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Scared I may have brain cancer (gbm) that’s spread to my spine.


Age: 17

Sex: Male

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 181

Race: White

Primary concern: increasing forgetfulness/brain fog, left leg feels different than the right.

Duration: cognitive issues have lasted 10 months but have gotten worse in the last 3 months, and especially in the last month. Leg tingling/weakness has lasted for a little  over a month.

medical issues: Asthma, OCD, suspected ADHD, Anxiety.

Current medication: albuterol rescue inhaler as needed, Zoloft 100 mg (went off cold turkey 4 months ago, and got back on it at 50 mg a month ago).


Displaying symptoms that I fear may be indicative of a disease afflicting both my brain and spine, but my parents are dismissing them.


I’ve had this feeling of brain fog that’s been persistent for the past 8 months or so, but it’s only gotten worse in the past 3. It’s been rapidly progressing and I’m forgetting things that I think of as soon as they come to me more times than I can count, throughout the day. I also have leg burning and tingling that’s progressed to weakness in my left leg as well.

It initially just presented as feeling like I wasn’t as articulate, and that I couldn’t think as deep, but I’ve since developed horrible short term memory issues. For instance: I can remember what it is that I ate, conversations I’ve had, and things that I need to do in/on a particular day, but I’ll often lose my train of thought or forget what it was that I was thinking about (especially after asking myself what it was I was just thinking about seconds ago) almost immediately after having conceived it (literally), and it sometimes comes back to me after a bit of thought, but most of the time it doesn’t. Also, I’ve forgotten names of restaurants that I frequent fairly often, the names of certain people (although I haven’t seen said people in over a year), names of sports teams/player, etc. I also am not anywhere near as mentally sharp or quick witted as I used to be, and I’ve been finding it harder and harder to come by words. It’s been at this severity level for a little over a month, but before that, I noticed I was misplacing things often (3 months ago) and that progressed to me feeling like my reasoning skills and problem solving skills had taken a plummet, and then that progressed to where I’m at now.

Besides that, I’ve also had some slight pressure in my head for about a month, and I feel a burning sensation  in my legs almost all the time when lying down. I also had a brief period of time where I was unable to get erect (lasted 2 weeks), and I’ve since developed new lower back pain.

My left leg also feels different than the right, but I don’t really know the right word to describe it. It feels like it has less sensation and is slightly asleep at all times in the front calf region, and it makes me feel like I’m walking on uneven ground at all times. I’ve been with the altered leg sensation and weakness for about 3 weeks, and it began immediately after the burning legs died down a bit.

Also, before the onset of my symptoms in September of 2020, I had three consecutive horrible experiences with marijuana, but I was an infrequent consumer of it before then, maybe only having done it 10 times prior at most. After those instances, i had a few episodes in the following months where I’d have my heart rate sky-rocket seemingly out of nowhere, and afterwards brain fog would come. I don’t know if that could be at all related, but I feel it may be worth mentioning.

I initially planned to go get bloodwork done, but my doctor and mom conversed and decided it wasn’t necessary given my history of unintentionally exaggerating the extent of my physical symptoms and hypochondria.

I’m quite worried about the progression of my brain fog, and the other symptoms (especially the leg weakness) and I’m wondering if this seems consistent with a neurological disease or anything similar.

I try to keep the thoughts of it being something more severe out of my head (brain cancer, spinal cancer, and other things have all come to mind), but I can’t really help it. I’ve never experienced these symptoms before and feel hopeless considering everyone around me is writing this off as stress and anxiety. The feelings are,
like I said, unrelenting, and only seem to be getting worse over time, and if anything is what’s been the root of my mental struggles at the moment.


Edit: my left leg feels like it’s getting weaker by the day. I can still ambulate, but I fear that will no longer be the case soon. I’ve also been feeling pins and needles in the left foot, they feel like little zaps, and I’ve also developed that sensation elsewhere, too. It’s primarily felt on the side of my legs, groin area, and sometimes the rear area. I’ve also felt it in my private area as well.
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Avatar universal
That's a lot to process.  First, I agree with you, seeing a doctor for a very thorough exam would be the first thing to do.  I don't think you need to worry about cancer or all that, but you might have tweaked something in your lower back or hip area that's pinching on a nerve.  You're pretty young for that to happen, but it might have.  It could be anxiety -- anxiety can cause all sorts of problems.  If it is, your medication, obviously, isn't working very well.  It could be stopping the med cold turkey, which could have thrown you into what's called a protracted withdrawal, meaning it's lasting a long time.  You might know that for sure if you go back to the dose you were on and see if the problems go away.  It works better to do that soon after you start having the problem, but it's probably not too late.  You have to be very careful with these meds, and if you want to quit you have to have a very good psychiatrist who knows how to do it properly and taper you down as slowly as suits you, not some schedule the doc uses for everyone.  We're all different.  Marijuana is well known for triggering anxiety in some people.  I started getting my first panic attacks while stoned.  I don't blame the pot for causing it, but it did bring in on.  If you don't let it go it becomes chronic anxiety.  It could also be nutritional or all sorts of things, which is why a thorough exam with a doc wouldn't hurt.  You need to tell your folks this:  anxiety doesn't protect us from getting all the health problems everyone else gets, it just makes them harder to deal with.  So while a lot of things are attributable to anxiety, having it isn't a protection against getting sick.  Also, have you had covid?  Your symptoms could be long haul covid symptoms even if it was so mild you didn't even know you had it, so when you do see the doc get tested for antibodies to see if you had it.  It just doesn't hurt to see a doctor when stuff happens even if you sometimes are a hypochondriac.  You have to learn to tell the difference between the symptoms your anxiety makes you think you have and the symptoms your reason tells you are there.  Peace.
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