Yes… I know. Don’t Google your illness. Too late… In my defense… I have done my very best to separate the fiction from the facts and have only studied the information from very reputable sites. I know… I could have it all wrong… or it could be like my reading of the scan results… partly right and partly wrong.
I must confess… this latest diagnosis is kicking me in the mental butt. I don’t know if that means that I have my head up my ass or what… but I am indeed having a difficult time getting my thoughts straight. For those of you who would rather not read this… that is perfectly alright… after all… it is just a journal… a documentation of personal events… and this entry into this journal will most likely… not lift your spirits. I have chosen to include along with all the details of tests and procedures, the mental turmoil that may accompany this illness and I know that there are those that don’t want to know. I should have become one of those before I investigated all the information I could find… but as most of you already know… I’m a curious soul. I’m not going to let someone else decide my fate without obtaining as much knowledge as I possibly can.
Here’s a few of the details that I left out of the last post. The size of the tumor in the hilar lymph node area is 29mm. When I think of millimeters, I tend to think that whatever has measurements in millimeters must be relatively small. In this case… it seems to not be the case. The normal size for the lymph nodes in the hilum is 1 centimeter… (10 millimeters for those of you who still dwell in the antiquated imperial system like me.)
The tumor that has taken up residency in the lymph node of the right hilum of the lung is almost three times the size of the normal lymph node. What I can say about this is that any other part of me that has swollen to three times its normal size… hurts like hell. I suppose that would explain a lot of the pain I experience in the right chest and mid chest areas. At that size, it must also be putting a great deal of pressure on the pulmonary artery and veins, the bronchial arteries and all that garbage that pass through the hilum. Along with the fact that the lower and middle portion of that same lung has collapsed… I suppose I needn’t wonder why I’m so short of breath.
The tumor in the subcarinal area is about the same size. That tumor is located directly below where the windpipe splits to feed the lungs. The diseased node is on the right bronchus immediately after the split.
Further diagnosing of myself with my medically uneducated mind… I have unofficially determined that I fall into the T4 N2 M0 or maybe M1 (I’m not sure) category… which places me kind of in between stage 3B and stage 4. The prognosis for patients with cancer in the Hilum and Subcarinal areas… that has metastasized from other areas… (Lungs)… shows a survival rate of 5 to 8 percent…………………………… Well………. Shit!!!!!!!!!!!! What else can I say?
Radiotherapy to these areas is quite dangerous, as you would think. I don’t need to read a lot of information to know that. They are very near the heart which I already have a great deal of trouble with. When the hilum gets radiated, so does all the vessels, nerves and airways that pass through it. I’ve already been warned by my radiation oncologist of what might happen to the esophagus with radiation to the subcarinal area… and how does one radiate a lymph node (subcarinal) that lays against the windpipe, without radiating the windpipe? It’s not pretty.
Most studies that I have found involve surgery, chemotherapy and then radiation. I’m too high a risk for surgery or chemo. There are very few that speak only of radiation therapy without the other two procedures. Of course, as we already know from past experience… I’m normally in the “un-normal” categories, if I fit into any category at all.
So… someone please tell me what to do, because I am at a loss… a complete loss. It seems that I am searching for hope on my own Vision of Hope33 site. Whatever that means… I’m not sure. It seems I’m not really sure of anything in this moment. Who am I anyway?
Oh, yeah… I remember…
Michael33… the one who’s been beating the odds for twenty years.
Change of subject matter:
These little creatures seem to not have a care in the world. Of course… they don’t Google. They do live a bit dangerously though… having a pool party in the kitties water bowl may not be the smartest thing to do… but they sure look like they’re having a lot of fun… and they even invited me.