A website for discussions about any type of cancer, including lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, laryngeal cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and others
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Smelling smoke and headaches?

  1. #1
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    12

    Smelling smoke and headaches?

    I have been smelling smoke off and on when there is no one around me smoking. I am also having headaches everyday off and on for almost two weeks. The headaches are not excruciating but they are annoying and advil doesn't always help. I saw my family physician and she put me on antibiotics because I was also having some sinus issues.

    I am done with the antibiotics and the headaches and smoke smell are still there. I am scared this could be symptoms of brain cancer. Does anyone know if these are symptoms? I am going back to my family Dr. on Thursday. She mentioned an MRI at my initial appointment if the symptoms didn't go away.

  2. #2
    Moderator Senior User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    249
    I think you're taking the right approach to this. It's hard to say what it is and what it isn't, but it's definitely the sort of symptom that's worth getting checked out. I hope it's nothing serious, but there's support here for you if it is. Do you know when they'll have the results of the MRI for you? They can usually tell pretty quickly if something's unusual (figuring out precisely what it is takes a bit longer).

    Please let us know how it turns out.
    31-year-old agnostic survivor of low-grade oligo-astrocytoma, diagnosed 6/17/11.
    I maintain the Ramblings of a Traitorous Mind blog as a chronicle of my battle with cancer and my related reflections.

  3. #3
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    12
    I haven't had the MRI yet. My appointment with my family physician is on Thursday and if she still wants to do the MRI it will probably not happen till next week. I guess what I am wondering, are headaches and a smoke smell symptoms that anyone here has had and if so was it brain cancer? I am really scared because I have never had anything like this before. Thanks for the support.

  4. #4
    Moderator Senior User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    249
    Headaches are a very common symptom, but they're a very common symptom of a great many things. I personally did not have any symptoms related to smell, but my cancer did not affect that part of my brain. Then again it also didn't directly impact the occipital lobe, yet most of my symptoms were visual due to pressure on that part of my brain.

    I'm sorry that this probably won't provide any comfort, but the fact of the matter is that we perceive everything about our world through our brain. Brain cancer can have literally any (perceived) symptom. Several of my symptoms pointed directly to retinal damage, yet upon multiple exams my retinas were found to be perfectly healthy. Instead, cranial pressure was causing me to perceive those symptoms, right down to a rippling effect normally caused by fluid motion within the eyeball. After my surgery, those symptoms slowly cleared up. During my radiation treatment I could smell something very distinct (and unpleasant) during each shot. No such smell was present at the time: they were directly stimulating my olfactory nerves.

    I wish I could put your fears to rest and I absolutely hope it's nothing serious, but I do believe this is worthy of your immediate attention. Even if it's not cancer, there's something going on in your head.

    Have you noticed anything that seems to trigger one or both symptoms? Fatigue? Body position? Caffeine?

    You're already doing everything you can: you're going to see a doctor and an MRI is on the table. Things are in motion. Worrying about it won't change anything and definitely won't do you any good.
    31-year-old agnostic survivor of low-grade oligo-astrocytoma, diagnosed 6/17/11.
    I maintain the Ramblings of a Traitorous Mind blog as a chronicle of my battle with cancer and my related reflections.

  5. #5
    Senior User irishgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    TX Heat
    Posts
    309
    As Knightly has said you are doing everything you need to be doing.
    I had some bad headaches prior to my diagnosis but I continue to have horrible sinus headaches to this day—which are completely unrelated to the brain cancer. Headaches can be a symptom of brain cancer but 9 times out of 10 the first sign of brain cancer is a seizure—when people haven’t had a seizure disorder to begin with. If I had to guess: you don’t have brain cancer; but there is something not right. MRI’s can give a wealth of knowledge of what’s going on inside so that sounds like your best bet. They are painless unless you can’t stand to lie still for 30 minutes—then you might think its painful . I wish you best and hope its something easily fixed.

  6. #6
    Moderator Senior User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    249
    And if you think you'd have trouble with an MRI, let us know. There are ways to make it easier on yourself. First and foremost, don't try to move. If you don't try, you won't notice you can't.
    31-year-old agnostic survivor of low-grade oligo-astrocytoma, diagnosed 6/17/11.
    I maintain the Ramblings of a Traitorous Mind blog as a chronicle of my battle with cancer and my related reflections.

  7. #7
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    12
    Well my MRI is scheduled for Tuesday morning. I am highly claustrophobic and have anxiety issues so they are allowing me to do an open MRI. I am very nervous but they are going to give me some Xanax to calm me before the test. I am praying that this will all be ok but something in my head doesn't feel right and that worrys me. I guess I just have to have faith in God and he will carry me through it. Thank you for all of your comments.

  8. #8
    Moderator Senior User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    249
    The open MRIs aren't quite as open as most of us would like but they're a little better. Just try to find something else to focus on while you're in the machine. There's often a little mirror you can look at which is angled to show you outside the machine, but if you don't see one or can't get a good look at it without moving, it might help to close your eyes and focus on all the weird sounds the MRI is going to make. If you have someone coming with you, see if they can sit in the MRI room with you during the scan. My mom doesn't like MRIs either so my dad tends to sit near the machine with his hand on her foot. She says that helps. Above all, as I said, don't try to move. Don't obsess over how you can't, either. Think to yourself that you could move if you wanted, but you don't want to. The Xanax should help, too. I've taken it to help me sleep and to reduce nausea (along with Zofran).

    You're doing the right thing, Bixa. Good luck, and please let us know how it turns out. Has your neurologist told you about how long it's going to take for them to get back to you?
    31-year-old agnostic survivor of low-grade oligo-astrocytoma, diagnosed 6/17/11.
    I maintain the Ramblings of a Traitorous Mind blog as a chronicle of my battle with cancer and my related reflections.

  9. #9
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    12
    Well today I was on my way to get my MRI and I received a phone call on my cell phone. It was the place where I was supposed to get my MRI and they were calling to tell me that they were having problems with the the MRI machine and they weren't sure I would be able to get my MRI done. Well I was 5 minutes from the place so they told me to come anyway and they would see what the status of the machine was when I arrived. Well unfortunately when I arrived they told me that the machine was shutting off and it would probably be better for me to reschedule. I hadn't taken my meds yet so I wasn't to upset that I had to reschedule. Anyway I am set to have the MRI on Thursday now unless something unforeseen comes up.

    Knightly, it's funny that you mentioned the mirror thing as my Mom recently had an MRI at the exact place I am going and she said before they put her under the machine the technician told her she could look out and see the outside. This was reassuring to me when my Mom told me about this but I am still not sure if I should focus on that or just close my eyes and zone out. My worst fear is actually not being enclosed but more that magnet coming down so close to my face head on. I am not sure if the image of looking outside will comfort me or if I should just close my eyes and not have to see that magnet above my face. It's awful and embarrassing being so fearful of this test but I know I am not alone so I try not to focus too much on it. My husband is already coming in with me and he said he would hold my hand if it would help but I feel like such a big baby! Oh, I will be so glad when this is all over with and I am praying hard everything will be ok. Thanks for all the encouragement. I will post my results once I find out what they are, not sure how long it will take.

  10. #10
    Moderator Senior User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    249
    At least it's only two days! I was originally scheduled to have my MRI on May 25th but fell extremely ill on the 24th and couldn't make it. Instead I passed out, then slept for 40 hours. The next possible slot was on June 17th. Thankfully my tumor isn't aggressive enough for that to make much of a difference.

    Were I you, I'd keep my eyes closed at first and only use the mirror if that doesn't seem to help. My problem with the mirror is that it doesn't move with your head and body so if they adjust you, you might not be able to use it anymore (and of course you aren't allowed to move around for a better view). As for the magnet, you say you're worried about it coming close to your face head on? The magnet is contained within a solid toroidal structure. The surface of that will be pretty close to your face but you won't see anything moving. You'll be able to hear and feel the machine doing stuff but there's nothing to see visually.

    Some imaging facilities let you bring head phones or music they can play on their own sound system. Might be worth asking about.

    When you're waiting for the results, try not to get worried if it takes a while. With an MRI, it's instantly apparent when something is very wrong, and they'll let you know about that immediately. If you don't hear from them for a while, that usually means they didn't see any big problems and are carefully picking over the images for small problems. Hopefully they won't find either!
    31-year-old agnostic survivor of low-grade oligo-astrocytoma, diagnosed 6/17/11.
    I maintain the Ramblings of a Traitorous Mind blog as a chronicle of my battle with cancer and my related reflections.

  11. #11
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    12
    My test results came back and there are no brain tumors, Thank God. There is some evidence of plaque build up in the small arteries. My doctor wants me to follow a cholesterol lowering diet and possibly start a cholesterol med to avoid a possible stroke down the road or dementia. Not exactly what I wanted to hear but I know it could be worse so I will deal with this.

    Thank you to those who replied to my post and offered their support while I waited for my test results. I pray God will heal all of you and if any of you need a friend or just want to talk I am here for you if you need me. Thanks so much and God Bless.

  12. #12
    Moderator Senior User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    249
    Well if you've got to have something going wrong up there, high cholesterol sounds like a pretty good choice. Gotta cut back on the eggs! I hope it clears up for you soon, and thanks for letting us know.
    31-year-old agnostic survivor of low-grade oligo-astrocytoma, diagnosed 6/17/11.
    I maintain the Ramblings of a Traitorous Mind blog as a chronicle of my battle with cancer and my related reflections.

  13. #13
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    12
    Thanks Knightly for your support. Yeah having some plaque in my brain and dealing with cholesterol is not a big deal compared to what you are going through. I pray God will heal you and I wish you the very best in your fight against this awful cancer. Take care friend..... Thanks for caring.

 
+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Don't Smoke, Don't Drink and Brush Your Teeth!
    By Lisa Renee in forum Pancreatic Cancer Forum
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-22-2012, 12:20 PM
  2. Foul smelling lymph fluid
    By cheery in forum General Cancer topics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-16-2008, 09:18 AM
  3. Movie villains smoke more than heroes
    By leo in forum Cancer News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-08-2005, 10:06 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-01-2005, 05:00 AM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-03-2005, 01:55 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts