I Live to Scan Another Day

16 Jan

Erik Hat

 We return to the central narrative…

An emergency room CT scan intended to locate a kidney stone (my first and hopefully my last) uncovered a large mass near my left lung.  Within days a Spiral CT revealed the growth to be a cyst, but a series of enlarged lymph nodes and an enlarged spleen suggested something more sinister.  On to an oncologist appointment and a Petscan, all intended to prove my doctor’s suspicions—that I had some form of lymphoma.  Though the radiologist for the scan asserted that I most assuredly had lymphoma, only a biopsy could provide some certainty and tell us what type.  I received a CT guided needle biopsy, waited one week for the results and….no cancer…a big ole thing in my chest, yes, but no cancer….a bunch of enlarged lymph nodes, an enlarged spleen, and a higher than usual metabolic rate yes, but (say it with me now) NO CANCER. 

Off I went to live my life (perhaps more mindfully and somewhat improved) and to await my next scan.  Two months flew by and there I was, again, me and my tumor, under the CT machine (which looks like a giant donut).  I take some radioactive sugar.  They take some pictures, and one week later, the results show…..

Good news and…. Well, still pretty good news.  The tumor is stable.  Some of the lymph nodes have reduced in size.  Others have seen a drop in metabolic rate, and my spleen has reduced down to just a few centimeters over its normal size.  This is good.  But what to do about all this?  How do you deal with an 8 cm mass in your chest and enlarged lymph nodes? Well we had a bunch of choices, but as any of you who have talked to me these past few months know, this was all headed in one direction, a surgical consultation.  I want to know if we can get this thing out of me without too much trouble, and if they can, they can grab a lymph node while they’re at it and see what it has to say.  If not, we scan again in three months.

In the meantime, I continue my efforts at behavioral reformation, active health, and spiritual peace of mind.  I can’t say for sure that my steps towards a healthier lifestyle have helped, but they surely haven’t hurt. 

Thanks to everyone for your good wishes, your kindness, and your continued indulgence in reading my blog.  You are all too kind.

Stay tuned.

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