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Questions of symptoms

juliep2
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2009

I beleive my husband has lung cancer but cannot get him to go to a doctor. Can anyone please tell me their symptoms. I am going crazy. Everything I read suggests lung cancer.
Thanks for your help.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I don't know what you are reading, julie, or where you are reading it, but the fact is that doctors work long and hard for their degrees and their experience, and this is why we go to them when we suspect we have a problem.

If your husband does not want to go to a doctor, any amount of guessing by people in here is not going to help.

I do not know the nature of his symptoms either, julie, as you do not offer them, but I would strongly suggest that if he has indications of cancer (whatever you have read they are) then he has indications of a number of other diseases as well and in any case needs to see a doctor.

To paraphrase what I suggested above: if he won't go, you won't know.

Take care,

Joe

juliep2
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2009

He has cough, wheezing, weight loss, muscle loss, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, noisy breathing that is much worse when laying on his back, seems better when laying on either side, he has started staying in bed all weekend, comes home and goes straight to bed, sleeps lots more than normal, has begun missing work and coming home early from work, sometimes runs a low grade fever, sweats but is cold, and the newest is severe pain in the left shoulder at the joint, he is not able to lift the arm. I have been researching and reading everything I can find. This is terrible to watch in someone that was extremely active until a few months ago. All I can get out of him is he is just tired. Thanks for listening.

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

It definately sounds like he needs to go see his doctor, but even though it could be cancer, it also could be something ( or even some things) else. Have you tried calling his doctor on your own? A good doctor won't diagnose something like lung cancer over the phone without seeing the patient's test results or at least having a look-see, but the doctor may have some ideas about getting him in. A mutual friend may also be able to talk him into going in. Probably no one can make him go in until he is miserable enough to make himself go in. Some won't go because they are afraid it is something massive and scary like lung cancer. Scaring them more won't work in that case. Some think it will go away if they just tough it out. If time doesn't prove them right, they might come around. Others just don't trust the medical system. If you can't get him to take care of himself, do take care of yourself. Make your medical appointments so the stress doesn't ruin your health. Make sure all the estate affairs in order and that you are in a position to take over should the worst happen. Then relax as much as you can and enjoy what time you have together. If your worst worries come true, you are prepared. If it turns out to be nothing, you are still better off than folks that haven't prepared. Good luck!

C. Abbott

juliep2
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2009

C. Abbott, thanks so much for your reply. We tricked him into having blood work done. I had a friend show up at home and take many vials of blood. There were abnormalities but nothing conclusive. Since then, there has been a steady decline. My friend could get him in for a CT Scan at night but he absolutely refuses to go. In the meantime we keep getting worsening symptoms. It's terrible to say but I almost wish for a crisis so that I can get him in somewhere to find out what is going on. His mother and aunt have discussed him with our family doctor. However, as long as he refuses to go it seems there is nothing to be done. I lost my mother suddenly 4 years ago in a matter of a couple of hours. As with her, it's the total helplessness that is driving me crazy. I so hate the would have, could have, should haves that I am left with.
Thanks again for your reply.

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

Julie, this is a scary situation because NOT knowing what's wrong is many times worse than finding out. Knowing the problem is the first step to a cure while not knowing can be deadly. I understand his fears, I think everyone on this forum knows how hard it is to await test results and to hear a doctor tell you all of the possiblilities for what could be wrong. When it happened to me it was the most gut-wrenching experience of my life, yet it was necessary for my healing. I can see that you are fully aware of how crucial it is to get him to a doctor. I don't blame your for wishing for a small crisis, just enough so you can make him go to the hospital whether he likes it or not.

Have you tried the approach of asking him to do it for you and/or your children? Have you mentioned what happened to your mom and how it will affect you if the same happens to him? I wish I could be of more assistance but this situation is quite a tuffy. Please keep trying and keep in touch, we do care.

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

Julie, you and your husband might be interested in how my story played out.

My symptoms were very similar to your husband's and the CT scan revealed a large mass in the upper right lobe, measuring 7cm x 6cm. The ER doctor told me he was 90% sure this was cancer and to have a biopsy immediately. It took 3 biopsies and a PET scan before they would tell me anything with certainty, but by the grace of God I did NOT have cancer. They did the lobectomy thinking I had parasites but it turned out to be a serious bacterial infection. This infection was destroying my lung so the lobectomy was necessary, but if I hadn't had the surgery when I did, this could have become a life-threatening situation.

All the best to you.

juliep2
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks so much for your reply. Without a true diagnosis all I could think of is the worst case scenario. Truly I couldn't think anything else with continued deterioration. I work on him daily as does his mom. Today his sister called, which she never does, so his mom has enlisted more warriors in the battle to get him to a doctor.
I guess the worst part was feeling there is no one to talk to and no one that actually understands. You have proved that I was mistaken.
Thanks for the encouragement and the reply. A glimmer of hope is more than I have been feeling lately. Thank you, and I am glad that things turned out well for you.
I will continue my battle to get him to a doctor. Hopefully we will be in time to take care of whatever is causing all his problems.

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

Julie, I'm very glad to help you. While I cannot tell you with certainty if he does or does not have cancer, I can tell you there are other lung diseases in this world besides cancer. It almost sounds like a really bad case of pneumonia, but once again I am not qualified to make that diagnosis. I hope you will stay in touch and let us know what you find out. Prayers and blessings to you.

juliep2
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2009

He finally went to the doctor, they did blood work, xrays and scheduled an MRI for next week. They gave him pain meds, steroids, inhalers, and breathing treatments. Is this normal until test results come back?

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

Julie, you are not going to believe this but I was just thinking of you this morning and wondering if he ever went to a doctor.

It sounds like they are giving him treatments to help ease his breathing and I see nothing odd about that. Based on what you told us there are many possibilities for what is wrong. I know it's hard to wait for answers, most all of us on this forum have been there, done that. But please try to relax until more news comes your way.

Good luck and I look forward to your update.

juliep2
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2009

It has been an eventful 2 days. We got xray results from yesterday this morning and they showed nodules in the lungs. They scheduled a CT scan right away and we spent the day waiting for results thinking the worst. Late this afternoon I got the call that there is NO CANCER. The nodules are absesses that have healed from past infections. We now have a diagnosis of severe COPD. So we have some room for improvement instead of steady decline. They are going to go ahead with the MRI next week to see if they can tell what is causing the severe pain he has been having. They also want to do xrays again in 3 months to see if there is any change. Thanks so much for your replys and encouragement. COPD is no minor issue but today it sounds a lot better than cancer. Hopefully this scare will give him the incentive to stop smoking and maybe work toward some improvement of lung function and resumption of some of his normal activities. There is no guarantee however, my mom chose to start smoking again after spending weeks in ICU on a ventilator and not smoking for several years. Thanks again for the replys and support.

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

I cannot tell you how pleased I am it's not cancer. Great news!!

I realize COPD is no cakewalk either. My stepdad had COPD and it's tough. He took Advair and it helped. It really is crucial he should stop smoking in order to get better but of course you know that. I never smoked but many of my relatives did including stepdad so I know how hard it is to quit. But it CAN be done, as many in my family were able to do. Good luck with his recovery and care.

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I'm just clicked on and was VERY happy to hear that he got to the doctor and doesn't have cancer. I hope he will be able to stop smoking and does better soon. Good luck!

C. Abbott

goldielocks222
Posts: 13
Joined: Sep 2009

I am so happy for you! I needed to hear some positive news today! There is hope - don't ever stop believing!

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