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Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2009

Please forgive me, Im not very good at computers, so I know that
iam not posting right, sorry. I have just a few questions if someone
could help me, I would be so appreciative, my doctor did and angiogram
2 weeks ago and my heart was fine, they did a x-ray of my chest before
I left and then I was called back to find out I have a 8mm Nodule in my
left lung, I had all the signs of clogged artery's and a huge family
history of this my colesterol was over 300, chest pains, shortness of breath
etc.. Now I have underwent a CT scan and a TB test, I do not have TB. Im so
afraid right now, can someone tell me what is next? I smoked all my life and
have quit, im 49 years old, smoked since I was 17. My breath is short especially
at night, and my chest is heavy feeling, IM very scared, Thanks for taking the time

catcon49's picture
Posts: 398
Joined: Aug 2008

alot of nodules are nothing to be concerned about. But you should continue with any testing that your doctor may want to make sure everything is okay.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

Due to your history with smoking in particular, that node could be any number of things, including scar tissue remaining from previous bouts with bronchitis and/or pneumonia, or, simply, the brutual effects of cigarettes over time (I, too, smoked for more than 30 years).

What you can probably expect is for your docs to wait now, to give the node time to act up if it is going to (that is, to see if it is going to grow or remain in the static size and shape). If it continues to grow, they will then want a biopsy. Sometimes a needle biopsy is sufficient, depending on location of the node.

But that is getting ahead of ourselves. For the moment, again, they are probably going to want to wait for a month, maybe two, and re-scan.

Best wishes!

Take care,


Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Dear Mitzie,

You did not say just when you quit smoking. If it was very recently (like in the last week or two) that alone can cause a heavy chest feeling and shortness of breath as your lungs start going back on line and working to clean themselves. That kind of problem will clear up in time on its own. Of course, it could be bronchitis, asthma, or any number of other things making your chest achy too. For things like that, you need to talk with your doctor. The doctor would have some meds to relax your chest muscles, thin down the mucus, and improve your breathing. (Make sure they do something to lower that cholesterol though even if they think it may be a lung concern now. Over 300 is too high!) It is probably not the nodule causing the shortness of breath. Check out a ruler that shows centimeters and millimeters. 8 mm is VERY small, less than 1 centimeter and way less than an inch. If it is growing, then they will want to take it out and see what it is. If it isn't growing, it isn't probably going to cause any problems and they will want to just monitor it for awhile.

There are things you can do to improve your shortness of breath right now. Drink lots of fluid during the day to keep the mucus in your lungs and nose thin. Chicken soup,boullion (if allowed salt), tea, coffee (if allowed caffine) and water are all fluid. To make sure you get close to 10 cups a day in, try to drink a cup every hour.

Another thing you can do is prop the bed up so it is on a slight slant-up at the head and lower at the foot-so things drain a little easier. Get help to put something like one or two square pieces of wood (Wide enough that they won't slip off and about a total of two inches high altogether) under the feet at the head of the bed to do this. Don't try to do this alone! Pinched finger and a bad back happen when you try to lift a bed alone and that won't make things better at all! Sleeping in an Lazyboy recliner works too. Propping with pillows didn't work so well for me--I toss around too much and always end up under them!

A nurse told me after chest surgery that my shortness of breath would improve if I had a breeze blowing in my face. She suggested I turn on a fan or open a window if there was a breeze. Fortunately I have a ceiling fan right over my bed. I was surprised, but sure enough, it worked.

If your stomach can handle spicy stuff, hot salsa, horseradish, and other "hot" stuff can thin down mucus and improve breathing somewhat too. It is not as good as asthma medicine, but we always go out to eat at the Mexican place when we have colds and it helps.

A humidifier or vaporizer helps some folks breath much better. If standing in a hot steamy shower helps you, then a humidifier or vaporizer might work for you too without running up your water bill.

Loose clothing is better than tight clothing when your chest is hurting and feeling heavy.

Some things make breathing worse. The same nurse that gave me the idea to turn my ceiling fan on yelled at me for crying just after I came home from chest surgery and couldn't catch my breath. She said I HAD to get myself under control. Umm, I was a bit panicky at the time perhaps. . . I'd rather not go into all the details but maybe you can imagine well enough. Anyhow, I can't say much for her bedside manner over the phone, but she did have a point. Alright, she was right. I was upset that I couldn't breathe and she told me to quit being upset. It is easier said than done, but panic certainly makes it worse. Crying when panicked makes breathing MUCH worse. I was not in the best frame of mind, but trying to talk to myself and think positive helped.

I hope some of those ideas help you. Post as many questions and concerns as you have. The folks here are wonderful and they would be glad to help any way they can.

C. Abbott

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2009

Tomorrow I will get the results of the CT scan, and hope all of you
are right, I have been having panic, so I do know what you are saying,
it scares me, I can not even watch things on movies that even suggest
no breathing, as odd as that sounds. I hope it is nothing but I still
feel something wrong, A person just knows. But.. I can remain upbeat
and I have been trying to just occupy my time with Good thoughts, a
good attitude so to speak, you all have helped me, and I really appreciate the
time you took to make me feel better, thanks, I will let you all know, sincerely Mitzie

stayingcalm's picture
Posts: 654
Joined: Feb 2007

At the very least, and whatever the outcome of your CT scan (keeping my fingers crossed for you), your doctor should be able to prescribe an emergency inhaler for you - no one should have to endure the panic that being short of breath brings. I have emphysema, and I don't know what I would do without an inhaler, particularly at work after hefting reference books (think heavy!) around! Ask your doctor about it. And good luck tomorrow :)

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