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back/rib pain with a cough

thrifty1
thrifty1 Member Posts: 15
edited January 2016 in Pain

Hello, just needing some other advice. I know what I should do, but I keep procrastinating! I've had this cough now for 2 months. Been to 2 walkin clinics and to an NP at a family practice. I just finished my 3rd antibiotic (levoquin) and had 2 steroids along with 2 different cough suppresants. Chest xrays were normal. Lab work a few weeks ago showed elevated CRP and platelets. My ribs hurt everytime I cough and my body is really, really sore...more than usual. After shopping at walmart other day I came back home and was in almost tears from the pain. I can't sleep at all! Partly from the pain partly from worries. I have to tell you all...my nerves are shot but I just can't seem to make the call to my oncologist. I don't want to feel like I'm over reacting if they do tests and everything is clear. Just needing other advice, I haven't said a word to anyone how nervous I really am. Don't want to upset my husband, kids or my mom. :(

Comments

  • MsPharoah
    MsPharoah Member Posts: 224
    edited December 2015
    Thrifty, I'm so sorry that you are having this worry and sickness. 2 months is a long time to suffer with a cough and no wonder your ribs hurt and you aren't getting good sleep. I am just getting over a horrible cold and cough and after just a few days, I was sore and exhausted. Call your oncologist and get checked out thoroughly. I think it is very courageous that you are protecting your family from worry, but you deserve to have your mind put at ease and feel better just as much as they do. If you are coughing and sick, believe me, your family is worrying too and maybe just trying to protect you.
    Love and Hugs, MsP
  • thrifty1
    thrifty1 Member Posts: 15
    edited January 2016

    Thanks MsPharoah...I have an appointment tomorrow morning for a CT of my chest...ugh. My nerves are aweful. I try not to think the worst but it's so incredibly hard not to. Prayers appreciated!

  • MsPharoah
    MsPharoah Member Posts: 224
    edited January 2016

    Thrifty, I will be thinking of you, sending good, calming thoughts your way. So glad that you are getting this checked out. You have every right to be nervous, but expect the best outcome, not the worst!! And I will pray for you, sister.

    Love and Hugs, MsP

  • thrifty1
    thrifty1 Member Posts: 15
    edited January 2016

    mind if I ask you another question? Do you have aches and pains after all your treatments? I feel like I'm 100 years old. My feet and all joint ache horribly! Especially now since the weather is getting colder.

  • thrifty1
    thrifty1 Member Posts: 15
    edited January 2016

    Oh and sorry....thank you so much for positive thoughts and prayers! Much appreciated; -)

  • MsPharoah
    MsPharoah Member Posts: 224
    edited January 2016

    Hi Thrifty! Yes, it seems to me that I have lots more aches and pains since treatment. I get a lot of "twangs" in my feet, my ankles. My hands are stiff and sore. I also have a lot of joint stiffness and achiness in my legs. I was 62 when diagnosed and pretty fit. Most people thought I was 52! I feel 100 years old now and I get tired easily. It really bothers me that my children don't let me do things anymore because they notice that I am "older".

    I exercise regularly and that helps, but this disease and the subsequent treatment have definitely slowed me down.

    Plus, I am so much more conscious and scared when I have a symptom. I don't think that the fear of recurrence ever goes away really so I am very empathetic to your situation. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so glad that you are going to get tested. Be aware that since you have had this illness/cough, your CT scan could very easily show the results of a non-cancer related issue. Over the years, bronchitis, colds, flus, asthma related illnesses, exposure to tobacco smoke and other airborne crap can scar the lungs. Thinking of you and sending calming thoughts your way. Thank you for taking care of your health. It is the best gift you can give your family.

    Love and Hugs, MsP

  • sbelizabeth
    sbelizabeth Member Posts: 955
    edited January 2016

    Thrifty, I'll chime in here too. I had a lingering respiratory infection late last fall, and I coughed hard and often. The new upper back pain I developed was worrisome to me--I knew it was probably related to the violent coughing, but I mentioned it to my onc anyway. She ordered an MRI--negative except for small degenerative changes, which is very normal. It eased my mind considerably.

    As for aches and pains, I've been on Femara for three years, and yes, I have noticed the effects. It makes my joints a little achey and I don't move as fast. Regular exercise helps a lot, though, and I think of the drug as one of the strongest weapon there is against recurrence.

  • thrifty1
    thrifty1 Member Posts: 15
    edited January 2016

    MsP and sbelizabeth....well had my CT scan this morning, now the waiting game. I have a peace though that I really don't think its anything serious. Afterwards the technician asked if I had a hx of asthma. So either nothing showed up or possible scarring? We will see.

    After I get the all clear next week with Onc appointment and cancer marker tests still normal I'm going to hit the eating right/exercising hard. I will have no excuse not to do it and I know I will feel better physically once I begin. I'm only 44 so I need to quit feeling like I'm 100. I need to be able to keep up with my 7 year old right? lol I'm pretty much considered Triple Negative (ER 2%, PR 0, HER2 0) so I'm not on any hormone meds that would increase the joint pain.

    Thank you both for your responses and advice on what helps you. It makes me a bit more at ease when I hear others struggle with the same symptoms. :)

  • MsPharoah
    MsPharoah Member Posts: 224
    edited January 2016

    Waiting sucks, but you have the peace of doing the right thing. Living healthy and being active is always good medicine. Keep us posted, hon. Still keeping you at the forefront!

    MsP

  • thrifty1
    thrifty1 Member Posts: 15
    edited January 2016

    Well I got my CT results, no pneumonia or fluid but they did find a small nodule in my left lower lobe. "non calcified granuloma"....not sure what that exactly means. Has me worried....is it cancer??? They want to do another CT in 3 months to see if it's growing and compare. I had to do the CT without contrast as I am allergic to the dye. I have an appt with my Onc next Friday and will know more. From what I've been researching on here if it was "calcified" it would be non malignant. "non calcified" could go either way and also depends on the size of the nodule. Which the nurse didn't tell me, my onc is out of town until Monday. :-( My nerves are shot!

  • MsPharoah
    MsPharoah Member Posts: 224
    edited January 2016

    Hi thrifty! First take a deep breath. It is very common to find "incidentalomas" when CT of the chest/lungs are done. The majority of non-calcified granulomas are not malignant. I'm sure you have read that as well, right? Are you feeling better, cough and pain wise?

    MsP

  • thrifty1
    thrifty1 Member Posts: 15
    edited January 2016

    MsP, yes its what I've read too, just the unknown makes me nervous. They have nothing to compare it to, and didn't do a biopsy, so not sure yet on how it's behaving. All I know is it is going to be a long 3 months until next scan. Haven't said anything to kids yet because I don't want them upset if its nothing. My cough is less frequent now, it's still there lingering, but not as often. Which is good :)

    JO-5 HI, I have an appt with my Oncocologist next Friday and he will tell me more, and yes I will get it treated if need be. You are so right...the not knowing is a vicious circle! It's always, always in the back of my mind unfortunately.

    Thank you ladies for your responses... Blessings to you both!


  • MsPharoah
    MsPharoah Member Posts: 224
    edited January 2016

    thrifty, waiting is tough for sure! Hang on to the following: 1) you now have a baseline CT scan and there is no obvious cancer in your chest and 2) you are feeling better. I'm pretty sure if this was cancer, you would NOT be getting better. I agree with you that there is no need to worry your children...but you do need a hand to hold while you wait and I'm definitely here for you. PM me anytime you need someone to talk you down!!!

    Love and Hugs, MsP

  • Jesika63
    Jesika63 Member Posts: 25
    edited January 2016

    Hi thrifty- I also went through something like that. I had an abdomen and pelvic CT this past March (I also, cannot have contrast because i am allergic to Shell Fish). They saw a few things of concern and none turned out to be cancer. this is one of them: There is a 10x5x6mm ground glass nodule seen within the left upper lobe of lung. We waited 3 months and it was repeated. Results where no change stable. this lesion was demonstrated to be non-FDG avid on previous pet scan imaging. As such, this lesion its almost certainly benign in etiology. I also worried especially when i goggled mass in lungs most showed ca. It still crosses my mind but it was too small to biospy. MO said no need to worry or do another CT. I am sure i will start to bug him for another ct by the end of the year. WE CA ladies can never put our mind at ease when they see something. So try not to worry and just go for the next CT. Pls let us know the results. hugs.

    by the way, never feel like you are over-reacting. If you feel something have it checked out. that why we have doctors.





  • shoppygirl
    shoppygirl Member Posts: 110
    edited January 2016

    Thrifty

    I know that it is hard not to worry but many of us have had a lung nodule.

    I had one that was found during my initial scans upon diagnosis. I was out of my mind with worry

    Fast forward 2.5 yearsand several scans later with no change , it was determined to be benign.

    Mine was not calcified with is why they watched it for so long. I was told that calcified nodules are almost non cancerous scar tissue.

    Good luck and keep us updated.

  • shoppygirl
    shoppygirl Member Posts: 110
    edited January 2016

    BTW, mine was on my left lower lobe too. It was 6mm.

  • Vildanbt
    Vildanbt Member Posts: 14
    edited January 2016

    My mother used Prospan anticough medicine 3 times daily She feels better now.

    I think you can try it

  • wallycat
    wallycat Member Posts: 1,189
    edited January 2016

    My twin had an incidental finding of a lung mass (we are both ex-smokers), and they watched it for 3 years....she's still here and they never did anything for it.

    I wish you the best and I know how absolutely gut-wrenching waiting can be. TOTALLY.

    I will say the year I went to 3 asian countries for vacation, I got a flu of some sort there...I coughed for over a year. My interest told me I had reactive airways. Talk about ribs hurting. Of course, this was pre-diagnosis and sadly, life is never the same for us after the dreaded "C" is used.

  • thrifty1
    thrifty1 Member Posts: 15
    edited January 2016

    thank you Ladies!! My daughter keeps asking me if my cough is getting better. She doesn't seem to think so but I told her it was. I've been taking anti anxiety pills be cause this is constantly on my mind. My Friday appointment cannot come soon enough! I've read that the size of the nodule determines if tends to be cancerous too. Has anyone heard this?