Thursday, April 22, 2010

A New Look Here and A Different Follow Up...

I decided to make some changes to the look of this place. I hope you like it. :)

Today I had a follow up at UCLA. It turned out to be a "not so usual" follow up. If you recall, two weeks ago I had to go to the ER for an asthma attack. As I am a firm believer in not worrying about something until there is something to worry about, I didn't mention to everyone this small little thing they found on my chest x-ray at the ER. A spot or some sort of lesion. I was instructed to follow up with my Pulmonologist, so I called his office to have them check my x-ray online. My Pulmonologist called back and said the spot was not on any of his previous scans. The last time he saw me was a few months prior to my cancer diagnosis. He instructed me to get my records from UCLA, and he wanted a second x-ray. I left a message with UCLA, and didn't think about it again until today.

When I met with the nurse practitioner today at UCLA, she asked me about my ER visit. When I explained to the nurse that my Pulmonologist wanted a second x-ray, she was concerned. She pulled my old records herself, and found that back in June (when I was in the hospital for neutropenic fever) a spot had shown up on my x-ray and CT scan. She dug into my records a little further, and noticed that the spot was also vaguely visible on a CT scan I had done in December 2008. The report said it was scar tissue from a possible pulmonary infection during induction chemo. She told me not to worry that it was most likely scar tissue, and got records and a CD of my scans ready for my Pulmonologist. She did however think his request for another x-ray wasn't enough, and tried to get authorization for an emergency CT scan at UCLA today. Insurance wouldn't approve it, so the best she could do was tomorrow at Hoag. Other than that, everything is good and I am to come back next month.

I decided to swing by my Pulmonologist's office in Huntington Beach on my way back from UCLA. Oddly enough, he had surgery earlier this week, so I knew I wasn't going to have an appointment any time soon. When I walked in, to my surprise my Pulmonologist was in the office wearing a c-spine neck brace. His nurse said she was just as surprised as I was but he apparently wanted to get started seeing patients he had to reschedule. When I gave her the records from UCLA, she asked if I had time as they had a cancellation. I decided it would help me sleep better to get it over, and agreed to read a book for an hour and wait.

Because a lot has changed with my medical history, my Pulmonologist had a lot of catching up to do. I have had two asthma attacks this week, so he decided to put me back on asthma maintenance meds. After the exam, we went into his office to talk. He pulled up my scans from UCLA, and unfortunately did not agree with my oncologist. The scar tissue UCLA had been seeing in their reports was in a different area of my lung. He did not see the new lesion that they found two weeks ago on my old scans. He agreed that I need a CT scan in the next week or so.

When a cancer patient in remission hears things like "spots" and "lesions", it tends to make one worry a little. Even if we have a firm stance on not worrying about things until there is something to worry about. When I told my Pulmonologist that I was concerned, he was a bit more reassuring. He was honest and said he didn't know if it was cancer or not, but even if it was, it isn't something that needs to be immediately treated. He said that one of my chemo drugs, Methotrexate, can offend have the side effect of scar tissue and benign lesions growing on the lungs. That last part is much more reassuring. He also said with my history of cancer, he as well as other doctors are always going to be more cautious. And for some reason, that is a comfort to hear.

Tomorrow I am going to make the appointment for the CT scan, and we should know more in two or three weeks. See, nothing to worry about! ;)

As for Jenelle, she is doing well after her bad seizures last week. The ER called on Sunday and she did have a bladder infection. She has been happy as a clam and is now on antibiotics.

That is all for now. I will keep you posted. Thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers.


Leightongirl said...

Gosh, can't you catch a break? I will be sending good thoughts your way, for the scan and all else.

Danielle said...

I like the new look a lot! Keep us updated on the scan

Anonymous said...

Praying for you. Love, celia

tatyoon said...

Love you (both). Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Michelle (JJEWEL)

Army of Mom said...

Wow. That is some stress to put on you. Hang in there and keep us posted. Glad Jennelle is doing well.