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Mojo needed for my Brother

Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012

Hello everyone !

My older Brother recently had a FNB of a couple of lymph nodes in his neck.  Came back (no cancer cells detected).  Which was fabulous !  But these have been swollen for a long time.  He doctors through the V.A. here in St. Cloud.  He's had an MRI of the brain, as there was blood seen on a previous CT.  That all came back o.k.

Now the top surgeon reviewed everything and has spotted a mass on that previous MRI of the brain, as they partially caught the effected area of his neck with this scan.  The mass would be behind the lymph nodes they biopsied.  Go figure !  I'm assumming being as it's butted up against the jaw area maybe they're concerned with his salivary gland. 

I remember my FNB....the first tech only was interested in the swollen node.  She had commented, I can only see fluid which is great news !  Then the top tech came in to do the biopsy and had to push the node out of the way to get at the tumor.  He said it was a real bugger to get at, and this hadn't  been seen on the CT they had previously done.

He called all upset last night.  I explained to him, that they probably are being very cautious because of my dx.  (family history of H/N dx's is strong)   His wife and I talked for quite awhile also.  The V.A. is now wanting to do a CT of this area again.  I explained to them, maybe it would be a good thing to have a PET/CT done.  I don't know much about how the V.A. works other than they are very slow moving.  He is working right now and the insurance there is very expensive so he only utilizes the V.A.  I told them to check into other insurance asap.  His wife is doing this today.

I may be picking on some of you that use the V.A. and are experienced with how they work.  I also told him he needs to be seen by an ENT.  This hasn't been done either.  Any advice or good thoughts are always welcomed.  Hugs !  Katie   

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

Sorry to hear the bad news, but you are right he needs to do a PET scan not at CT as it will not show what a PET scan will. On my last MRI in 2006 my local doctor told me I had a large tumor in the back of my head on the left side and it he said was what is giving me so much pain on the left side of my head. He wanted me to get back on chemo asap, my wife say no, she wanted a second opinion. So we went to MD Anderson and they did a PET & MRI one right after the other and said I have a lot of problems but No tumor or cancer. Why would one doctor tell me I had a Tumor and the other I don’t have a tumor. Anyway it turned out all I had was a bad mastoid infection. I will keep him and his wife in my prayers,


God Bless

Tim Hondo

debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

katie, i'm praying for your brother!  praying the docs find out exactly what it is and that it isn't cancer.  sounds like he is relying on you with your experience to help him thru this.  i hope they do a pet as they seem to show more.  he is probably going to be playing the waiting game for all the tests and results.  i will be thinking of him and saying a prayer for all to come out well.  sending him positive thoughts also.  Katie, I'm sorry you have to go thru this.  I know its sometimes harder to watch a loved one go thru an illness than it is to be the patient.  saying prayers for all of you.

God bless you,


phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4674
Joined: Mar 2012

thoughts to your brother.  I think he absolutely needs to see an ENT.....as well as get the CT scan.  If they're offering it, then I'd say take it!


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Prayers headed up, and movin out your way...


hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Depending on where it is, the biopsy can be very difficult. In STL, they wouldn't even do it around my carotid. At Mayo, the doc was fantastic, went in next to my lip and worked his way all the way back to base of skull using a ct scanner pulling me in and out. Prayers for your brother.

j4mie's picture
Posts: 218
Joined: Sep 2013

And lots of good thoughts that all goes well for your brother Katie. 


debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

katie, how is your brother doing?


Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012

They got the V.A. to o.k. a visit to the ENT (surgeon) and have him schedualed for a PET/CT this coming Wednesday.  They are also checking out his thyroid as this may be an issue also.

I told him to relax, and go with the flow for now.  As children we use to get stuck in what we called sticker patches.  (bare feet)  One of us always had a pair of shoes on.  So the one with the stickers (briars) in their feet were carried out piggy back by the other one.  I reminded him of this.  And said hop on big brother I got ya for now.  We laughed and laughed together.  He'll be fine and he knows if needed he can come here for advice.  I'll keep you updated as things get sorted out.  Thanks for your support as always !  Hugs sent !  Katie

debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

katie, i can just see you and your brother laughing so hard tears fall.  it just warms my heart.  I'm so thankful that he has you to help him thru, and heck, he may be able to help you to even tho you are the one with experience.  you have each other and that's a good thing.  thank you for the update.  i'm very glad the VA gave the go ahead.  please let us know what you find out and let your brother know we are praying for him.  take care, Katie!

God bless you and your brother,


jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011

Praying all goes well for your brother and they can get this beast.



PJ47's picture
Posts: 375
Joined: Sep 2013

My brother and I lived on a farm in Virginia and used to get into many briar patches and  stickers and he called them "hick makers"  instead of hitch hikers, which I thought was a riot.  He was with me for a week and took me to rad. and made me laugh a lot.

So glad the VA is getting him in quickly for the PET/CT and ENT.  Keep us posted.  Prayers and laughter for you both,


Grandmax4's picture
Posts: 709
Joined: Dec 2011

to hear from you, Katie..praying for your brother


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