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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index


i haven't posted on a forum in years but i'm more than a bit concerned about a mass that was found on my upper right lobe after a cat scan was ordered because a "bronchitis" infection would not clear after 3 rounds of antibiotics and a month of sickness.

a brief history. i'm a smoker.....uhem...was a smoker. today is actually 41 days without a cigarette. the infection was so horrific (as were what the docs were saying on my 2 ER visits) that i finally quit. i've smoked since i was 16. am 41 now.

my friend has a friend who is an internist. when the whole thing started, we had him call in a z pack and went on vacation for 4th of july. well, things got worse and yadda yadda ended up in ER blowing a 250 on that breathing thing.

i wasn't moving air well at all. both times at the ER both docs tell me i have copd and emphysema. i freak out because both grams died of emphysema related disease.

i tell my internist friend that and he says, that's bs and one cannot diagnose those disorders on chest x-ray. now, i did the spirometry test a year ago because i had a similar brochitis and other issues and that was clear.
this doc orders a cat scan ("to make me feel better") because he thinks it's nothing.

ok. so i made an appointment with my primary doc who takes one look at me and sends me to cat scan that day. i go with his advice. i get the scan and while i'm still there, the nurse says, the doc is on the phone and "he wants you to get your ass back to the office now" didn't say why.

i am terrified now and rush to his office.

he talked with the radiologist and said that i have a spiculated mass in my lung that the radiologist thinks is probably cancerous. my doctor was very concerned while talking and said that he had been concerned by what my symptoms were and that i wasn't getting better etc. etc. i had lost weight (very thin to begin with) have had insomnia for months etc. he said that these symptoms were or could be related to a person with lung cancer.

he went on and on about how concerned he was and that i needed to see a thoracic surgeon post haste. his nurse made the appointment. he talked about probably needing chemo, radiation, maybe surgery. he was very serious and very convinced. he told me to reach out for support, and gather my resources because i would need them.

i go home and call everyone i know to tell them.

my partner, a podiatrist, again calls the internist (they work together remember) and tells him all this. without seeing the films or scan he says dont worry it could just be a scar or something. he admits me to hospital for a full work up.

meantime, his team comes to visit me. i give them the disk of the ct that i obtained a copy of before leaving and the pulm doc looks at it and basically humiliates me and says it's a small scar and nothing o worry about. he says that normally he would order another ct in 6 mos but because of his friend, he will order another in 6 weeks.

so, now i'm in the hospital, humiliated, and with 2 separate views of what's happening. mind you also, two different hospital systems. we have 2 huge hospital systems here: cleveland clinic and university hospitals.

while in the hosp, i talk to my internist again on the phone. i asked him again why he and the radiologist were so concerned. he goes over everything again. he is still convinced. i finally get out of the hospital where they say i had pneumonia and pleurisy.

i had forgotten to mention that i had this terrible back pain with this "bronchial" infection that i'd never had with any bronchitis ever. the docs in hosp couldn't figure it out either.

i go to his thoracic surgeon after i get out of the hosp who agrees with the people from the hosp i was in -- that it is a scar. i ask why and he says because it is small. it measures 20mm x 3mm. i guess the 20 isn't that small but it is thin and that it why. but scars don't normally spiculate do they?

anyway, i am writing because i am afraid. i don't know if i need yet another opinion or what. what i do know is that my immune system is down after 4 sets of antibiotics-some hard core iv, a month of prednisone etc. i am sick again less than a week from being home from the hospital. i have a flu with sore throat. i never get this sick.

sorry this has been so long but i am worried about all these different docs saying i have a life-threatening disease be it copd, emphysema, or lung cancer and then having another dr. say the complete opposite.

any advice would be appreciated.

the ct says this relevant info:

on image 39, there is an irregular mass in the right upper lobe measuring 20 x 3mm. no other masses or infiltrates are noted.

the lungs appear hyperfinflated. there is no pleural fluid.

there appears to be mild heterogeneity of the left lobe of the thyroid gland.

there is a paucity of subcutaneous fat.

conclusion: irregular mass in the right upper lobe measuring 20x3mm. in the absence of previous surgery, exclusion of a neoplasm is suggested. the findings were discussed with dr. stein.

so: my take on this is that the radiologist thinks this neoplasm(tumor) should be taken out.

the thyroid thing i get too and is probably due to my having graves disease.

the hyperinflation of the lungs could be suggestive of copd or emphysema but my friends doc says no. that i'm thin and that's why. he says i was tested last year and the tests say no.

thanks for reading and please offer any advice

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