Just Diagnosed Emphysema

Posted by jeanette52 @jeanette52, Oct 19, 2018

Hello…I am a 66 year old female just diagnosed with "predominant upper lobe emphysema" yesterday via CT chest scan (done on 10/17/2018). I was having a year follow-up scan for a perifissural lung nodule (which hasn't changed in 2 years so no more follow-ups). On the last scan there was no mention of emphysema. Right now (and when I had the scan on 10/17/2018) I have an allergic flare-up. Nasal passages completely closed, throat hurts and congestion in right upper lung. This started about 2 months ago when I sneezed all night and then my nose started pouring. Then it totally closed up.Lung congestion apeared about a day later. I only had a cough for the first couple of days then it went away. The nasal and lung congestion are still present. Phlegm in upper throat as well. Since there is no cough I have to hack up the phlegm from my lung. I have made my self pretty sore doing this.The sinus issues are almost overwhelming. I went to my primary care physician on 9/28/2018 and my temp was fine at 97/9, O2 saturation at 99%. Blood pressure 121/70. She listened to my lungs and said she didn't hear anything. I just had blood work done right before that visit that showed my eosinophil % at 6.1. She said that was a little high and to take regular Zyrtec because I had allergies to something. I cannot take decongestants because I have paroxymal AFib. It has done me no good. I cannot get air through my nostrils. The AFib makes it hard to take anything to clear this up. The only thing that seems to help a little is store brand Mucinex. Could these issues have caused it to look like I have emphysema? I am so scared. I am a super anxious person diagnosed the Generalized Anxiety Disorder so you can imagine what seeing this on the test results has done to me!! I will admit that I still smoke…a few a day. I feel so guilty and horrible that I may have hurt myself like this. But my daughter died a year ago (10/21/201) and trying to quit would have been so hard. I am still in horrendous grief and sadness at her loss.

According to the scan it looks as if I have no other lung issues. Could this illness (allergy) have caused some kind of misreading? Maybe asthma?
I would like to not here that I have never had a smoker's cough. Smoked a lot of years, though.

Thanks so much for reading my story and whatever insight you can give.

Jeanette52

@olgamarie

Emphysema

Is anybody aware of any new advances for emphysema?

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@olgamarie; @emily10– If found this site, also. Have either of you discussed with your doctors about valve replacements?
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-02-copd-patients-in-home-device.html

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I have not discussed with my dr.any procedures. I have heard about the valve option, but have not pursued anything.

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@olgamarie

I have stabelized SCLC and copd, which basically is pretty bad emphysema.

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@olgamarie– Good morning. I have NSCLC. I also have COPD with emphysema. Have you recently experienced any changes in your breathing or daily routine?

I certainly can't tell you what to do, but if I were you, I would ask your oncologist all of your questions so that he can explain how your cancer and COPD are related and how they affect you. Are you interested in doing this?

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@merpreb

@olgamarie– Good morning. I have NSCLC. I also have COPD with emphysema. Have you recently experienced any changes in your breathing or daily routine?

I certainly can't tell you what to do, but if I were you, I would ask your oncologist all of your questions so that he can explain how your cancer and COPD are related and how they affect you. Are you interested in doing this?

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Yes, I am. I have been trying to do this by myself. But, I am scared. I should be having an appt in March at Mayo. My Dr. transfered to another site. I am missing her. I know I have to ask questions, but afraid of the answers.

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@olgamarie

Yes, I am. I have been trying to do this by myself. But, I am scared. I should be having an appt in March at Mayo. My Dr. transfered to another site. I am missing her. I know I have to ask questions, but afraid of the answers.

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@olgamarie– Of course you are. But better this fear than waiting too long and having worse consequences. I hate it when I need a new doctor. Within the past couple of years, I had to search for another PCP. I preferred a woman. But I wound up with a guy who hasn't been practicing as long as I have had cancer. He's a cutie and he's younger than my son.

If I were you I would begin making a list of all of your questions. That might even help you to put somethings in perspective. I have had lung cancer for 23+ years. I did smoke but haven't since the end of 1997. So I'm sure that I had it before my first lung surgery. It gets confusing because any damage to your lungs, like cancer, can also exacerbate emphysema.

Do you have any idea how severe, or not your emphysema is?

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@olgamarie

Yes, I am. I have been trying to do this by myself. But, I am scared. I should be having an appt in March at Mayo. My Dr. transfered to another site. I am missing her. I know I have to ask questions, but afraid of the answers.

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@olgamarie Could you do a videoconference or phone call with your doctor who moved? She could access your medical records to refresh her memory of your latest test results, address your immediate concerns AND refer you to a new doctor to see in person. I totally believe in learning as much as I can about my own medical issues, but I would never try to figure things out on my own. We're all different; but for me having a diagnosis and a plan made in partnership with a doctor to address my medical problems give me a peace of mind that greatly outweigh my fears of the unknown and constantly thinking about worst case scenarios. I hope you will a new doctor soon to help you figure things out. Thanks for reaching out on this site — Merry and others have so much good advice to offer. Take care! Nancy

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Thank you Nancy.

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