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Lung Nodules

lung nodules CT scans

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#21 Snowbird

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 09:21 AM

Just wanted to wish you good luck Sweet! We'll be waiting to hear your update as well.
Sending good wishes your way!

#22 Sweet

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 04:07 PM

I'm cutting and pasting this from a blanket email I sent out to family and friends, so if it seems a little strange that's why. :)

Ok here’s the scoop – I’ve had shortness of breath for about a year, which led me to having a high resolution chest CT done. (about 3 weeks ago) Results of this showed 3 nodules in my lungs, numerous cysts on my liver and my pancreas is atrophying. (shrinking)

The nodules in my lungs could be 1) nothing to worry about 2) fibrosis from my scleroderma 3) cancer. This led to further work up –
Yesterday I spent a fun filled day in Spokane, seeing doctors and having tests. I saw a Pulmonologist, to discuss the chest CT and my shortness of breath. As far as the nodules, he’s “75% sure they aren’t cancer”, and says most likely they are either nothing, or fibrosis from my scleroderma. Follow up for that is another CT in 6 months. If the nodules are unchanged, I will repeat chest CT every six months for 2 years. If they double in size or grow significantly with the next scan then the chance it’s cancer is pretty good. And I have no idea what happens then.

Beings that I have never smoked, nor have been around second hand smoke much, if it is cancer there’s a high chance that the lungs is not the primary location. In other words it’s metastasized (spread) from another location in my body. Erring on the safe side, and to evaluate my liver and pancreas more closely I had a high resolution abdominal CT with contrast done yesterday. Results to be determined.

Ok enough about the nodules. The other issue is my shortness of breath accompanied with tachycardia (fast heart rate). The pulmonologist is concerned it could be Pulmonary Hypertension, which is one of the most serious worries in terms of my Scleroderma. Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) is abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. It makes the right side of the heart work harder than normal. The right side of the heart pumps blood through the lungs, where it picks up oxygen. Then, the blood returns to the left side of the heart, where it is pumped to the whole body.

When the small arteries of the lung become narrowed, (this is difference than clogged arteries that you hear of such as plaque buildup. That happens in the large arteries) they cannot carry as much blood. When this happens, pressure builds up. This is called pulmonary hypertension.

The heart needs to work harder to force the blood through the vessels against this pressure. Over time, this causes the right side of the heart to become larger. Not enough blood flows to the lungs to pick up oxygen.

I went through extensive pulmonary function tests yesterday, and I think I did fairly well. (Ms. optimism) The next step, is a Nuclear Ventilation/Perfusion Scan (VQ Scan) it studies both airflow (ventilation) and blood flow (perfusion) in the lungs. The purpose of this test is to look for evidence of a blood clot in the lungs, (pulmonary embolus,) that lowers oxygen levels, causes shortness of breath, and can be fatal. Also I need an echocardiogram (ultrasound of my heart). This is so he can watch the structure of my heart as it’s beating, and to evaluate my heart valves. I’m getting both of these next Thursday.

If after these two tests, the pulmonologist isn’t satisfied he has clear answers, then I will have a right heart cath. This is the passing of a thin tube (catheter) into the right side of the heart and the arteries leading to the lungs to monitor the heart's function and blood flow.

I guess that's it for now. I'll try to keep you updated along the way.

I’m not overly worried about it – just taking one step/day at a time.
Love you all!
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
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#23 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 04:17 PM

Hi Sweet,

What a day you must have had!!

Okay, then, but what about the liver and the pancreas, or is that for another doctor? Oh no, wait, I missed that scan on the first read through. When do you get those results, did they make any comments about that?

:emoticons-group-hug:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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#24 Sweet

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:49 AM

No, they didn't say anything about how it looked during the exam, but I asked my primary care physician to call me with results today, so I didn't have to worry over the weekend. But just a few minutes ago, I thought, maybe I don't want to know before the weekend, because my son and granddaughters are coming for a visit, and I just want to enjoy that. :)
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#25 Joelf

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:55 AM

Hi Sweet,

My goodness, you certainly have had a time of it with all your tests and you have more to follow! Still it's good that they are actually doing something now and treating you with the seriousness that you deserve.

I do hope you have a lovely weekend with your son and granddaughters and won't have to wait too long for the results after that.

:emoticons-group-hug:

My very best wishes to you,

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#26 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:38 AM

Wow Sweet! What a lot to go through and still not everything is concrete. I hope you don't have PH or anything serious going on and that it can all be explained to you...quickly!

Take care.
Amanda Thorpe
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#27 Sheryl

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 04:20 PM

Pamela, good luck with all your upcoming tests. May you pass inspection on all fronts. Keep your chin up and think positive thoughts until someone tells you something that you have to deal with differently. You can still stay positive it just takes more work in doing so. Please let us know how you are fairing from time to time.
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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#28 Sweet

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 10:55 AM

My abdominal CT came back, showing numerous lesion on my liver, and a mass in my vagina. I'm leaving now to see my primary care doctor. He wants to feel the mass, and decide where we go from here. I think he was leaning towards getting an ultrasound on both. I already have an appointment with my OB-GYN in February for my annual fun stuff, so we'll see. This Thursday is my Echo and VQ Scan to check heart and lungs for PAH.

Keep the good thoughts coming!
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
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#29 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 11:44 AM

Hi Sweet,

Oh my goodness. If its not one thing, it's another, isn't it? Or in your case, another on top of another on top of another. What an awful week. Exactly how are you supposed to be able to manage the stress from this?!

I think they really owe us some stress management help immediately following certain appointments. There are sure times I could have used a counselor right after getting some test results. Can you see it now, being ushered from the scan results straight into the office of a comforting therapist, with low lights, pleasant music and a list of tips to help survive the stressful experience in grand style...and then being passed off to a massage therapist with aromatherapy and a two hour deep massage, followed by a beauty makeover complete with water-resistant mascara, and then dinner at a five star hotel with the waiter suggesting their newest drink called Massive Relation Guaranteed?

Oh my, I can sure dream, can't I? And all those things and more I wish for you, as you and your doctors sort out the wheat from the chaff with all the tests and exams.

:emoticons-group-hug:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#30 Joelf

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 11:45 AM

Oh Sweet, many, many good thoughts for you! :emoticons-i-care: :emoticon-hug:

I shall be thinking of you constantly and here is some extra good luck fairy dust for good measure. :fairy:

My very best wishes to you,

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#31 judyt

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 05:51 PM

Dear Sweet,

What a load to have to carry, I have my fingers crossed that your primary care person will move fast and positive to get some answers for you.

:balloons: Here are some balloons to hitch your spirits to while you wait.

Warm hugs and best wishes from NZ

Judyt

#32 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 06:06 PM

Pamela I am sorry and realy hope it all turns out well. :flowers: It must seem neverending right now.

Take care.
Amanda Thorpe
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#33 miocean

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 08:39 PM

Dear Sweet,

I am thinking about you and wish you strength during all this testing and stress. :nervous: I like Shelley's idea of stress management therapy. In the meantime, as hard as it is to do this, since there isn't anything you can do about it right now except for what you are already doing, focus on the joy of seeing your son and grand daughters. Keep us posted and know you have a ton of support here.

miocean
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#34 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 06:05 PM

Hi Sweet,

How did today's round of tests go for you?

I'm thinking of you and sending lots of warm thoughts your way!

:emoticons-group-hug:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#35 Joelf

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 02:12 AM

Me too, Sweet.

I do hope yesterday's tests went okay. :emoticon-hug:

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#36 debonair susie

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:42 AM

Dear "Sweet Pam",

Okay now, deep breaths and (re: post of November 1st; Please follow Shelley's 2nd paragraph to a "T" as this is going to fix you right up, at least help relax you a bit).

Truly though, my friend, I will be holding you in my thoughts and hoping the very best outcome for you.
Please know that I have an endless supply of {{{{Loving hugs}}}} coming your way for as long as you need them.
Special Hugs,

Susie Kraft
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#37 Sweet

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 11:29 AM

Thanks everyone, coming in here and reading your posts help so much.

Only news I have from my day long testing, is that the doctor who read my Abdominal CT that stated I have a mass in my vagina "mispoke" according to the guy that did my pelvic ultrasound with the vaginal probe. There is a mass, but it's not near as horrible as he said. It's in a totally different place than what he said, and it's not "complicated" it's "simple" which are terms used when trying to described how many walls, are within the mass, and what it's made up of.

I wasn't happy prior to this about waiting until December 6th to see my gynecologist, so prior to my testing day I called his nurse, explained the situation, and she got the abdominal CT that day and said she would get the pelvic ultrasound on Friday, and put it in front of the gynecologist, and if he didn't think I should wait until December 7th, he'd get me in.

Well after talking with the doctor who read the pelvic ultrasound, I felt better already. Then Friday while I was getting my hair done, my cell rings and it's my gynecologist. He said, yes, there is something there, but no it really wasn't something to worry about, but he still wants to see me December 6th, but no problem waiting until then.

So that's all I know so far. No word on the chest xray, VQ scan, or echo yet. But I'm super happy so far with just this! I'll get further detail on the mass when I see him December 6th, and I'll let you know if there is anything earth shattering there but I'm not expecting it.
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#38 Joelf

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 12:02 PM

Thank goodness, Sweet; I realise it's a little premature to be celebrating but that news certainly sounds a lot more positive!

I'm keeping absolutely everything crossed for you (fingers, toes, etc. ;) ) and hope that it's good news on 6th December and that the other results of the tests you've had are equally positive.

:emoticons-group-hug:

My very best wishes to you,

Jo Frowde
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#39 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 02:59 PM

Hooray Pamela! May all the other news be good as well! :yes: :yes:

Take care.
Amanda Thorpe
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#40 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 07:13 PM

Hi Sweet,

Oh what wonderful news (sort of). I hope that your news is just as good on December 6th...and that all the other tests turn out okay, too. It's a lot of tests and a lot of results to deal with!

I hope that you're out of the Worry Zone but it doesn't sound like they've really sent up the All Clear signal yet, either. So here are some more warm hugs to tide you over.

:emoticons-group-hug:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.