So – where were we?
My pulmonologist has been great. In fact, he’s the one who discovered my lung cancer. My primary care doc, who I’d seen for 20ish years — minus the several years I lived in New Hampshire — had dismissed the cough on the premise that I’d always had a cough. But the pulmonologist sent me right upstairs in the hospital where his office is to get a chest x-ray. It turned out there was a large mass in my right lung. So my new PCP treated me for pneumonia while the pulmonologist put me through a battery of tests and scans. Hence: cancer diagnosis, stage 3 adenocarcinoma of the lung, June 2018. I’ve had three surgeries (one removing almost half of my lung), one and a half rounds of chemo (eight treatments total), and numerous scans and x-rays. I’m mostly bald, way overweight from medications and lack of exercise,
It’s been a long haul, and to tell you the truth, I’m tired of it. I’ve been chastised on Facebook (though I’ve gotten a lot of non-judging support as well) for not being grateful enough, or positive enough, or whatever enough, and I’m tired of that too.
I quit smoking 40+ years ago but there are a lot of other possible contributing factors: my parents were both heavy smokers when I was a child, my first husband was a heavy smoker, and as an artist/designer I’ve inhaled all sorts of fumes, solvents, aerosols, photo developing fumes, and sprays all of my adult life. Or maybe it was just chance. Who knows.
I spent a couple of days in the hospital last month, after Sweetie took me to the ER. I was having trouble breathing (which has been a problem all along. but that night was the worst). They did a whole bunch of tests, of course, and sent the results to all three docs. That got things moving. I asked the pulmonologgist to step back into the case, and be my second opinion.
So now I’m in sort of a medical limbo — do I have metastatic tumors, or non-malignant lung inflammation? The latest PET scan — ordered by the oncologist but suggested by the pulmonologist — was interpreted by a radiologist to show no malignancies, The oncologist agreed to take me off the second round of chemo (which was horrible) and prednisone, at least for now. I have yet to see the pulmonologist to discuss next steps. His office rescheduled for next week. After that I see the oncologist.
Fortunately, I have a very supportive spouse. I don’t know what I’d do without him. And my friends have rallied ’round in all sorts of ways.
I’m feeling better without the chemo and prednisone, still recovering from those. Still weak and breathless. Haven’t made much art, either. Lots of intentions…