So… I awoke this morning… actually… I slept very little but we’ll say I awoke this morning with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head… oh… wait… those weren’t sugar plums at all… they were large glowing blobs in and around my lung. Crap!!!
I was going to start this post with the actual report on the PET scan, but it is most confusing and probably wouldn’t mean much to most of you. So, I’ll just add a pic or two and fill you in on what the doc said about it… and then of course… add my two cents worth.
I am most usually able to do a pretty good interpretation of the results of these scans from the reports and the disk… this time… was an exception to that rule. As it turns out… there seems to be a few professionals having a bit of difficulty with interpreting it as well.
New large area of consolidation/mass effect right hilum which is intensely hypermetabolic compatible with right hilar neoplasm with post obstructive atelectasis or infiltrate in the lower and upper lung zone – progressed… with neoplastic involvement extending to the right lateral mid chest.
New right pleural effusion.
See… I told you it was confusing… and that’s just the part without all the details.
There must be another page to this report somewhere…. where the words “Cancer Free” appear.
Okay… What this report means according to my radiation oncologist…
Tumor surrounding the hilum of the right lung, obstructing air flow to the lung causing it to collapse… the tumor and the mass are blocking air flow and blocking the lung from draining which, as a result… is allowing fluid buildup in the lower lobe (pneumonia).
The consolidation stretching from the hilum to the pleura (external lining around the lung at the rib wall) is “most likely” the collapsed portion of the lung… but can’t be positive of what it really is. Why it has an SUV value at the wall between the ribs… has not fully been addressed… (soft tissue density with SUV of 2.7)…
(((Obviously… I have multitudes of questions about that last paragraph)))
New area of right pleural effusion…
The original report did not include the size of the tumor which is not the norm. Evidently… it wasn’t included because it is likely that some components of the tumor may be hidden within the consolidation/mass and would be impossible to measure accurately. The part of the tumor that ‘is’ measurable… is larger than any of the other tumors I have endured thus far. It’s full size remains unknown.
Okay… take a deep breath Michael… if possible.
So….. I’m intensely hypermetabolic… but of course… we all knew that already… glowing in the dark is one of my specialties… well… perhaps I should clarify that… or… maybe I should let you use your own imagination.
Post obstructive atelectasis – progressed… doesn’t sound like anything that will keep me down for long… after all… I’ve been obstructed for one reason or another all my life.
Now… the neoplasm extending from the hilum to the right lateral mid chest is a bit concerning, especially since I’ve had considerable pain in the right side of the rib cage. I don’t know if that means that there has been damage caused in the pleura, or the tissue between the ribs or the rib cage itself… but I do know that it is often quite painful. The fact that it was given an SUV value at the soft tissue between the ribs is both puzzling and troubling.
My breathing is ‘fairly’ normal but with some difficulty and at times… great difficulty for reasons that were not apparent. Perhaps it is no longer – ‘not apparent’. The new area of pleural effusion (an unusual amount of fluid around the lung) is a bit disconcerting as well, but not unexpected considering the other data from this report.
I did ask the doc about my blood pressure… 178/104… which is about what it has been for the past six months. She replied… “You have a lot going on.”
Yep… I do.
Funny though… I’ve seen three other doctors in that time period and none of them have attempted to investigate the cause of the high BP… including primary care and cardiologist. It would have been nice to catch this tumor while it was a bit smaller and before the obstruction occurred. Ahhh…. modern day medicine in the U.S… isn’t it great?
Monday morning I will be having another CT to align the tumor with the scanner. I suppose that means I will again be adorning black crosses in various places around my rib cage. From that point… everything is “to be determined”.
I’d like to express my deepest appreciation for all of your prayers, well wishes and healing light. Obviously… they have been very effective or I would not have survived through this ordeal… so… thank you with all my heart for your continuing support.
My resume with cancer…
Lymph nodes… right side of neck
Base of tongue
Lower lobe of right lung
And now… intense hypermetabolic lesion in the perihilar region with large mass from the right hilum extending posteriorly to the lower lobe and anteriorly to the right pleura with soft tissue density… post obstructive pneumonia and pleural effusion.
Blah… Blah… Blah…
Now we all know that I’m not going to let a little thing like that get me down.
My mind is a bit muddled in this moment, but as you all know… I will find a way to find the positive in all of it. Hope! I didn’t start the Vision of Hope 33 site to lose hope… to give up… to let a little thing like another shitty prognosis make me throw in the towel. It will never happen.
So… what does all this awful sounding crap mean to the one filled with hope… the one searching desperately for the clowns and the marching bands… finding only the frightened “Trapeze Swinger”…
You might listen to this song by clicking the link below to have a better understanding of that last sentence.
Caution: the song has one bad word in it… but you should listen to the heart… poured into the music… when you have time… it is 7:58 long…
I know that a lot of my posts are about the physical aspects of cancer… where its located, the tests, the results, the treatments… but there is such a great deal more to cancer than just the physical. I hope to post more often along this segment of the journey to explore the other aspects of this horrible illness. It affects so many around us. When you listen to that song… it helps one to realize that what we do, what we go through in our happiness, in our sorrow, in our suffering… affects all of those that surround us… yet… most often… we struggle to find a way to express it in words.
I know that in the coming journey… I will meet some amazing people… some with enduring courage that I can only imagine… those who are so very willing to share their kindness, their encouragement and yes… HOPE! I have heard many amazing stories through this journey and expect to hear more in the coming days and weeks. Thank you all so very much for standing with me in the fire… that is a most beautiful place to experience the birth….. of HOPE!
Now……………………. Breathe…………………. deeply……………………..
and go listen to the “Trapeze Swinger”
Come on now… I know you can find the time to listen to it in its entirety… maybe while you’re doing laundry… or dishes… or sitting there pondering your next post… or just sipping on your first cup of coffee. Trust me… if you listen to the words… it will affect you and your writing… in some way.
Wishing you all a most beautiful day!