank you and God blessSmile

     

     

  • HobbsDoggy
    HobbsDoggy Member Posts: 276
    Linewife7 said:

    Trying to remain calm~

    I can't thank all of you for your insights and advice! I read each one carefully and I want you to know that it calmed alot of my fears! The ENT visit is Friday and I will update! I would like a CT scan in light of these smptoms~Persistant moderate headache, slight swelling side of nose, nasal blockage one side, intermittent bleeding. Although the throat is better since antibiotics, I am still feeling some soreness, hoarseness and the feeling of something in there! I realize it could be from constant post nasal drip however! You people are the best and I don't even know you! You jumped in with helpful and thoughtful advice and you didn't have to! What all of you did means alot to me! Again thank you and God blessSmile

     

     

    Fear Is Normal and Hope is Difficult

    We all understand that fear and the unknown is terrifying.  Agree with other that if antibiotics don’t make cancer go away.  I have had a ton of sinus infections that were bears to get rid of.

    Even if it happens to be something worse the doctors will be able to get on top of it and they can do great things.  Like others said when I first found out I had cancer I thought it was over, Dr. Google was my best friend and worst enemy.  What I needed and got was great local doctors and great doctors at the Cleveland Clinic.  I became a full time cancer patent and it worked.  So far cancer free.   FYI, my ENT is great, but if if there is any chance its cancer, which seems iffy at this point, I suggest you get second opinion.  If my ENT says no chance its cancer well then, but any hesitation suggests a second opinion.  

  • Linewife7
    Linewife7 Member Posts: 43

    Fear Is Normal and Hope is Difficult

    We all understand that fear and the unknown is terrifying.  Agree with other that if antibiotics don’t make cancer go away.  I have had a ton of sinus infections that were bears to get rid of.

    Even if it happens to be something worse the doctors will be able to get on top of it and they can do great things.  Like others said when I first found out I had cancer I thought it was over, Dr. Google was my best friend and worst enemy.  What I needed and got was great local doctors and great doctors at the Cleveland Clinic.  I became a full time cancer patent and it worked.  So far cancer free.   FYI, my ENT is great, but if if there is any chance its cancer, which seems iffy at this point, I suggest you get second opinion.  If my ENT says no chance its cancer well then, but any hesitation suggests a second opinion.  

    Questions?

    Again, I thank you all for your valuable advice and insights! No one knows better than the people who have been there! Can I request a CT scan? I am just hoping things move quickly once I see the ENT this Friday! Still hoping for the best but want to armed with all the knowledge I can get for the worst! You people have already given me some hope. I read this type of cancer is never found in it's early stages! Btw, At my follow up a couple of weeks ago, the Doc said I didn't have any swollen Lymph nodes! Would they be swollen if the cancer had spread or can only testing tell? However, I will admit over the last couple of days my neck feels slightly sore to the touch. Lot's of questions, I know:p How quickly does SCC spread? Does anybody know? Can't seem to find out much about it in cyberspace! 

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    Linewife7 said:

    Questions?

    Again, I thank you all for your valuable advice and insights! No one knows better than the people who have been there! Can I request a CT scan? I am just hoping things move quickly once I see the ENT this Friday! Still hoping for the best but want to armed with all the knowledge I can get for the worst! You people have already given me some hope. I read this type of cancer is never found in it's early stages! Btw, At my follow up a couple of weeks ago, the Doc said I didn't have any swollen Lymph nodes! Would they be swollen if the cancer had spread or can only testing tell? However, I will admit over the last couple of days my neck feels slightly sore to the touch. Lot's of questions, I know:p How quickly does SCC spread? Does anybody know? Can't seem to find out much about it in cyberspace! 

    Answers to your questions.....Kinda.

    There are so many vairables to most all of your questions. As I'm no doctor I can only say what I went through and others I know. 1. Can you request a CT scan. You can ask your PCP to have a CT but it will have to get approved by insurance and he might not be able to put in a code to get them to say and you might have to pay for it all. EST $800.

    2. This SCC cancer is often found in early sages but as we get older we have othet conditions that just get in the way. I have GURD, and COPD, so when I was losing weight and then coughing up blood where do they start. Is it from my lungs or from my GURD. Both had symptoms that fit. I also had some discomfort in my chest, not from the heart, but from Chilaiditi syndrom, [Chilaiditi's syndrome is a rare condition in which a portion of the colonis abnormally located (interposed) in between the liver and the diaphragm.] so there is my chest pains. Also have a Hiatal hernia which my GURD worse. So where does my doctor start as all of these have the systems. Now If I didn't have any of these they would think Cancer, but I do . We went with the lungs and have them scopped to see if my air sacks were bleeding. Still no need to see an ENT, which I did see and got a very good checkup for tinnitus, but found nothing else. My lung doctor found the tumor the size of a large grape 2.5cm x 3 cm when he tried to go down my throat and never got past my vocal cords.

    3. Lymph glands can be swollen just because you have an infection, doesn't mean cancer at all, but if you have cancer they might be swollen just to fight it and not because of any spreading.

    4. How quick does SCC grow. It is know as a slow growing. I have been told mine must have been at least one year and up to one and a half to get that size.

    5. Your neck seems sore. Sure it does, you are worring about it and are more sensitive to how it feels. 

    6. You did not ask this but i'll toss it in anyway. White blood count is up. Means it is fighting an infection or something.

    Now When you see the ENT on friday you will most likely have nothing to be concerned about. But let say he does find something. He will have you go to a Hospital that does this all the time and set up an appointment with them, might be several weeks. Then they might agree and say yes they found something. If it is surgery you will wait three weeks to maks sure you do not take certain meds that would cause bleeding.

    I went through the same and I want it done now. That is something that just doesn't happen and you will be fine. Now you need to try to stop worring about it and just take a big deep breath. When you see your ENT and IF he finds is when you can be concerned. Don't work your self up for what most likely will be nothing to be concerned about.

    I hope I answered some of your questions.

    Bill

  • HobbsDoggy
    HobbsDoggy Member Posts: 276
    Linewife7 said:

    Questions?

    Again, I thank you all for your valuable advice and insights! No one knows better than the people who have been there! Can I request a CT scan? I am just hoping things move quickly once I see the ENT this Friday! Still hoping for the best but want to armed with all the knowledge I can get for the worst! You people have already given me some hope. I read this type of cancer is never found in it's early stages! Btw, At my follow up a couple of weeks ago, the Doc said I didn't have any swollen Lymph nodes! Would they be swollen if the cancer had spread or can only testing tell? However, I will admit over the last couple of days my neck feels slightly sore to the touch. Lot's of questions, I know:p How quickly does SCC spread? Does anybody know? Can't seem to find out much about it in cyberspace! 

    Swollen or Not?

     Can you have cancer in the lymph glands without them being swollen?  As others have said I am not a doctor so can only tell you what happened to me.  My neck lymph glands were very swollen and hard, not flexible as they get when I had infections there.  The cancer had moved my my lymph nodes.  There were 4 infected with cancer for sure, the doc took out quite a few more to be save, I did not know, but there are tons of lymph nodes in the neck.  I have and had all kinds of issues when I got diagnosed and now, how many of them were and are real and how many caused by my fear I cannot be sure.  I know that if I am worried and if my fear about cancer is strong I feel a lot worse physically.  

    I suggest that you have a list of questions when you meet your doctors and write down the answers.  Be sure to tell them you are very scared and you need all the help you can get.  The doctors see hundreds of patients and even the most sympatric of them can get jaded after a while.  The need to know how you feel.  Be sure to tell the nurses also and if the group of doctors you see have a social worker or psychologists try to get to see him or her also.

  • Linewife7
    Linewife7 Member Posts: 43
    wmc said:

    Answers to your questions.....Kinda.

    There are so many vairables to most all of your questions. As I'm no doctor I can only say what I went through and others I know. 1. Can you request a CT scan. You can ask your PCP to have a CT but it will have to get approved by insurance and he might not be able to put in a code to get them to say and you might have to pay for it all. EST $800.

    2. This SCC cancer is often found in early sages but as we get older we have othet conditions that just get in the way. I have GURD, and COPD, so when I was losing weight and then coughing up blood where do they start. Is it from my lungs or from my GURD. Both had symptoms that fit. I also had some discomfort in my chest, not from the heart, but from Chilaiditi syndrom, [Chilaiditi's syndrome is a rare condition in which a portion of the colonis abnormally located (interposed) in between the liver and the diaphragm.] so there is my chest pains. Also have a Hiatal hernia which my GURD worse. So where does my doctor start as all of these have the systems. Now If I didn't have any of these they would think Cancer, but I do . We went with the lungs and have them scopped to see if my air sacks were bleeding. Still no need to see an ENT, which I did see and got a very good checkup for tinnitus, but found nothing else. My lung doctor found the tumor the size of a large grape 2.5cm x 3 cm when he tried to go down my throat and never got past my vocal cords.

    3. Lymph glands can be swollen just because you have an infection, doesn't mean cancer at all, but if you have cancer they might be swollen just to fight it and not because of any spreading.

    4. How quick does SCC grow. It is know as a slow growing. I have been told mine must have been at least one year and up to one and a half to get that size.

    5. Your neck seems sore. Sure it does, you are worring about it and are more sensitive to how it feels. 

    6. You did not ask this but i'll toss it in anyway. White blood count is up. Means it is fighting an infection or something.

    Now When you see the ENT on friday you will most likely have nothing to be concerned about. But let say he does find something. He will have you go to a Hospital that does this all the time and set up an appointment with them, might be several weeks. Then they might agree and say yes they found something. If it is surgery you will wait three weeks to maks sure you do not take certain meds that would cause bleeding.

    I went through the same and I want it done now. That is something that just doesn't happen and you will be fine. Now you need to try to stop worring about it and just take a big deep breath. When you see your ENT and IF he finds is when you can be concerned. Don't work your self up for what most likely will be nothing to be concerned about.

    I hope I answered some of your questions.

    Bill

    Trying to remain hopeful~

    Thank you so much for your reply Bill, you have been more helpful then you could know! I also have COPD, classified as mild, thankfully. They did an x-ray after complaints of chest and upper back pain. They found my lungs were hyperinflated. They didn't see any tumors at the time. That was about a 1 1/2 yrs. ago. They diagnosed me with Costochondritis! First time in my life I had it! Benign conditon but just painful. Had PT and OMT but still having trouble to this day. The pain waxes and wanes and did improve for about 3 wks. Unfortunately it's back up again, surely due to stress:p I am on Methotrexate as I have Psoriasis so they due a CBC, ect. on me every 2 mos. So far it's been stable but not sure about recent one because Nurse said she couldn't tell me anything until I saw PCP again (April 30th). Of course I broke down thinking maybe something came up but after some research realized it may be because he wants answers from ENT first! At least I hope so:( You are all so gracious and I can't thank you enough for your help! Only a few days away to ENT appt. so hoping for the best! I will keep you all posted! Smile