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Starnge symptons - any ideas?

Posts: 10
Joined: May 2006

"Hi My mum has been diagnosed with extensive SCLC .Her brain scan was clear. She has been getting some rather worrying symptons which are panicking me. All these symptons appeared before she was even diagnosed but were not as severe. She has numbness in her left arm and her left leg was affected a couple of days ago but seems to have got better. Her arm still feels 'funny' and weak. She gets severe pain which seems to start in her back and spread around her middle. It can come on suddenly and disappear just as suddenly but when she gets it she is in agony. She also has a sore scalp and can feel small pimple like spots which are tender to touch. They seem to come and go. All symptons seem to have got worse since starting chemotherapy (carboplatin & etopiside). Other than this she is feeling ok and is still shopping and gardening. I would appreciate any feedback on what may be causing these symptons. I am very worried that the cancer may have spread - I have mentioned this to the doctor & district nurse and they say they dont know. Shouldnt she have a bone scan or something? I am a little desperate as to what to do next. Thanks for listening & god bless, Debbie

Posts: 30
Joined: Jan 2006

Sorry to hear about your Mom. At the very least she should have had a pet scan and a bone scan. If her doc will not order it try another doc. It would be a good idea to get a second opinion anyway. Finally your mom should not be afraid to use pain medication these can help in the healing process. Her health care team should be doing all it can to minimize any discomfort she may be having.Good luck.

Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2007

Hi. My dad has stage 4 adenocarcinoma.

We recently had a little scare because we didn't immediately react to some pretty severe symptoms.

Within two weeks of a ct scan that showed a only a small amount of fluid around his heart, the fluid had drastically increased to a life-threatening level. He was having trouble breathing, but at the time we just thought it was shortness of breath caused by a chemo drug he was taking.

The only reason we went to the hospital is because my sister wanted to make sure he didn't have a blood clot because the oxygen we got wasn't helping him. My dad was just trying to tough it out. He thought since he was feeling so bad, the medicine must be working. From the time he arrived in ER, it took them about 2.5 hours to get him into surgery. He could have died.

I guess we learned from that not to ignore persistent or painful symptoms - even if you just think it's a side effect of a drug or cancer and there's nothing to be done about it. My dad had just saw the doctor a week before this happened and he said his lungs sounded great.

And to be honest, those chemo drugs have a side-effect list a mile long...So even if you think it's probably just caused by the drug, you should get it checked out.

On the other hand, try not to always think the worse. I remember my dad wasn't feeling well one morning and said his bones hurt. My poor mother freaked out thinking he had bone cancer too! Thank god he didn't. I guess it's just good to be optimistically cautious.

If you think your mom should have a test, INSIST that she has one. We've found that a lot of times the only reason we had another scan is because we insisted.

Also...and this sounds bad...but make sure your doctor knows your getting second opinions-make sure they know you have LOTS of family and friends that love and care for you. If you are personally related or friends with a doctor, name drop. Some doctors will treat you better if they know you have people looking out for you.

Posts: 10
Joined: May 2006

Thank you both for your kind replies. I will definitely be following all symptons up as you cant be too careful. I will have to stop panicking though at every little thing !
Best wishes to you both, take care

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