Tuesday, November 13, 2012

the lung cancer funk

When I wake up with phrases from the radiologist’s report from my most recent CT scan dancing in my head instead of visions of sugar plumbs it’s maddening.

Believe it or not, a “new subcarinal lymphadenopathy” is far more important to me than who won a Presidential election.

Yeah, my thoractic surgeon immediately following my recent CT scan saw no tumors or suspicious areas and left me with the impression that it was  definitely not bad news but …” because of inflammation from chest cold we should do another scan in 8 weeks.

Yet picking up the radiologist’s report a week later I can’t even remember how long I sat starring dumbfounded at the results and impressions from the report in the parking lot. Even though my cough was improved, the world around me seemed to fall away.

After pushing my wife’s wheelchair for a couple miles on Sunday over varying terrain both in surface and incline through dry marsh and woodlands, I was experiencing significant sinus congestion and a dry cough. Patti whose Multiple Sclerosis dementia-like symptoms prevent her from ever remembering I even have lung cancer, turns to me and remarks, “you sound terrible, you’re not dying or something are you?”
She meant nothing by the remark. She lives in the now, that’s simply what I sounded like to her, and soon her attention turned to she was hungry.

Yet for me the remark, especially at sunset, cued the poignant first lines of Warren Zevon’s final song “Keep Me In Your Heart” written as he died of lung cancer:

“Shadows are falling and I'm running out of breath
Keep me in your heart for a while …”

Thank God my moles are boring. What a treat to walk into any doctor’s office the next day and come out with a clean bill of health with no asterisks. My annual full body check by my dermatologist on Monday found all my moles boring and my skin neither of concern nor suspicion.

My Dad was diagnosed and treated successfully for melanoma preceding his diagnosis and death from pancreatic cancer. With family history and cancer such a bugaboo needless to say I was apprehensive. … but for once this year it was all good news!

May the streak continue … on to pulmonologist next and then oncologist. 

Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @ http://caregivinglyyours.blogspot.com/


  1. It does tend to get on ones nerves if the 'facts' return to our brains to quickly. My last scan from last week show no change and that is always the best news!! I hope we both continue to have boring scan results and even more boring moles!!! :)

    Jackie aka Bama

    1. When it comes to surviving lung cancer I will gladly raise a drink to boring results!