- Not Likely

There are many things in my life that I am very comfortable with. Give me a pacemaker implant procedure and I am in my zone. I know my job and what's expected of all the other people in the room as well. I remember the first one I ever worked at without my "training wheels". Oh man was I ever nervous. I felt like I couldn't recall a single thing I had ever learned...ever (including how to speak intelligently). You know what "first times" are like. Many of you know that I have been persuing answers concerning the "spot" in my lung. There was a difference in opinion amongst my cancer care team as to how to best handle this troublesome growth. After some discussion it was finally decided that I should consult with a cardiothoracic surgeon somewhat as a tie breaker. I already felt in my gut that this spot was no good but there has to be a balance struck between my instinct and medical logic. I have to trust my doctors. This is not the first time there had been disagreements amongst my caregiviers and I suspect not the last. I decided that whatever the result of this consultation that I would embrace whatever he recommended with peace. I did not even mind the fact that I could not get in to see him until the next week. The time went by fast enough and I was fighting a sinus infection anyhow. My appoinment was the first one of the afternoon on Monday so I was thinking this would not be too bad. I was to meet my husband and one of my besties at the CT surgeons office. This was interesting for me, as the patient, having cared for folks with cardiac disease for years. It felt funny going into the familar offices in a very unfamiliar circumstance. It was chilly outside from the recent cold front but sun spilled in the 30 foot windows that served as walls in the airy spaced waiting room. I checked in with the friendly gal at the desk and to my delight did not hav to fill out much paperwork as he is in the same group management as my butt doctor. I signed a couple of forms and then took a seat in the sunshine. It wasn't long before I was joined by my hubby and bestie. We all passed the time on our phones as we waited. It wasn't longed before my name was called by the nurse and we were led back to an exam room. After my vitals were taken we were left to wait. We made assignments and decided that Jerry should write in the notebook so we could all easily recall what would be said. We waited for a long time in that little room. SO long in fact that my bestie had to go to her own patient clinic leaving my hubby and I with her own suggested instructions and a list of questions she thought needed asked. we had been waiting about an hour and my husband was getting more anxious by the minute. Scribbiling in the book, pacing and talking about how long we had waited. I reminded him that soon I may be the one on his morning surgery schedule and that if I needed extra time in the O.R. that I certainly wouldn't want him "rushing" to get to office on time (more on this "premonition" later). A gentle rap on the door announced the entry of his resident who turned out to be the son of somebody I knew from the hospital. He listened carefull to my lungs and heart and then asked a few questions aboutmy history. After explaining my "sordid past" to him I decided he had a sense of humor but it was definitely repressed. He told me that my films were up for the surgeon (BDM - as I like to call him) to review. I have known this doctor for many years and know that there were few that matched his skill level and of those he had, by far, the most experience with this kind of work. He could do this with eyes closed if he had to. Then he left us to wait again. I text my bestie what was happening. Lucky for us we only waited a few more minutes and BDM was in our room asking details about my social habits (smoking - never, drinking - ummm yes :) and then further clarifying my entire cancer story and recent tests. He then said we needed to view my scans together. He got up and proded us to do the same and we all treked out to the desk to view the scans. He had me sit in a chair, instructed me on how to use the mouse to navigate the CT scan on the screen in front of me and made sure that my husband could see as well. He perched on the desk next to me with one hip and gently laid his hand over my right hand that was resting on the mouse. Catty corner to us on another computer screen displayed was my PET scan and my eye easily found the yellow spot that was suspect in my right lung on that screen. He gave us a quick anatomy lesson and oriented us on the picture. He helped me scroll down through the "slices" of lung until the spot began to appear and then disappear as we scrolled past. he then went backward slice by slice as he talked through all the differential diagnosis that could pertain to this spot finally coming to rest on a slice that showed the spot with 3 "tentacle" like structures reaching towards the edge of my lung. "These" he said gently "concern me." I nodd and he looks from me to my husband and asks "Any questions about the scan itself?" I shake my head no and my my husband asks "What do we do about it?" BDM suggests we go back to the exam room to talk about it and we all return to the room including the resident. He draws a picture on the exam table paper and starts to explain the different processes utilized to remove such offensive spots. Then he stops mid-sentance and says that we could do nothing and just watch it and then lists several reasons he would not want to wait including my young age :) and the fact that I have stage 4 squamous cancer and it is likely that. He then said "I needed to let you know that it is an option. Not one I would recommend, but an option you need to know about." He then looked at my husband and said "Not if she was my wife." My husband gave him a nod of acknowledgement and we all turned our attention back to the drawing. He went over in detail what the removal procedure would be. It would all start with the placement of a small wire using the CT scan as a guide right down into the middle of the lesion. They would then secure it with tape and take me to preanesthesia and directly to the O.R. from there. He said removal was going to be painful but they would do all they could to keep me as comfortable as possible and try to do this with as minimal invasion as possible. Minimal being a VATS or "scope type" procedure. The maximum would be a full thoracotomy. He figured I would land somewhere in the middle with a partial thoracotomy and chest tubes (damn chest tubes - more on this experience later). He projected a hospital stay of 3-5 days. We discussed "when" and decided the sooner the better. He called in his nurse and gave her the run down of what we wanted to do and then said the she would let us know where in his schedule we would fit. I needed some pulmonary function testing done and but we would shoot for Wednesday or Thursday. We head out to the waiting room and I send Jerry on his way back to work with a kiss assuring him that I will let him know when it gets scheduled and when my pre-testing will be. I sit in the sun of the waiting area and convey everything via text to my besties and sissy. I will call all the parents when I have something concrete so that won't be for a few more hours. I find it interesting that things seem so "business as usual". I guess it's just like last time with the exception being that we already know the opponent. I have fought this beast before and won. I am not over confident though. This could be a different type of cancer - not likely. This could be nothing - not likely. This is probably my cancer rearing it's ugly head and I am ready to battle. A little calmer this time but no less determined. This is no sneak attack. I won't be sucker punched this time. The bell signaling the start round two is getting ready to sound. Is this girl going to lose this round - not likely.
5 people threw a punch at your cancer.
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Sounds like you are feeling better; I am so glad. I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving.
 I am. it will take me a while to catch up lol. My recovery is going well though.
You are a fighter! I'm in your corner. We will defeat the opponent. Ron
Michele likes this comment
I love your attitude. This @#$% lesion will soon be history. You can do this. Please know you are in my prayers. Huge hugs, Linda
Michele likes this comment
Michele...as always, you are in my prayers. Despite the "not likely" of it not being cancer, I still believe in miracles and this is what I'm praying for. Hope all goes well and as pain free as possible. Hugs, Mari
You have a plan and it's a good one. I'm glad things are moving forward and soon this too will be behind you.
Michele, you have so many great people around you all the time between your family, "BDM" and "besties". That is so wonderful. There's no doubt that you and this posse of yours will meet this challenge head-on.
Thank you for this account of the beginning of Round 2 - it is very vivid! Hugs...
Oh my gosh this gives me chills. You are so strong and you should be very proud of how you handle these challenges. Glad to be reading your blog and sharing in your fight and it serves to make me stronger too. I love being around winners!!! Keep it up, prayers to you, and Happy Thanksgiving too.
Time for same cancer ass (and lung) kicking time. I am in the same boat (stage and type). I also have chronic problems with my lungs. I admit what your talking about disturbs me for myself too. However, your body is strong and I do this thing. You go girl....
I meant YOU can do this thing. Goddamn chemo brain....;)
Been thinking about you lately. You know you can fight this. If all your support was a "cure" there would be nothing left of this beast. Take care and go in there fighting Annabelle
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Vital Info

Posts

October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3

No

As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation. http://tinyurl.com/72bjjfp

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