“The waiting is the hardest part” — Tom Petty
I just emerged from the MRI machine where my brain was scanned to determine if the cancer in my lung spread to my brain. At this point, I’m trying to remember to count my blessings whenever possible, so I was happy to see an open MRI machine like the one pictured above instead of the claustrophobia-inducing regular tunnel type.
I’m killing some time in The Heart Healthy Cafe at the hospital, waiting for my 10:15 appointment with the surgeon who just might be removing the lower left lung lobe, and maybe more. (More about that in a moment.)
Yesterday’s appointment was a consult with the pulmonologist who’ll perform the EBUS (Endobronchial Ultrasound) to determine if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in my chest…as soon as United Health Care approves.
He went over the PET-CT scan with us, and was able to share some good news and raise another question.
The good news is that, aside from my left lung, the scan is clear. The cancer hasn’t spread to any other organs (still waiting on the brain and lymph nodes). One more notch in the blessings column.
The new question, however, is that other mass they found in the upper lobe of my left lung. Yes, you read that right.
There’s a second mass, smaller than the first, visible on that scan which might necessitate another biopsy to find out if it, too, is malignant.
That will determine what stage my cancer is, and help determine the course of treatment. Worried that it might mean losing my entire left lung, the doctor said, “Not necessarily. We might remove the lower lobe and be able to just excise a slice of the upper lobe.”
I’m not sure that qualifies as a blessing. I guess it’s all relative.
One hour till the appointment with the surgeon. I think I’ll go explore the gift shop, as the elderly man at the next table in The Heart Healthy Cafe is giving me palpitations, making excuses for Trump’s idiotic calls for the Russians to hack Clinton’s email! Ackk!