Tuesday, February 5, 2013

the naming of lung lymph nodes

Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away my Mom, a psychiatric nurse, taught me that naming the things that scare me made them less scary.

Entering my overtime year of Stage 1 Lung Cancer, radiologist’s impressions of lymph nodes in my right lung scare me.

For example when I named my reported ’13 mm right-sided subcarinal adenopathy’ “Bob” it became less scary.  Bob seemed to enjoy playing hide and seek with scans and radiologists. He was there one time and gone the next before fading into right lung mythology.

In July, 4 months after successful lung cancer surgery to remove the tumor from my left upper lobe, multiple sightings of “Medea” and “Hi” were reported in the opposite lung. “Medea” (aka mediastinal) and “Hi” (aka hilar) did not meet size criteria, in a sense they were D-List lymph nodes. The CT scan was considered NED (no evidence of disease).

My next 4 month follow up CT scan in November was labeled from “not bad news” to “inconclusive” due to respiratory inflammation from chest cold.

Bottom line “Medea” was off on vacation. A new big and bad “Hi” (of 17 mm) was reported seen in my right lung twice the size of her previous D-list cousins hanging out with a new “Bob” (of 14 mm).

The question became is this observed opposite lung lymphadenopathy simply lymph nodes doing what they are supposed to do and reacting to respiratory inflammation or a harbinger of something worse.

A CT scan “do-over” was scheduled for Dec 31 to make use of my health insurance before my high-deductible reset … unfortunately that never happened.

Now I mumble banishing spells as I drift into sleep at the lymph nodes that go bump in my lung.

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



  1. my nodes do the same thing Patrick, prayers for you daily.

    1. thanks knowing I am not alone is sometimes the most comforting thing anyone can say

  2. I never ever thought of naming the scarey things in life. Or maybe I have and just can't repeat them to a lot of people. LOL

    "Bama" Jackie

    1. Believe me Jackie I understand the whole not repeating them to a lot of people thing.