I know this is a long post… longer if you delve into the beautifully detailed images of my innards. If it gets too long for you… leave for a while and come back later… my ‘hits’ counter will love it. Either way… thank you for being here.
Okay… from the pic above, I’m sure you can surmise that my most recent scan found a couple of varmints and a half eaten heart living inside me. I must first let you know that I do not have a copy of the report in my hand at this moment and I am relying totally on the short summation I received from the doc. Personally… I think that doctors should read any report they receive from procedures they ordered in their entirety to the patient. If my mind had been where it should have been at the time, I would have asked her to do so. I didn’t… My mistake. I am currently awaiting the arrival of a copy of the report from the prompt and dependable United States Postal Service. Since I will probably take a few days to write this during the holidays… perhaps the report will arrive before it is posted.
I’d like to begin with the ‘good’ news. The report from the most recent PET scan indicates that there are no ‘new’ areas that are glowing in the dark. That is indeed… very good news. The rest of the report… which I regrettably must say is lacking in its quality and quantity… mostly due to my own un-thinking while with the doctor. I would imagine that there are many of us who have left the doctor’s office… gotten only a short distance away… and said, “Damn… I meant to ask about that”… In my case… I made it all the way home after several errands before the questions started pouring in.
What ‘was’ discussed at the office was the pneumonia and the concern by the doc that my lung had not re-inflated by now. She indicated that usually they will re-inflate in a matter of a few weeks and that mine was… of course… evidently… an exception. Although she did not indicate in any way that I could have been… at least partially to blame… for not doing all that could be done to help it re-inflate, I’m fairly certain she must have been rolling her eyes and thinking… “idiot”…, but was just too kind to say so. After all… I did refuse to try the steroids she recommended… I didn’t use the little plastic breathing apparatus that she so generously gave to me to use, because… it just didn’t seem like it was doing anything worthwhile at the time. So perhaps I should just go ahead and stamp “Idiot” on my forehead and be done with it.
Prednisone in small doses is probably safe for most patients. H o w e v e r… as mentioned in previous posts, the rhythm of my heart is the perfect example of discontinuity in its extreme. Three evenly spaced heart beats in a row is a very unusual experience for me. Extra beats, skipped beats, stuttering beats… along with a bit of A-fib… well… that is my “normal” rhythm. Then we’ll throw in the fact that the firing mechanism has moved from the right atrium to the lower… center portion of the heart… sometimes fires in the wrong direction and throws the chambers out of sync or causes the wrong chamber to beat first, throwing them all out of whack and pumps blood in the wrong direction. I can’t even explain how that makes me feel. ‘Out of whack’… that is a good definition of my heart rhythm. Anytime I see a medication that indicates… ‘may cause arrhythmia’… well… I think you understand my concern. The doc told me to break the pills in half and take an even lower dose, just to get a little of it into my system for the inflammation. I’m still a chicken… my wings are flapping… Next thing you know… I’ll be pecking grains and seeds off the kitchen table… Oh… wait… I already do that.
There has to be a way to relieve the pressure within my chest to help the collapsed lung re-inflate. I’ve seen where docs cut a hole in your side, between the ribs… and jab a tube through the hole to relieve the pressure. Perhaps I could just jab a soda straw through my chest and that would relieve it. So… I think that it boils down to this… how do I make my chest fart?
Oh… wait… did I really just say that? Sorry…
So the saga continues on whether or not to take the chance on the steroids at the expense of the heart rhythm. Help!!! Where is that medical research professional that would love to delve into my un-normal-ness?
I’m scheduled for an echo cardiogram next month… Should provide some entertainment for someone. My current cardiologist (who inherited me because my excellent cardiologist whom I had for many, many years…and trusted completely… had the nerve to retire)… usually looks over the results of my echoes and just… well… grunts. Yes… you read that correctly… I have a grunting cardiologist. He also scratches his head and rolls his eyes up toward the ceiling as if looking for divine guidance. Bless his heart… I always provide a wonderful challenge for all medical professionals that have to deal with me. He’s a man of few words.
I know that my readers don’t care much for lengthy posts. Most never make it through more than the first couple of paragraphs before they go clicking off into other directions of the wordpress world. (in spite of my adorable kitty pics) That’s okay. I understand. For me to read a really long post… it has to be quite interesting. If you made it this far through this post, then you are one who must have found something of interest and I am honored that you are here. My last post received six likes and two comments. I would most likely discontinue posting on this site, except for the fact that those six individuals who ‘liked’ the post and the two very compassionate souls who took the time to comment… are very special people to me… and I thank you with all my heart… arrhythmias and all.
I will wait perhaps another day to post this, with hope that the scan report arrives and I can include it within this text. Thank you for being here with me… Thank you for brightening my day.
Friday, December 30, 2016
The “official” results…
Hmmm… Well… I received the copy of the scan report and as usual… I stand more confused than before. Maybe that’s why the docs don’t automatically read these things to their patients. There is a lot here… and I will attempt to keep this as short as possible.
Good news first…
No abnormal uptake in the head… well… we already knew that one… empty heads can’t absorb anything…
No “definite”?… focal areas of abnormal uptake in the neck… I don’t understand the ‘definite’ part of this statement…
Okay… the above is the good part… the ‘very’ good part… and what remains is a little of good and perhaps… not so good mixed together and separating one from the other has become a challenge for one of little knowledge… one that thought he had a little better understanding of reading results… both written and of the scan itself…
There is change of the median sternotomy… I know that is where the sternum has been surgically divided to allow by-pass or other surgeries that require access through the chest. Mine has been wired back together… or something like that. What it means to indicate that it has changed… I do ‘not’ know.
Calcified preaortic node is seen with uptake of 2.4… this one sounds a bit bad to me, but I have received no explanation of what it actually means. I know it is in a bad spot and the fact that they assigned an uptake value… although relatively low… I must admit… seems a bit concerning.
Calcified nodes in the left hilum. The hilum is the area of the lung where the blood vessels and nerves, etc. enter the organ. I think… calcified nodes aren’t necessarily dangerous but tend to be more so in this area.
Coronary calcifications… That’s all it says… It gives no details, extent of calcification or explanations.
The consolidation in the posterior sulcus right lower lobe is again noted with uptake ratio of 2.2… I realize that this is a lower value… but also realize that on the previous CT scan of that area, there was ‘no’ uptake value indicated.
There is calcified granuloma in the left lateral sulcus. I think this is probably fairly normal for a scan of an old coot’s lung…
Accumulation in both kidneys… Accumulation of what… beer?
Calcifications in the spleen. Hmmm…
Diverticulosis coli… I’m not certain on this one… but I have been told… on occasion… that I am full of $#^!… Perhaps this is just a confirmation of those accusations…
Mild uptake in the bowel. Normal appendix.
Wedge shaped area of pneumonitis in the right posterior sulcus showing a degree of uptake in addition to postradiation pneumonitis ‘or’ other pneumonia… “Or”?
“My” impression: Huh?
So here’s the deal… I am going to continue to consider myself as… at least… temporarily free of cancer… or at least of any cancerous areas that are of a major concern at this time. The pneumonia seems to be sticking around for far too long and of course… it does take its toll over a period of time. I’m tired of being so weak. If it is caused by the radiation treatments… why am I being prescribed extended amounts of antibiotics? Am I stuck fighting pneumonia forever? The collapsing lung is something that I must work on. I must find a way to become a better patient… to do what the doc suggests I do… after all… she’s just trying to help me get better.
I must add a comment about this report and the scan CD that I received. On the envelope the disc was in, the correct name and DOB was indicated. On the images and information within the disc, the DOB was incorrect. Also… the statement on the report that the appendix was normal… well… my appendix was removed a couple of decades ago… Hmmm… does make one wonder… doesn’t it?
The result of all of this that lingers most profoundly in my mind is that there were no strongly glowing quasars found inside this antediluvian earthling. The only things that glowed… glowed gently… like a candle burning softly… bringing a vision of hope to those who sometimes wander in the darkness.
I remain in my state of positive thinking… with perhaps a bit of wonder… more than a couple of questions to ponder… and yes……… a most beautiful “vision of hope”.