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Old 10-20-2005, 05:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
Lennonite Priest
 
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Swollen lymph nodes in the chest show on X-rays

So, I'm battling my annual bronchitis and I go to the ER to get my Albuterol and antibiotics, like I have every year for the past 5.

The ER doc asks if I smoke?

Yes, 25+ years.

He asked when my last chest X-ray was?

3 years ago, I think.

He orders one.

And it shows swollen lymph nodes in my chest area. No sign of infection or pneumonia though.

He wanted me to get an MRI right then and there, but I am scared shitless and broke.....

He told me it was highly important to get them done ASAP. He said it could just be my make up or serious.

The scariest thing and most wicked and devious and as an addictions counselor I should know how to deal with this and do something about it.....

As he told me, all I could think of was getting a ciggie, I can't stop. Haven't slept all night scared to death. And here I am scared I have cancer and smoking away (and it's hard enough with brochitis)......

They say when you are physically unwell it affects your psyche and vice versa.... well this past year I have had a lot of mental stress and perhaps as I was mentally having a breaking point a few weeks ago, my physical body was adding to the stress and pushed me to the edge.

Anyway have no idea why I typed this...... guess to say don't start smoking....

peace.
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I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 10-20-2005, 06:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Bummer, dude.

Really there is nothing to say to help out here, other than maybe go get a second opinion before you get the MRI? I don't know about US healthcare and costs, but maybe a second opinion would be cheaper.

Calm down, take it easy. We are here for you, and if you need to vent, let loose.

Every smoker knows that they will eventually get cancer and die, but choose to focus their life on other things. When the big C comes calling, it can bowl you right over.

(I wish there was a smiley that could emote a sense of peace)
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Old 10-20-2005, 10:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Pan, my heart goes out to you. Last year my Doctor felt my neck and said go get your Thyroid sonogrammed...the sonographer said go get a fine needle biopsy, the ENT surgeon said you need to have your thyroid removed, because their is cancer growing in it.

Forward to now, and me, thyroidless and cancer free (knock on wood) and under the supervision of an endocrinologist. Also scared shitless, but it worked out OK...so far.

Couple of questions. Why are you using an ER for your neb meds? This is 3-5 times the cost of a doctor and a perscription.

Anyway back to you...swollen lymph nodes could be cancer, or it could just be something else...like the radiologist told you. It is probably not smoking related however (like my thyroid cancer, also a smoker ~sigh~). Regardless, get off the cancer sticks NOW PAN...you can do it, you know it can be done, and you know you should.

Go get an MRI...hope for the best and cross bridges AFTER you get to them.

Aren't you a Navy VET? Get enrolled in the VA health system. They can do MRI's and treat everything, and you can beat the cost.

As much as an internet forum advisary/buddy can, I've got your back Pan.

-bear
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Old 10-25-2005, 12:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, I went for the CT Scan Friday (I was wrong when I stated an MRI) and just now got out of the hospital.

According to everyone it appears to be sarcoidosis (sp?) a very rare disease that strikes African Americans and Scandinavians primarily..... lol I am neither, so it is very rare.

I go back in the hospital Thursday morning, though, for a precautionary biopsy.

The ER doctor Friday was calling it cancer, but said that there was no lung mass and that they were swollen because there was cancer somewhere else in my body.

The pulmonologist though on Saturday said he believed it to be sarcoidosis first, TB or a lung infection secondly and cancer way down the list.

I had another CT Scan and the breathing test and an EKG done. All showed nothing, except that the breathing test showed symptoms in the lungs that were common to sarcoidosis.

BIG wake up call ....... now if only I could quit smoking.... unfortunately.........
__________________
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 10-25-2005, 01:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Middle of nowhere, Jersey
Some very encouraging statistics:

Quote:
Prognosis of Sarcoidosis: Often good. Many cases heal (60-70%). Most other cases are bearable. Fatal complications 5-10% of patients.
Prognosis for Sarcoidosis: Sarcoidosis is usually not crippling. It often goes away by itself, with most cases healing in 24 to 36 months. Even when sarcoidosis lasts longer, most patients can go about their lives as usual. 1
Deaths from Sarcoidosis: 572 deaths (NHLBI 1999)
Estimated mortality rate for Sarcoidosis from prevalence and deaths statistics:

* Deaths: 572 (USA annual deaths calculated from this data: 572 deaths (NHLBI 1999))
* Incidence: 54,399 (USA prevalence calculated from this data: 20 per 100,000 overall; 5 in 100,000 white people; 40 out of 100,000 black people; Scandinavia 64 out of 100,000 people
* 1.1% (ratio of deaths to prevalence).


Estimated mortality rate for Sarcoidosis from incidence and deaths statistics:

* Deaths: 572 (USA annual deaths calculated from this data: 572 deaths (NHLBI 1999))
* Incidence: 54,399 (USA annual incidence calculated from this data: 20 per 100,000 in the city, less in the country.
* 1.1% (ratio of deaths to incidence).


Complications: see complications of Sarcoidosis

Prognosis of Sarcoidosis discussion: In general, sarcoidosis appears briefly and heals naturally in 60 to 70 percent of the cases, often without the patient knowing or doing anything about it. From 20 to 30 percent of sarcoidosis patients are left with some permanent lung damage. In 10 to 15 percent of the patients, sarcoidosis can become chronic.

When either the granulomas or fibrosis seriously affect the function of a vital organ--the lungs, heart, nervous system, liver, or kidneys, for example--sarcoidosis can be fatal. This occurs 5 to 10 percent of the time.1

No one can predict how sarcoidosis will progress in an individual patient. But the symptoms the patient experiences, the doctor's findings, and the patient's race can give some clues.

For example, a sudden onset of general symptoms such as weight loss of feeling poorly are usually taken to mean that the course of sarcoidosis will be relatively short and mild. Dyspnea and possibly skin sarcoidosis often indicate that the sarcoidosis will be more chronic and severe.

White patients are more likely to develop the milder form of the disease. Black people tend to develop the more chronic and severe form.
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Old 10-25-2005, 02:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Bear,

Thanks, for the past 2 hours I have been reading all I can online about it. The interesting thing to me is that it is an auto-immune disease as is psoriasis and that both involve T-Cells and their production.

Yet, nowhere does it really relate the 2 as possibly being related. (Except some misdiagnosis' when psoriasis is diagnosed but it is actually the skin form of sarcoidosis.)

I would think if they found a relation between the 2 and that say people with psoriasis/sarcoidosis are more apt to get the other, they could work on finding a treatment for one that would help prevent or "control" the other. Also, it could truly help in diagnosing Sarcoidosis or at least having them maintain checkups for it.
__________________
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 10-25-2005, 02:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Pan, I think Bear just provided you with very positive news. Something very similar happened to my hubby last week, and he is scheduled for lung cancer surgery on Monday. We are hopeful he will be cancer free, like Bear.

Yeah, the horse is out of the barn, but we are both quitting the cigs. How about we start of TFP smoking cessation support group? Every previous attempt I've made to go cold turkey has produced a psychotic mad woman, so I'm going to try the patch with lots of celery and carrot sticks. Are you game?

The pulmonologist is the expert that you should be listening to, and please follow his recommendations. You might run up a debt, but your good health is worth it imo. Checking your VA benefits was another good idea by Bear.

If you are anything like the control freak that I am, jump on google and learn everything you can about sarcoidosis and TB treatments. Have a list of questions ready for the specialist so that you don't feel like a deer in the headlights. It worked for me last week, so I hope it will also work for you.

Hang in there Pan. Like Bear said, we have your back.
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Old 10-25-2005, 02:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Don't rule out the possibility of TB, Pan. Your clients do not have the healthiest of life styles and it is communicable. I read recently that a new treatment has been found that is far superior to older methods. You should be able to google up a recent publication on that.
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Old 10-25-2005, 03:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elphaba
Pan, I think Bear just provided you with very positive news. Something very similar happened to my hubby last week, and he is scheduled for lung cancer surgery on Monday. We are hopeful he will be cancer free, like Bear.
I will send healing light to you and your hubby when I do my healing meditations, and I pray for the very best.

It was way cool of Bear to add that info and to be such a good friend.

Quote:
Yeah, the horse is out of the barn, but we are both quitting the cigs. How about we start of TFP smoking cessation support group? Every previous attempt I've made to go cold turkey has produced a psychotic mad woman, so I'm going to try the patch with lots of celery and carrot sticks. Are you game?
That is a wonderful idea and yes, I would be interested. I was on the patch in the hospital and while I wouldn't have cravings the pyschological urge to hold the cigarette, feel the smoke and such was very strong. (I would sneak out, take the patch off and have a ciggie, every so often.) Perhaps, carrot sticks will help with that. I know Tootsie Roll pops didn't.

Quote:
The pulmonologist is the expert that you should be listening to, and please follow his recommendations. You might run up a debt, but your good health is worth it imo. Checking your VA benefits was another good idea by Bear.
Absolutely, the pulmonologist is an expert in the field, I got lucky in that aspect.

Sarcoidosis is so rare and even moreso rarely diagnosed that not much is truly known about it. Plus, since it is one of those diseases where the symptoms (IF there are any) can be diagnosed as something else the true effects of the disease are just now being studied. I may never have known I had it, had I not had an ER doctor want chest x-rays to see what the smoking was doing to my lungs. Thank God for a doctor who didn't give a damn if I had insurance or not. They are rare, especially at the hospital I was at, as they are very strict about a patient having insurance in order to get more than just the very bare minimum treatment. (They tend to send people to Detox who don't have insurance whether they need detoxed or not.)

As for VA benefits because of my gambling I was discharged (HONORABLY) exactly one week shy of 2 years which means I have absolutely no benefits, although I can petition my US Rep./ Senator/ and/or the Navy to find a way to get that week. (I.E. work in the recruiting office for a week etc.) I have thought of doing this because of school and my GI Bill.

Quote:
If you are anything like the control freak that I am, jump on google and learn everything you can about sarcoidosis and TB treatments. Have a list of questions ready for the specialist so that you don't feel like a deer in the headlights. It worked for me last week, so I hope it will also work for you.
I had the TB test, it's negative. No, the doctor is pretty sure it is Sarcoidosis, which as Bear pointed out is pretty much harmless. However, it can take it's toll on organs, and if it moves to other areas can cause numerous problems. It can be anywhere from totally harmless to deadly. And considering that it is a very rare disease and even that much rarer for a white male to get...... I have to be careful and make sure I follow every detail to my treatments and make sure I get checked every so often to keep an eye on the recurrences and what it is doing.

Quote:
Hang in there Pan. Like Bear said, we have your back.
Thanks, Elph. You are a great lady.
__________________
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"

Last edited by pan6467; 10-25-2005 at 04:06 PM..
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Old 10-25-2005, 04:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
Deja Moo
 
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Quote:
That is a wonderful idea and yes, I would be interested. I was on the patch in the hospital and while I wouldn't have cravings the pyschological urge to hold the cigarette, feel the smoke and such was very strong. (I would sneak out, take the patch off and have a ciggie, every so often.) Perhaps, carrot sticks will help with that. I know Tootsie Roll pops didn't.
It's a difficult addiction to break because of all the associated triggers. If I can break the nicotine addiction, I will happily chomp on carrots and celery for the rest of my life.

Thanks for the positive vibes and the kind words. Back at ya.
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Old 10-25-2005, 04:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Swollen Lymph Nodes

Swollen lymph nodes mean you are fighting something. I can't believe some of you whose doctor felt swollen lymph nodes around the neck and had an MRI done. That happened to me and I was reacting to some insect bites. No big thing. No cancer; no MRI back then not; no panic. Just a good doctor who knows his business. I'm not familiar with the swollen lymph nodes in your lungs though.

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Old 10-26-2005, 05:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan of Arc
Swollen lymph nodes mean you are fighting something. I can't believe some of you whose doctor felt swollen lymph nodes around the neck and had an MRI done. That happened to me and I was reacting to some insect bites. No big thing. No cancer; no MRI back then not; no panic. Just a good doctor who knows his business. I'm not familiar with the swollen lymph nodes in your lungs though.

Well, I'm glad yours wasn't anything, and I truly appreciate the optimism.


Mine appeared to be and the prognosis sucked and there's a chance the diagnosis won't be much better (but a higher probability it will be ok, once the biopsy determines what it truly is, and let's hope it is just Sarcoidosis.)
__________________
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 10-26-2005, 11:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quiting smoking is hard. I did it in 1989 after many practices sessions with one lasting over a year. You just have to do it.

The easiest part is the first few weeks. anyone can get fired up and motivated for that. Then the hard part begins. This is an addiction like every other addiction. It is all in your head, which sounds simple but who can see inside their head, huh? The only way to stay off is serious therapy. Working out also helps. Those two things are what made my final effort to quit successful.

Good luck.
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Well, I had my biopsy done yesterday in a mediascopony(sp?) where they cut your throat at the medial and go in with the camera and what not. (Pics soon to be posted in Tilted portraits).

It wasn't all that painful. I had a shot of demerol and morphine when I came to and after that nothing. Sore and the neck is slow to move but I can live with the pain, don't need to use drugs for this. Although I do have a script of Vicodins, just in case.

They are 99% sure it is Sarcoidosis, what a wake up call.
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I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Location: Middle of nowhere, Jersey
Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
They are 99% sure it is Sarcoidosis, what a wake up call.
Very interesting. I've got to learn more about this. Is saccoidosis a type of cancer? I thought biopsies were to determine malignancy or benigncy (<---that looks wrong but what ever)? Is that what your biopsy was looking for?

Mine, on my thyroid, hurt like a son of a bitch. Not as much as the thyroidectomy itself (especially the intubation, which I ripped out when I came to from the anethesia), but still hurt. I wasn't cut, but instead they applied a topical anethesia and struck a wide guage needle into my thyroid...kind of like repeatedly stabbing it so they could extract cells to have the pathologist examine under the microscope. Thankfully the ENT doc had the path standing by with his Nikon, but unfortunately she needed THREE freaking stabbing sessions to get useful cells. End result, inconclusive. Sigh...regardless of these results, with tumors in both hemispheres of the thyroid, one in the 3-4 cm range (as seen on the sonogram), the thyroid comes out. Malignant or Benign. Geez Docs...couldn't you just take it out without all the drama.

You know what's funny. After my biopsy and the stabbing trauma to my thyroid, the lymph nodes on both sides of my neck swelled to the size of a sphere with a radius the size of a dime. And they were tender as shit. I thought for sure I was a gonner with lymphoma or some other deadly malignancy. Man, was I greatful to find that this was common from a fine needle biopsy.

Anyway Pan, I am very glad your getting taken care of. My thoughts, prayers, and good wishes are with and for you.

All the best, thanks for the update, and keep us posted.

-bear
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
Lennonite Priest
 
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by j8ear
Very interesting. I've got to learn more about this. Is saccoidosis a type of cancer? I thought biopsies were to determine malignancy or benigncy (<---that looks wrong but what ever)? Is that what your biopsy was looking for?
No, Sarcoidosis is an auto-immune deficiency disease much like Psoriasis (which I also have). The biopsy had to be done to make the doctors 100% sure. It was possible the lymph nodes were trying to tell them that there was cancer elswewhere, but once I was opened and the DR went in he could tell right away, now it's just a matter of the reading to be 100% absolute.

Quote:
Mine, on my thyroid, hurt like a son of a bitch. Not as much as the thyroidectomy itself (especially the intubation, which I ripped out when I came to from the anethesia), but still hurt. I wasn't cut, but instead they applied a topical anethesia and struck a wide guage needle into my thyroid...kind of like repeatedly stabbing it so they could extract cells to have the pathologist examine under the microscope. Thankfully the ENT doc had the path standing by with his Nikon, but unfortunately she needed THREE freaking stabbing sessions to get useful cells. End result, inconclusive. Sigh...regardless of these results, with tumors in both hemispheres of the thyroid, one in the 3-4 cm range (as seen on the sonogram), the thyroid comes out. Malignant or Benign. Geez Docs...couldn't you just take it out without all the drama.

You know what's funny. After my biopsy and the stabbing trauma to my thyroid, the lymph nodes on both sides of my neck swelled to the size of a sphere with a radius the size of a dime. And they were tender as shit. I thought for sure I was a gonner with lymphoma or some other deadly malignancy. Man, was I greatful to find that this was common from a fine needle biopsy.
Damn Bear sounds painful as Hell, but I have a feeling the cancer would have been worse. Hope all is ok with you now.

Quote:
Anyway Pan, I am very glad your getting taken care of. My thoughts, prayers, and good wishes are with and for you.

All the best, thanks for the update, and keep us posted.

-bear
Thanks Bear, means a lot and my thoughts and prayers are with you. I'll add you to my meditation list.

I plan to update never know when someone else here may get Sarcoidosis and wonder WTF they have.....lol I know I did. Still confused how I a white non Scandinavian male got it though...lol.
__________________
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"

Last edited by pan6467; 10-28-2005 at 09:02 PM..
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
Deja Moo
 
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Pan, did you get your biopsy results today? What was the outcome, and where do you go from here?
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