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Topic: Being asked to get an abdominal CT and I'm terrified. :(

Forum: Not Diagnosed With a Recurrence or Metastases but Concerned —

Meet others concerned about developing a recurrence or metastases.

Posted on: Jan 20, 2021 11:06AM

lexie2002 wrote:

I was diagnosed with IDC back in 2013. I've been doing well since then. I had lumpectomy, mastectomy, chemo (AC and Taxol) and 5 weeks of radiation. I've been having a dull ache in my right back sort of at my waist. I had a chest X-ray per request of my PC doc and it showed lungs ok but a healed fractured 7th rib? I did take a fall getting out of bed in the middle of the night I think back in August. Not sure if that's what caused the break. I just happened to have my yearly video visit January 11th with my Oncologist. When I mentioned this to her she suggested this abdominal CT. I am concerned about the radiation. I am also very scared to get it. I always think the worst these days. I have until now been staying pretty positive but I can't even imagine what the ache could be from?? I guess I'm reaching out because I don't really have anyone to reach out to about this. My husband is not much help and sometimes seems so cold when it comes to my diagnosis.

Any help from ladies in this special community would be so appreciated. I really have a feeling of despair

Lexie

Dx 4/2013, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/13/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/20/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 12/27/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jan 30, 2021 01:27PM AliceBastable wrote:

Great news! I didn't want to say anything before to confuse you, but I've mostly seen NRIs for the brain rather than CT or PET, but I figured some MOs might think differently. And pelvis is usually included on full CTs, or at least on the ones I've had.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Feb 2, 2021 04:34PM lexie2002 wrote:

Thank you AliceBastable Hug

Now I need to muster up courage to get a brain MRI

hugs

Dx 4/2013, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/13/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/20/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 12/27/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 3, 2021 11:50AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

lexie,

Great news! I know this is a bit of a misquote but... you don’t have to be brave, you just have to show up!

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Feb 3, 2021 02:58PM lexie2002 wrote:

Thank You exbrn

( sorry, don't know why it won't let me spell out your name?) :(

Anyway, thanks for the sweet response.

I hope your doing well?

HUGS,

Lexie

Dx 4/2013, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/13/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/20/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 12/27/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 4, 2021 08:17AM wallycat wrote:

No cancer is the most wonderful sentence in the world, no?

Diverticulosis is the condition of small pockets in the intestines (common as we age or if aspirin is used a lot); diverticulitis is when any of the pockets becomes inflamed or infected.


Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012
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Feb 4, 2021 09:40AM lexie2002 wrote:

Thanks wallycat

Now if I can just get thru a brain MRI? My doctor is calling me at 4 today and I know she will still want me to do one since they didn't do the head ct. I had a few questions regarding the ct scans and she made a telephone appointment. My headaches, temple aches etc still haven't gone away :( So stressed.

Dx 4/2013, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/13/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/20/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 12/27/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 4, 2021 10:07AM Sunshine99 wrote:

lexie, are you generally OK with MRIs? I've had plenty and I'm totally OK with them (lucky me). I just had a brain MRI mid-January. It was with and without contrast. It did take a while in the machine, but the tech told me that my only job was "not to move". They put this little cage-like thing over my face, but it was not claustrophobic. I did get a little tired being still on the hard table, but overall, it was fine. They gave me headphones (no music) to help deaden the sound.

Let us know when you get that scheduled.

(((hugs))) Carol

(BTW. I grew up in Woodside, CA. My dad is now in Saint Helena (Napa). Loved the Bay Area.)

Cancer has progressed to my bones. I pray that it never enters my soul. Dx 11/2/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/26/2020, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/5/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 5/12/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 6/10/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Feb 4, 2021 10:20AM lexie2002 wrote:

Sunshine99

are you talking about an mri or ct? Can I ask if they did it because you were having headaches?

BTW I love Saint Helena

HUGS

Dx 4/2013, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/13/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/20/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 12/27/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 5, 2021 03:39AM Sunshine99 wrote:

Hi lexie, my MO ordered the brain MRI because I was having some episodes of severe dizziness. No nausea, thankfully, so it wasn't like vertigo. The MRI showed "nothing of concern" in the brain, but it did show "something of concern" on my C2 (or was it C3? - I don't remember right now).

I've have a number of MRI exams - mainly because the neuro-ophthalmologist has been following a non-cancer issue with my optic nerve. But, like I said, the last one was ordered by my MO for dizzines.

All of the CT scans related to my cancer have been ordered for "chest, abdomen, pelvis". I'm guessing that's standard. I have to arrive an hour before the exam and they bring me a bottle of water with the "stuff" in it. It's clear and not chalky. The exam doesn't take super long, but I definitely remember during the first CT exam being SURE that I had peed on myself when they injected the IV contrast. I'm used to it now and don't worry about it. ;)

Oh, here's another thing. I usually have my CT scan right after they inject me for the nuc med bone scan. A few times ago when I was getting the injection for the nuc med bone scan, the nurse asked it I wanted her to leave the IV line in so that the CT tech could use that and not have to re-stick me for the contrast. I said "Yes, please!" and we've done that ever since. The CT tech appreciates not having to stick me again, and they remove the IV line as soon as they've injected the contrast.

Easy, peasy - well at least as easy peasy as all this stuff can be!


Cancer has progressed to my bones. I pray that it never enters my soul. Dx 11/2/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/26/2020, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/5/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 5/12/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 6/10/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Feb 5, 2021 07:00AM lexie2002 wrote:

Hi Sunshine99

What is C2?

My doctor tried to get an earlier appointment while I was on the phone with her yesterday. It was for tomorrow at 6:30am and I thought that was a bit early. She went to look for another appointment but I decided on the 6:30am appt. but when she went back it was gone. So now I have to wait until 2/12. Not sure I like waiting that long? I might try and call and see if there's a cancellation even though I really don't want one. :( I just can't imagine what else could be going on???? It's been lasting so long.

How are you doing with your bones? I hope everything is under control for you. I asked the doctor also if the Ct that showed problems with my L4 and L5 etc. were do to my Arimidex and she said probably. My goodness why can't WE ALL just have no worries for a bit.

Thanks a bunch for writing to me. I often feel alone in this stupid fight. I know there's alot of women dealing with so many issues regarding cancer but it can still be so lonely.

Healing Hugs and Prayers,

Lexie

Dx 4/2013, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/13/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/20/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 12/27/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 5, 2021 10:00AM Sunshine99 wrote:

lexie, C2 is the 2nd cervical vertebrae. I tried to find a good diagram of the spine, but couldn't find one that wasn't fuzzy. I also have mets to L4 and L5, which are the lumbar vertebrae, in addition to mets to my hip, femur and ribs. I manage the discomfort right now with Tylenol PM.

I'm sorry you have to wait for your scan. At Scripps I can put myself on a waitlist for an earlier appointment. Do you know if you have that option?

You are right that this can feel lonely.

Cancer has progressed to my bones. I pray that it never enters my soul. Dx 11/2/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/26/2020, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/5/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 5/12/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 6/10/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Feb 5, 2021 10:28AM edj3 wrote:

lexie, I think I mentioned upthread that I've had several brain MRIs, in fact the last one was just a week ago. I don't find them awful at all, CTs are much harder on me b/c I'm allergic to the contrast dye and have to take all sorts of stuff before the CT which make me super tired and draggy.

In my case, this last one was to confirm that I don't have anything else that would cause the vertigo and hearing loss. (My ENT had dx'd Meniere's oh probably 6 years ago but I resisted that idea. In face he was correct). Nothing wrong with my brain (and I do have one!) so here's hoping your results are similarly benign.

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Surgery 5/6/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/3/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 7, 2021 02:51AM lexie2002 wrote:

Good Morning Sunshine,

Was the area of concern you mentioned ok? I think you said C2. I sure hope so. Your dealing with alot.

I called Friday to see if I could get earlier appointment. They told me to call back Monday around 9am. I guess this is a time where they have openings? As much as I don't want this brain mri I have to know what's going on?

Thanks again for writing me. You are very sweet.

Hugs and Prayers,

Lexie



Dx 4/2013, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/13/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/20/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 12/27/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 7, 2021 03:49AM Sunshine99 wrote:

Lexie, I don't know yet the details about the C2 area of concern. I have my regular appointment at the end of the month, so I'm sure we'll talk about it. I'm actually not too worried about it. Since I already know that I have mets to other areas, it may just be something that didn't get picked up on the earlier scans.

My DH is on his way home from St. Helena. Yay! It will be nice to have him back home, but I'm so grateful that he went up to be with my dad for the past week. Sounds like they had some good conversations.

Hugs and prayers back to you.

Carol

Cancer has progressed to my bones. I pray that it never enters my soul. Dx 11/2/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/26/2020, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/5/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 5/12/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 6/10/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Feb 9, 2021 09:28AM PalBuddy wrote:

So glad to have read this whole thread. You ladies are amazing! And I love the happy ending of the scan results for Lexie!

I understand the whole fear & zombie thing. Over the last 2 or 3 weeks, the lymph nodes on the side of my lumpectomy breast swelled up. I'm almost 3 years out.) I have a lot of spine & skeleton issues from an old car accident and at first though it was just something slipped out of place somewhere and causing issues. But my usual methods (osteopath, stretches, etc) didn't make it feel any better so I had a feel around under my arm and side of breast. (I don't usually do this because of dense breasts and I can never tell what is what and it just makes me anxious.) Anywho, last week I went and got a manual lymph drainage and that helped some, but my arm is still a little swollen at the inner elbow and it still feels weird in my underarm/breast. Possibly because I'm so anxious about it all I can barely take a full breath. I really wish I could be braver about this. About other things, I'm not such a fearful person - though a worrier - but it's been a rough few years. My sister got diagnosed a few months after me (cervical cancer) and my mother a few weeks after her (pancreatic) and I lost them both, with me by their side, within the year. (And miss them a lot.) Since I was fresh out of surgery and radiation myself at that time, I'm pretty sure I must have some sort of PTSD from it all. And I know the practically paralyzing fear isn't useful at all. (Like, say, fear of COVID is useful because it helps you take precautions not to get it.) But it just comes over me and I'm a wreck. My poor husband doesn't know what to do. Anyway, sorry to jump into the tail end of the Thread...

(I've made an appointment to get checked out next week. So, it's gonna be a long week...)

Dx March 2018. Lumpectomy May 2018. 1.3cm, 1.2cm, 0.8cm. ER+PR+ HER-. Stage 1, Grade 3. Overall Tumor Grade: 8
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Feb 9, 2021 01:24PM Astrid wrote:

well here's hoping this is not a recurrence for you Pal Buddy. Managing stress and anxiety around recurrence possibilities is such a large part of post cancer life isn't it!.

Thank goodness you will have some answers soon.

Be gentle with yourself and let us know how it goes.

Cyber hug

Astrid.Heart

"You cannot step into the same river twice, for other waters are continually flowing on." Heraclitus Dx 6/2002, IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 7/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 6/2012, ILC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Chemotherapy AC Surgery Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Feb 21, 2021 10:13AM lexie2002 wrote:

Sort of an update? I was waiting for a brain/head mri on 2/12. I even tried to move it up but it wasn't happening In the meantime earlier that week I was literally freaking out because my ears WOULD NOT UNPLUG. I couldn't sleep and I would just walk around the house freaking out. It is like an itch you can't scratch. :( I sent a message to my Oncologist and told her can I take her up on her offer to at least see an ENT while waiting for my mri? She agreed and the next day I saw an ENT. i was hoping it was just ear wax. No such luck. Anyway this lady was very kind. She prescribed a z pal and a medrol dospak. She thought she would try it. She looked in ears, throat and nose. When I left she said she hoped to get to the bottom of what was going on. I told her of my slight on and off headaches and all the mucous I could feel. She told me if I wasn't feeling better she wanted a CT scan on my sinuses. After a few days on the meds I felt slightly better in my ears. When I was done with meds everything was back. So I had the scan and basically she said it was pretty normal except for some right cheek mucous and inflammation. It's a very long story but what I will say is I had missed her call and asked her to call me the next morning. She did and I told her her email ( that night) seemed to write me off so to speak! She apologized and said it was not her intent. She had also wanted a hearing test. I asked her if I should still do the hearing test and she said yes. The part of the hearing test she was most interested in was when the Dr. would blow air into the ear somehow telling them about pressure? After talking I told her it was funny that after taking the pills/ and the steroids I felt slightly better and then back to feeling crazy because of my ears. She had said I wish you had mentioned you felt a slight improvement? She discussed just taking a short dose of prednisone. I started it yesterday. My right ear is feeling slight relief. I have the hearing test this Monday the 22nd. NOTE: I checked with my MO to ask her if I can try these meds etc from ENT and put off Mri for a week. The Ent said I should see improvement in week then do sinus CT if no better. My MO agreed. I couldn't get a new mri in a week but a week and a half.

Anyway, I am dealing with the plugged ears and slight headaches. My point is I thought all the mucous, ear problems slight headaches were do to sinuses etc. I am still worried about the mri. What I'm saying is if all the sinus stuff is being worked on what is left?? :( Worst scenario is all that's on my mind. I am trying so hard to think positive but I'm falling into a dark place.

If it's not sinus etc what's left??????

Hugs,

Thanks, Lexie


Dx 4/2013, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/13/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/20/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 12/27/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 21, 2021 10:40AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Breathe, Lexie, breathe, though maybe not through your nose! This is quite a coincidence but I am 8 days post surgery for removal of polyps in my maxillary right sinus, and a septoplasty because one of the polyps had grown so large that it was pushing my septum to the left. I have known for some time that I had polyps but theynever bothered me until this past summer. The enormous polyp growth was an incidental find on my annual PET. My ENT used an endoscope to explore the problem in detail (weird to have this tiny camera in the sinuses but not painful) . I did have a sinus infection at the time but antibiotics and a short course of steroids helped temporarily but surgery would still be needed. Due to Covid19, my surgery was postponed twice but I finally had it done and have spent our presidents week break recovering.

I am not saying this is what is bothering you, but there is a whole lot that can be going on in your nasal passages that could be causing your symptoms and since those structures are so close together they can cause headaches, ear pressure, gum and tooth aches etc. I hope they find the cause soon and don’t think progression!

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Feb 21, 2021 04:05PM lexie2002 wrote:

Hi Exbrnxgrl

The sinus ct scan didn't show much which was surprising to me. She said it was pretty much normal except those few things that I mentioned. Wouldn't a ct show what's in your nose etc. All I know is I can't live like this. It's so maddening.

Of course I'm still worried about the brain mri mostly now because if it wasn't my sinuses, sinus infection, etc what else could my headaches being caused by? If these headaches and plugged ears would just go away I would be so happy! I'm shaking just writing this.

You are so sweet to respond to me again. :)

Thank you,

Lexie

Dx 4/2013, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/13/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/20/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 12/27/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 22, 2021 10:31AM edj3 wrote:

Hi lexie--

I have Meniere's Disease (NOT fatal, mostly it's a PITA) and the dx is more a process of elimination rather than a test that shows aha you have it!

Anyway, talk with your ENT and see if she thinks this might be what's going on with you. If it is, I'll say again it's not fatal, just unpleasant.

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Surgery 5/6/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/3/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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