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Author Topic: CT scan | worried  (Read 1339 times)

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Offline mplus

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CT scan | worried
« on: February 10, 2010, 11:24:25 PM »
Last summer, following some symptoms like a foggy head and muscle twitches, I consulted a neurologist and underwent a brain/cervical spine MRI.

The brain MRI came back clear but the cervical spine MRI showed a "benign osteoblastoma" on the C4 vertebrae. The neurologist/radiologist had me undergo a CT scan and the diagnosis was a "hemangioma."

I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon and he dismissed it as an "incidental." He recommended no action.

My cousin is an orthopedic oncologist. He saw both the MRI/CT results, advised me to monitor it and get another test done six months later.

The six months has passed and I'm having another CT this Friday on the cervical spine.

Needless to say, it has me worried. I'm anxious that it'll showing something really bad. The "C" word is my big fear here.

I desperately want this rollercoaster to end; from the heart worries to this issue, my psyche and soul is beat down.

m.
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Offline sixpack

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Re: CT scan | worried
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 07:15:25 AM »
m---

you will be fine.  you had lots of stuff about that 6 months ago and it was nothing to worry over.  If it was anything, in 6 months time you would have noticed progressive neuro issues.  Also step back and look at how you've been reacting lately..  You are going from one health fear to the next.
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MOST anxiety occurs on a subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state

Offline Xalatimo

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Re: CT scan | worried
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 08:08:21 AM »
I agree with sixpack.  Hang in there.
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-X-

Offline marc

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Re: CT scan | worried
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 08:48:54 AM »
I asked my friend who is a physician and he said that what
you have is typically not cancer and does not turn into cancer.
However, he said that what you have can cause symptoms such as
pain, etc. He said that in todays medical world, they can correct
what you have if it ever becomes necessary by laser, etc. He said the
reason your cousin wants you to get it monitored is because it can
change and possibly cause some neurological symptoms. He also
told me that many people go through their entire lives with out
having any issues.

Marc
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If you're going through hell, keep going.
Never, Never, Never, give up.

Offline mplus

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Re: CT scan | worried
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2010, 08:51:23 AM »
Marc and Six,

You guys are invaluable. You guys are seriously becoming family (grin).

I want this nightmare of a year (started in April 2009) to end.

m.
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Offline gridder

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Re: CT scan | worried
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2010, 10:53:17 AM »
m-
So now that you have reassurance and feel better -- do you see what you did wrong?* What you did that fanned the flames of the HA?
Really, without some introspection and education it isn't likely to go away on its own.

* I can tell what I think but it is more helpful if you do it.  :winking0008:
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Offline mplus

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Re: CT scan | worried
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2010, 12:20:54 PM »
Gridder,

I'm not sure I completely follow. Please do post your thoughts; I'm open to just about anything.

I was simply thanking Marc and Sixpack for their notes. Marc's typically efficient brevity of words, combined with Sixpack's familial certitude, made me grin. It was a moment's relief.

It's not as if the anxiety has simply vanished or that I feel better. The CT scan has been looming for six months and the tension has been a steady build-up; the idea of it always there in the back of my mind, even when no physical symptoms were present. 

Thankfully, they squeezed me in today, rather than having to wait till tomorrow morning. The wait begins.

I get your point, however, about the reassurance cycle. The difficult thing for me with HA is that these have all been tangible and measurable things.

And trust me, self-awareness, and introspection aren't exactly weak points here. That part of my psyche is nearly sacrosanct.  :)
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Offline mplus

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Re: CT scan | worried
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2010, 07:20:07 PM »
I made the mistake of trying to learn more about Hemangiomas and read a story about about someone who was diagnosed with one, but, 7 years later, it turned out that it was cancer all along. Now, I'm freaked out.

I had a CT scan Thursday morning and I'm waiting for the results.

Six months ago, I had an MRI done and the diagnosis was that it was a probable osteoblastoma. I then had a CT done and it was diagnosed as a probable hemangioma. A radiologist looked at the test results, an orthopedic surgeon looked at the results and an orthopedic oncologist (my cousin) looked at the results.

The radiologist came up with the two diagnoses I described. The orthopedic surgeon thought it was an "incidental" finding and nothing to worry about. The orthopedic oncologist thought it looked like "leftover developmental tissue" and recommended monitoring.

Why can't I shake this fear? I hope the new CT scan results confirm the previous "probable" diagnoses. But, I fear the worst. I can't get a handle on the fear that the hemangioma or whatever it is, is hiding something cancerous.

Sigh.

m.
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Offline gridder

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Re: CT scan | worried
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2010, 07:28:49 PM »
m-
Sorry to take so long to post. My feeling is that once the radiologist & the surgeon looked at it you should have accepted their advice and moved on. I think having an orthopedic oncologist (even if he is your cousin) look at it and then going back for an unneeded CT is only fanning the flames of your HA. Of course you are worried! All these CT scans must make you feel  like something is wrong. But, this worry was preventable. And I certainly don't know why you are googling and finding worst case scenarios.  :angry-smiley-034:

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Offline crybaby

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Re: CT scan | worried
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2010, 10:00:31 PM »
M, I hope everything is ok with you and I'm sure your CT results will be fine.  I can relate to how you are feeling and your worry.
I have certain things that I have to get check for and the months leading up to to it, I can make myself sick with worry.  I've had ct scans and I hate waiting for the results.  Praying helps.  You'll be ok.
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Offline wowthisismetoaT

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Re: CT scan | worried
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2010, 11:41:17 PM »
Did you ask your cousin WHY he wanted it monitored?  A friend of mine had a baby who was diagnosed with a hemangioma.  It was on her spine as well.  The issues is that it can infuse with the nerves and such and cause things such as paralysis and chronic low back pain.  They did surgery and removed the hemangioma from my friend's baby...but by the time they did, it was already connecting with the nerves.  Chances are, if you have gotten to this age and NOT had a problem, then your doctor was right...it is just something that is there that is totally not going to cause you trouble.  You have more than likely had it all your life.
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Offline gridder

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Re: CT scan | worried
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2010, 11:12:08 AM »
I think that this is where scans can be both a blessing and a curse. If we find something that is causing a problem, then they are great -- but if we find something that isn't causing a problem, and isn't likely to, then it is nothing but a worry-maker. When I was pregnant and had a kidney stone, they looked at my kidneys and said that one was smaller than the other. (One is supposed to be, but on me the one that was supposed to be larger was actually smaller.) Anyway, it wasn't what caused the problem with the stone, and they said I might (should? I really don't remember) want to check it out after I have the baby. Well, that was 6+ years ago, and I actually just remembered it the other day when I got a UTI. So now I am thinking "Do I want to check this out?" I have never had any other kidney issues to speak of, and my yearly exams have never shown anything abnormal. The HA in me wants to be "sure" though. I am going to discuss it with my therapist and my doctor at my yearly physical, I guess.

I guess my point is, all this technology can give us information that isn't relevant, or that we don't need. It can also generate a lot of worry. Probably a ton of people have the thing that you found on your CT and don't know it.
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Offline mplus

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Re: CT scan | worried
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2010, 03:16:20 PM »
I appreciate your posts Gridder and Wow. I went with my cousin because his specialty is the spine and he knows more about abnormalities there than just about anyone else.

I got the CT Thursday morning and I haven't heard from anyone, and that has me freaked out.

The angel on my shoulder says that a radiologist, a neurologist and an orthopedic surgeon were all unconcerned about this last year. The devil wonders about the worst case: that it's changed in the past six months or that something was missed, that the hemangioma is masking something more sinister.

The uncertainty is slowly sending me into a depression.

Sigh.

m.
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