August Preliminary Update

Well, let’s start with a preliminary update.  Chest pain had been worsening for a few weeks… mostly on the front right side of the chest, wrapping around to the side.  I wasn’t due a primary care routine visit with the VA until September and that visit would require that I travel some distance for the appointment.  I didn’t feel much like making that trip so I transferred to a different facility closer to me.  I won’t go into the red tape, lies, sarcasm and condescension by the VA staff where I was transferring from at this time, but I feel that I really should discuss it at some later date.  There is no exaggeration in that last sentence.  It’s ridiculous how they treat veterans that simply want to be treated properly and fairly.

The new doctor seemed quite thorough and ordered blood work and chest x-rays.  The result of the x-rays read this way:

Focal opacities right middle and right lower lobe. These more
likely represent atelectatic change, close interval followup
recommended to reassess

Yeah… I know… I had to look it up too…


Collapse of the lung or a part of the lung, usually caused by bronchial obstruction

The absence of gas from all or a part of the lungs, due to failure of expansion or resorption of gas from the alveoli.

Which basically means that more of the lung has collapsed or is obstructed by…. well… something.  What that something is will have to be determined by further testing.

So, the doc recommended a CT.  There again I would need to travel to have this done by the VA.  I am not able to travel at this time, so I will have to find other means to have this done.  Although the VA claims on their TV commercials… patting themselves on the back for a job well done… that veterans now have a choice to have medical treatment by outside the VA sources…  I will tell you now in big bold letters that I know positively… from experience… that what they say is just plain BULL SHIT!  They even sent me a “Choice” card to carry with me.  I have attempted to utilize that “Choice” on several occasions, only to be told that I don’t qualify or some other excuse of why I really have “no choice”… but with no explanation as to why.  Welcome to the VA medical mis-treatment centers.

I called my cancer doc and she was most helpful and willing to set up a follow up procedure.  She has been wonderful through all of this.  The problem is that she wants to do a PET scan instead of a CT, because she said that the results of the x-ray can be an indication of other factors.  (other factors?)  The PET copay is about double that of a CT.  Ouch… Welcome to the American Health Care System… If you were to call them on the phone… this is probably the recorded message you would receive… Your call is important to us… we will be with you in approximately 22 hours and 14 minutes… Please hold while we gouge you severely because your government allows us to do so… that’s why we give your politicians millions of dollars every year so that we can make even more millions in profit by screwing our patients.

The earliest they could get an appointment for the scan is two weeks away.  Until then… I wait and wonder… hurt… cough myself nearly to death… and breathe with great difficulty.  That’s okay though… I’m still here to write in this journal… as long as I don’t talk very long or laugh.  There are multiple possibilities of results.  Even the best of those possibilities is not particularly good, but there are some much better than the others… so you know which one I’ll be expecting… the best one.

The lab results were mostly okay.  Extremely low magnesium and vitamin D… although I’m already taking 50,000 units of vitamin D a week… now I’m supposed to take 100,000 a week.  I’m not sure I like that idea a whole lot, but I will try it for a while.  Also now taking magnesium.

It will probably seem like a long two weeks for me… waiting for the scan and then another week waiting on the results.  Hmmm… what circumstances could possibly change in three weeks time?

Now, its Kitty Time:

Jade… ready for his motorcycle ride… but he needs an extra large sidecar…

Jade 2


Is he adorable or what?

Mugs 1


Wishing you all a most beautiful day…








7 thoughts on “August Preliminary Update

  1. I think it deplorable the treatment that you are getting Michael, and can only say how sorry I am to read this post and its news.. I wish you well with your scan.. and hope that your Dr can get some further headway in moving things along for you..

    As for the cats.. well, they charmed me for sure.. And loved them both..
    Sending continued healing prayers Michael.
    Sue 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sue… Yes… it is indeed deplorable, but what bothers me the most is that there are so many veterans… who are suffering far more than me, that are treated with the same disrespect. It is truly sad…

      My radiation oncologist is a gem… She has been my angel within the medical profession and proven to me that there is in fact, those who truly care about the person that dwells inside the patient.

      As for the kitties… well… how can I not smile… not find hope in the world… when I live every day with such beautiful creatures… who love me unconditionally… You are like those beautiful creatures Sue… you have been a beautiful being within my world for quite some time now… and I thank you with all my heart… for so often… brightening my spirit with your light…
      A beautiful day to you Sue…

      Liked by 1 person

      • What a beautiful thing you have just said to me Michael.. many thanks my friend.. And long may the Angels reside within the corner pockets of the medical world for the world really needs those angels.. And we really do need our four legged companions who bring us so much unconditional love.. Sending continued energy your way Michael.. Hugs Sue

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry you are having to deal with this b.s. on top of the pain and everything else. PET is definitely preferred to CT in my oncology clinic. The reason that is is because its more precise at finding active tumors. CT just shows mass from my understanding. Michael, have you sought out any not for profit hospitals that will help you through financial aid? I don’t need an answer but I highly recommend it. Its only slightly more red tape. More importantly….I hope you have better days ahead. Sending healing vibes. Cute cat pics. They look darling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Linda for your kindness. I know PET scans are better as far as finding cancer goes… but they are considerably more expensive even on the copay. I’m basically concerned at this moment though with what is causing more collapse in the lung… and of course it could be more cancer but I’m hopeful that it is something else that can possibly be contained a bit easier. i’m not sure about more radiation… that is what supposedly caused the lower part collapse. There is one not for profit here but trust me… they are all about profit. Someone close to me recently spent two nights there following a carotid stent and the not for profit sent them a bill for $120,000. If that’s not gouging the patient, I don’t know what is.

      I am certainly planning on better days ahead… I’m not really complaining about the days I currently have. Every dawn I get to enjoy is a beautiful day and I can still write and interact with some very beautiful people here on wordpress… so things are really pretty good.

      As soon as I send this to you, I’m heading for your site to catch up on your posts and well being… Thank you so much for dropping by and taking the time for some conversation.

      Hope you are well, but will be sending some healing light your way just to give you a bit of a boost.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally understand about price gauging patients but I encourage everybody to apply for financial assistance through hospitals. They are required by law to offer it if they receive government funding ( i.e. not for-profit status but perhaps thats only one qualifier. I have noticed hospitals around here pushing the applications on patients and suspect that they get more money if more people sign up).
        My first go round with cancer came to 300,000 grand total for one year- surgery, radiation, chemo, scans, staging, etc. I had no insurance . They forgave it all. They also help with those co- pays for scans. Of course it depends on many things, but I like to put it out there just in case it can help someone.
        And thank you for your healing light Michael. I send it to you as well. I am hoping that you will get answers and of course relief. Didn’t know radiation could collapse lungs….I’m waiting on PET as well…in anticipation of possible radiation. I was worried about potential heart damage but didnt think it through so now I will.
        Very glad you are enjoying your days. In the end, none of us, no matter what, can really expect more than that:)
        Take care my dear.


  3. Has anyone ever given you magnesium cream or gel to put on your skin? It’s supposedly very absorbable that way. My mother-in-law uses it regularly and says it reduces joint and muscle pain for her. (Placebo? I don’t know. But, hey, I’d take a placebo if it worked better than nothing. Lol)


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