Worried I have a brain tumor/ cancer.

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 00:45

Hi, I'm hoping to get some advice. I've been having quite a few medical problems lately and I'm constantly stressing over it now and worrying myself sick. Sorry in advance that this is long and kind of all over the place.. A month ago or so I was having chest pain on and off and my doctor put me on medication for an ulcer, which seemed to help some. But then a little over 2 weeks ago I started having horrible upper abdominal pain, I was seen in the ER three times before being admitted for very high liver enzymes and high bilirubin. They tested me for hepatitis, which was negative. They did an abdominal mri, and it came back normal. After 3 days they discharged me because my levels were starting to come down and the doctor told me she was guessing that it was some type of viral infection that affected my liver. One day before my discharge I started getting a bad cough, and horrible headaches with blurry vision. The doctor I seen there told me to follow up with my primary doctor when I got discharged. My primary doctor referred me to an eye doctor for the blurry vision, who told me I have swollen optic nerves. This was about 2 weeks ago. He ordered a brain mri, but that mri isn't for another 5 days. Everything I've read sounds like swollen optic nerves are pretty serious so I'm not sure why I've had to wait so long for the mri. My headaches have been getting quite a bit worse, they last almost all day and no pain relievers help, and I've been getting a tingling feeling in my forehead that comes and goes. But the blurry vision has gotten better. I'm not congested at all, but do have a cough. And when I cough the pain in my head gets worse. I'm hoping maybe someone here can help calm my nerves. I'm terrified I have a brain tumor. If it wasn't for the swollen optic nerves I would think maybe it was just my sinuses causing the headaches but im also not congested and only have the cough. 

Jim C Forum Mo…

Hi amanda,


I'm sorry to hear about the symptoms you're experiencing, and I understand your concern and desire to get answers as quickly as possible. The brain MRI should pretty definitively determine whether there is a tumor, and I'm sorry that you have to wait five days for it. Many people don't appreciate how long that can feel when you're dealing with a possibly serious medical condition.


That being said, there are many much less serious but much more common causes for headaches. Also, the fact that you have symptoms not as commonly associated with a brain tumor makes that diagnosis less likely.


It's much easier for me to say than for you to do, but please try not to assume the worst. Please let us know what you find out. We'll be hoping that there is a simpler explanation with a relatively easy treatment.


Jim c Forum Moderator 


In reply to by Jim C Forum Mo…


Hi! I ended up getting my MRI a couple of days early and got my results earlier today. There's no brain tumor! But my doctor said that I have pseudotumor cerebri, because I still have severely swollen optic nerves. He said he's about 99% sure that's what's going on. I meet with a neurologist in 2 weeks and will be having a lumbar puncture to relieve the pressure in my brain, and then they will confirm if it is for sure a Pseudotumor cerebri, and rule out any infections or anything else that could be causing it.