Friday, June 14, 2013

Another Challenge

So the CT was done last Friday, June 7th.  Getting results back in Eugene is not quite as efficient as getting them at Mayo.  It took several calls being the "squeaky wheel", but we finally got the results to a lung specialist and they got me in yesterday.  The bad news is he's about 90 % sure I have lung cancer.  As he was going on about treatment and additional tests and removing part of my lung, I was thrown back to four years ago when Dr. Zeldenrust told me about my amyloid.  He too launched right in to discussions about transplants, and food restrictions and I was sitting there still trying to process the diagnosis.  You sit there in disbelief and it is so hard to take in what they are saying to you.

I liked the Dr. a lot.  He was vey straight forward and didn't mind repeating things several times for me.  Had I known I was going to get a diagnosis during that appointment I wouldn't have gone in alone.  Another set of ears would have been helpful.   The one thing that was very confusing to him is that I am not and never was a smoker, nor have I been around much second hand smoke.  If so, I think he would have finalized my diagnosis right then.  As it is, he is ordering a PET scan in hopes that it might not be a malignancy, and to see if it could have come from some other source of cancer origination in my body.  If that test his positive he is going to do a "navigational" biopsy.  Apparently the growth is in an awkward spot to get at for the usual biopsy method, so they will have to put me under.  I it is for sure cancer, he is pretty sure it is stage one, and the treatment is to remove the lower 1/3 of my right lung.

Wow.  One deadly disease is not enough?  My concern is if I can whether another major surgery?  I'm already pretty weak and down about 35 lbs.  When I had the transplant I wasn't too worried because I was still in pretty good shape.  Now?  Not so much.  He is talking 4-6 weeks recovery time.  I can barely keep my muscles going now.  I work out as much as I can, but the atrophy continues.  How weak will my legs be if I'm down for four weeks?  Not to mention the eating and GI problems I have to deal with every day.  Well, one step at a time.  Next up, PET scan.  Maybe I'll beat the odds and he'll be wrong about the cancer.  In the interim I think I''ll explore non-surgical options to cancer and see what my alternatives are.

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