Here is the conclusion, followed by the story. This week I was told I have multiple nodules in my lungs, presumably cancerous and metastatic. I have made many phone calls to track down what is going on. I will see a pulmonologist on Monday, May 18, and my oncologist on Wednesday. I would prefer rapid testing and treatment rather than the lazy-days-of-summer response I received from some the last time.
Last March 6, I had a brain scan, and the results were better than excellent. To my knowledge, those results stand and I am happy about that. My last post advised that I would not be posting again until July 10. Today is not July 10. You will note that I also said, “For prophylaxis, everyone should continue to pray for me until then.”
I think at least one person failed to pray.
On April 6, I had a follow-up CT scan on my chest and abdomen. It took about one hour of waiting before I was taken back and another hour of waiting after I drank the goo they gave me. I wish they would have told me about the goo before I showed up. Expectation management is one important aspect of keeping patients happy. Two days later I got the news that all was clear. The next test should be in a year.
Each year I have an echocardiogram and chest MRI to check the progress of my aortic aneurysm. It was diagnosed in 2004. At that time I was told that I would probably have surgery in a year, but it could be six months, maybe three years, maybe five, could be ten. This past April 20 marks the eleventh year without surgery. The MRI is more properly called an MRA, “A” is for “angio.” On Monday May 11, I had my echo and MRA. It was the first time I was not nervous about the outcome. It took place in a new facility and in a new machine in which I actually fit without being pinched. New technology is wonderful.
On Wednesday, my cardiologist called to say that multiple nodules were found in my lungs. Each of three was about one inch in diameter. I mentioned that I just had a chest CT and it was clear. He could not respond as he is a cardiologist, and he had not seen the prior scans. He let me know in his quiet but forceful way that I needed to address this as my first priority.
What about the aneurysm? It got smaller. It has been measured several times at 4.9 cm, and once larger than 4.9 cm. For most people surgery takes place at 5.0 cm, but I am not most people. Now it is 4.5 cm. Aneurysms, as a rule, do not get smaller. Ask anybody. He does not even want an office visit this year.
Then I called my GP. After I explained that I had just been diagnosed with lung nodules presumed to be cancerous, the scheduler got me in for the first available opening, two days later on Friday. The next day (today), I got a call from his office. They wanted to see me immediately. Apparently, the nurse saw my name on the schedule and told the scheduler to get me in ASAP. I marvel at how the schedule opens when they want to see you, but it is full when they don’t feel like it. Also, it is good when the nurses like you.
As my doctor and I discussed the situation, I told him that I urgently wanted to reconcile the MRA of May 11 with the CT of April 6. He could find no record of the April 6 CT. He agreed that to move the process along I would need to see a lung specialist, and he arranged for that to happen this coming Monday.
I chased down my April 6 CT, getting a copy of both the scan and the radiology report. While I was standing in the reception area, I read the report. Clear as a bell, in capital letters, it said, “CONSISTENT WITH METASTATIC DISEASE.”
I told the receptionist that “this office has known for six weeks that I had cancer in my lungs, and nobody told me!” They looked surprised and told me to call my doctor, which I did. His office had to return my call. After looking into it, they reported back that the way the report is written, it was hard to see what it said. I do not want to vent on this issue because you can figure it out on your own.
In addition to praying for me, you might want to pray for my doctor. If he is a decent person, which I believe he is, he is having a difficult time about now.