Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spinning Wheels

Waiting for things to happen is the worst. It seems that everything about my latest crisis moves at a snail's pace.

I had an appointment with my cardiologist yesterday to talk about getting a pacemaker. The appointment was made before the CT scan results (cancer) were known. When I mentioned it, his jaw dropped and he said "Oh my God!"  Not the reaction you expect from someone who sees that kind of thing on a daily basis. It wasn't exactly comforting, although I do appreciate his apparent empathy. He usually has sort of a cold fish, clinical demeanor, so the exclamation was really surprising.

So, the pacemaker is off the table for at least six months. Apparently it would make any kind of radiation therapy more complex. Also he remarked that my heart rate seems to be doing better since they adjusted my medications. Yeah, sure, that's what he told me the last time he screwed around with them. I'm not that confident.

While I was there, I visited the CT lab where the test was done to try to resolve some discrepancies in the test results. There are two sections in the report. One mentions a mass on the LEFT kidney. The other section talks about the same mass, but says it is on the RIGHT kidney. So either the guy interpreting the scan doesn't know right from left, he's made an error, or both kidneys are endangered. Of course it was Good Friday and he was off work that day. They left a message for him to check his work. I'm not encouraged. If they're going to cut me open and take one of my kidneys out, I want them to be sure they're getting the correct one!

I still haven't mentioned my condition to my children yet. I sort of wanted to tell them all at the same time so I don't have to rehash all the details three different times, and since Easter is this weekend I had hoped they would all come home for the holiday...but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. One is running late and won't be here until late Saturday. Another has some sort of event he has to attend Saturday night and is working Sunday. The third hasn't responded to my phone call and is apparently not coming at all.

My appointment with the urologist is Monday. I'm guessing that's when I'll get the official word on exactly how serious this thing is. I'm bracing for really bad news in the hopes that it won't be as bad as I'm thinking it is. The facts I'm working with are:

1. The main mass is 8.5 centimeters in diameter. That's bigger than a large orange.
2. The other mass is 4 centimeters. A ping pong ball. Nothing to sneeze about.
3. I don't think benign tumors are metastatic.
4. I've been having symptoms for 5 years or longer and attributed them to muscular aches and pains.

So based on that evidence, I'm guessing it's pretty advanced and possibly a waste of time to operate. I'm hoping that's not the case, but it's what I'm getting ready to hear.

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