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Not sure what to think!

Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2008

I went the the ER a week ago. My life has been turned upside down since then. I was having chest pains and thought it was an anxiety attack. All my heart test came out good. The doctors did x-rays and then a cat scan. They said that I have masses on both sides of my lungs. Did a bronoscopy and he "thinks" he got a scraping off one of the masses but not sure. What he did get came back with no cancer cells. I have been on antibiotics for 7 days and have 3 left. The pain is still there and I have pain around my kidneys. I have had dizzy spells for 8 months or longer and kind of like choking spells. I don't have insurance and the doctors said that they are going to treat it as an infection for now and I have to go back in 4 weeks for another cat scan. This has all come so fast. I don't know what to think. Is this the "normal" protocol?

Posts: 55
Joined: Apr 2008

da lucky blonde,

"Is this 'normal' protocol?" I do not know. Did the doctor get a good biopsy? I do not know. Is money an issue for you? I do not know.

Here is what I would do: Contact a local doctor of oncology and ask to review all medical records with him/her.

Not knowing is tough! Hang in there.


Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2008

The doctor could only get a "scraping". Those are his words. I knew very little about lung cancer up until a week ago. But boy am I learnig. I am hoping that I have an infection of some sort. But what worries me is that I have been on a 10 day antibiotic now for the 9th day and i still am having pains in my chest. Perhaps I just need to give it a little longer. Which I will. But this is very worrisome and I was told to just go on with my life as normal for the next 4 weeks until I get another cat scan done. And yes, money is an issue. My husband and I are both self employed without health insurance. Thank you very much for the support!

Greggriggs's picture
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2006

That is a good thing the bronoscopy test came back no cancer cells .
I had a bronoscopy they scrap an suck it up in a tube an do a biopsy . The Doc told me I want you an your wife to come back next week. I did not get so lucky they removed my left lung ,but I am still here.
The bronoscopy test is a good one ,I had xrays they did not show nothing but the biopsy did
I am hopeing the the antibiotic takes care of it . I know how woried you are hope the next 4 weeks go by fast .

Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2008

Thank you for the reply. I am trying to stay so positive through this. What scares me is that I don't only have pains in my chest but around my kidney area as well. The doc said that the masses are on both sides of my lungs and on each of my lungs one is at the bottom so he said they are more than likely touching some other organ and shooting off pain. I thought I would be ok with the pain so I didn't take any medicine. Wrong thing to do. I am going to get some medicine if the pain is not better soon. And you are lucky.....you seem like a real fighter. I am hanging in there but the wait is so hard, which I am sure you know. I feel better today Not much pain in my chest and just a little in my kidneys. Comes and goes. I am going to remain strong because that is the type of person that I have alwasys been. You do the same. Take care!

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

Hang in there!

In June of last year I was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. I was told I had 'a minimum' of ten months to live. That was certainly comforting!

Fortunately, (as funny as that sounds) I had an infection in my jaw and cheeks, and was prescribed Keflex. When I went back to the oncologist and then for a second scan...almost all of the junk in my lungs was gone. There WAS one node, but they removed it via a lobectomy and I am cancer-free today.

In my case, a previous case of head/neck cancer led them to their conclusion, orginally, that I was toast.

In any event, you very well MAY have an infection!

I did, thankfully. Along with a minor annoyance :).

Best wishes for you. It sounds as though your doctor is on top of things. If you do not like him/her, I would suggest moving on to someone you trust and whose manner you can live with. A second opinion never hurt anyone!

Take care,


Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Many different things can cause lung problems besides cancer. Right now you need a good diagnosis followed by adequate treatment. It will help the doctors if you let them know right away that the antibiotic hasn't stopped all your symptoms. You may have a different kind of infection or may just need a different antibiotic. Unfortunately money is an issue and meds as well as tests are expensive. It may help to call the hospital you went to and ask to speak to a medical social worker that can help you with financial aid. Medical social workers specialize in finding medical services in the community to solve problems like yours. They may have grant money for diagnosis and treatment. They may know of other community agencies that could help. The American Lung Association may also have some help. I don't know if you have a regular social worker, but they can also link you up with services. You can also call the churches in your community. Some have programs to help. Sometimes getting help with small things like rides to the hospital is all they can mangage. But those little things add up. I have heard that Walmart is now providing lots and lots of generic medicines for something like $4.00 each. That can save lots of dollars. They may have the antibiotic you need for cheap. That would help. Other programs may help with certain tests like CAT scans. Good luck finding the help you need.

C. Abbott

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