Tuesday, April 23, 2013

turning over rocks / mediastinal lymphadenopathy

I cannot ever remember having a more enjoyable time in a medical office in my life than meeting with Dr. William Krimsky, Director of Interventional Pulmonology at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, and a national leader in interventional pulmonology along with Ruth Doerfler-Evans, RN and Thoracic Coordinator Navigator. I felt comfortable with them perhaps even sympatico. He even high-fived Megan on breaking me the news of my previous EBUS flatline with the question, “Well, are you resurrected or a zombie?”

They obviously had read through and enjoyed sections of my ‘cancer book’ as I call the binder of 2 inches of records from the last 16 months interspersed with blog entries. I had duplicated the binder and sent it ahead two weeks ago. We talked and even laughed about parts of my lung cancer odyssey.

We ALL adjourned to a large screen PC to talk about ‘Bob’. Words are a fine distinction but when you live with a diagnosis of lung cancer it’s words of hope vs words that suck the hope out of you.

We agreed to get in that right lung in just 4 mornings actually a pre-dawn pre-op on Friday and get some pieces of Bob to biopsy with Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) Biopsy. God willing Megan should be driving me home by late morning / early afternoon.

Returning home on Monday I was rudely reminded of the flaws of country mouse cancer treatment vs city mouse. PinnacleHealth Fredrickson Outpatient Center, where I have had most of my tests and scans done over the past year, will not do STAT testing much less fax results unless the procedure or surgery is being performed at PinnacleHealth. This fiefdom focused medical care is so the antithesis of patient focused medical care I had treasured for a couple hours today.

Sooo Wednesday morning I’m driving back down to Baltimore for EKG and blood work and if nothing is strange about results – EBUS here I come. 

16 months ago, today, I learned an X-ray had revealed a 9 mm vague nodular density in my left upper lobe. I have learned along the way that lung cancer treatment is a lot like turning over rocks I’ll never quite know what is underneath until somebody helps me pick it up and look. 

I hope Friday's biopsy finds 'Bob' is just a pissed off lymph node, should 'Bob' be cancerous I pray for the courage and wisdom to face such a game changer.

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

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