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Scared silly I have lung cancer

Good day everyone. I am a 55 yr old male living in the Bay of Quinte region of Ontario. In May of this year I went to my local ER due to chest pain, thinking it was heart related. My symptoms included chest pain which radiated to my back. I also want to add I have a persistent cough which brings up fairly clear mucus some, but not all, of the time.

The ER doc did all the usual ER stuff expected for a heart issue, but he also sent me for a chest x-ray. Well, two months and two echo cardiograms, three days with a Holter monitor, and a cardiac stress test later and my cardiologist says my heart is ok. After the cardiologist gave me my heart the “all clear”, the ER doc then referred me for a chest CT. I had the chest CT done and am now waiting for the results.

I still have my cough and the chest/back pain but unfortunately I am told the CT results will take upwards of a couple of weeks to be ready due to the immense backlog. Being the kind of person I am, I started to consider why the ER doc would send me for a chest CT after the chest x-ray (I never received the results of my chest x-ray) and my cardiac tests.

All this to say, Dr Google led me to the possibility of lung cancer. I have no diagnosis of anything yet, but my imagination has gotten the better of me and it has taken me to a very dark place.

I am absolutely scared silly I have lung cancer and I don't know what to do next?

Thank-you for taking the time to read this long-winded introduction. Any advice would be most genuinely appreciated.

Regards,

ScaredSilly

11 Replies
Runner Girl
2886 Posts

@ScaredSilly
Welcome, you could have lung cancer, you could also not have lung cancer. Nothing has been proven as yet so try not to get ahead of yourself.

We have a few stage 4 lung cancer folks that you might like to connect with and read their stories: @WestCoastSailor @Kuching

Stay away from Dr Google, nothing good ever comes from those searches. Until you have a definitive diagnosis you could send yourself into a tailspin over nothing.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, but until all the testing is done you really don't know which “brand” you have, and there are several different types, some worse than others.

Poke around in the Lung Cancer group and get a feel for things, with luck you won't be staying there long.

Whitelilies
2440 Posts

@ScaredSilly

Hello and welcome from ON! So glad you connected here with us…..let us support you - But….Please know; Right now you do NOT have “cancer”……who knows what “it” is?

SO: carry on…..do things….keep active…..keep busy…..focus on being “healthy”….all this will HELP….should there be a fork in the road…

Please know….we all wait for tests/ results/appts/etc….we simply “Learn To Wait”.

We are here……to support and more…..(Great advice also from @Runner Girl )

Welcome Again

Whitelilies

#Newmember #welcome

Kuching
408 Posts
@ScaredSilly
Scared Silly, don’t be scared! I’m no doctor, but if you had lung cancer, something would have shown up on the X-ray, and they would have told you “you may have lung cancer, so we’re sending you for further tests”. That’s what happened to me 3 years ago. I was stage 4 lung cancer, nothing hurt, no cough, but it sure showed up on the X-ray. Once again, I’m not a doctor, not even a nurse, but to me what you describe sounds like the doctor still trying to figure out what’s wrong with you. If they thought it was cancer, they would tell you. So - takes a deep breath (seriously!) and wait for the CAT scan results. Don’t lose sleep over this!

@ScaredSilly

Might be. But then you could get hit by a bus tonight too. As others have said take a walk and wait for the doctor to complete their work.

Don't let it go on too long though. The system is bogged down at the moment and it takes speaking up to keep moving forward. While it is not uncommon for an incidental finding of lung cancer while looking for something else, a simple call to the doctor to ask why he is sending you for a CT scan might put your mind at ease. Don't be afraid to ask. As my friends at the #waitingroomrevolution say “Invite yourself.”

Angus

Thanks, @Runner Girl I do have a tendency to let my imagination run away with me. Sometimes I need a friendly kick in the pants to stay in the present, vice worrying about the unknown future.

I deeply appreciate you taking time to welcome me into the group.

Best wishes to you in your own continuing journey.

@WestCoastSailor,

Very good advice, Angus. Thanks. I will definitely keep pinging the doctor for more information on his rationale for the tests.

@Kuching

Thanks for you kind advice. I will do my best not to put the cart before the proverbial horse. It's just a real bummer waiting…

Cynthia Mac
3982 Posts
ScaredSilly‍ , yes, do try not to put the cart before the horse!

I was caregiver for my Dad, who had lung cancer. He did have the cough, but not the back pain. His cancer was first found on the x-ray, which triggered the CT, so to me, the fact that they’re sending you for the CT when nothing turned up on the x-ray is just them being absolutely certain. The good news is that your heart is in tip top shape! A persistent cough with clear mucous could be a lot of things, including allergies.

Of course, it’s still a concern, but if you can try to focus on what you know for absolute certain and keep busy with other things in the interim, that will help get you through the wait.

As others have said, these days, it’s perfectly acceptable to advocate for yourself and to followup when you don’t hear news within a reasonable time frame.

You mentioned the ER doctor several times, which makes me think you don’t have a regular GP. If your health unit/ LHIN has a sign up list for a GP, you might want to look into that now, just for future consideration.

@Cynthia Mac, no, like so many in the the country I don’t have a family physician. I signed up with Ontario Health Connect when I retired from the military two years ago but I am still waiting.

i hope you are right about the x-ray thing. My mind has taken me to thinking that the ER doc saw something in the x-ray and wanted CT confirmation before he said anything. Pessimistic I know but it’s where my mind went.

Thank-you for your words of wisdom. I am thankful knowing this is a place I can come to and share my fears and thoughts.

@ScaredSilly
The mind goes such strange and wonderful places. While you are waiting, getting out and enjoying the long weekend is a good distraction. Go see @Cynthia Mac spinning wool at whatever steam show she is at…

Angus

Cynthia Mac
3982 Posts

@WestCoastSailor and @ScaredSilly - you would have seen things like this:

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