Friday, May 02, 2014

Somebody Knew About It!

Okay, so I'm sitting around with nothing to do but think about this 8.5 cm mass growing in my belly, waiting to see the specialist in ten days. Naturally my thoughts turn to my past medical history; I've had several serious incidents over the past several years. Heart bypass, broken leg, appendectomy, heart ablation, blah, blah, blah...I could go on for quite a while longer. I've been poked, prodded, drugged, cut open, sewn shut, laparoscoped, wore a wound-vac for 4 months, scanned, x-rayed, you name it. It occurred to me that, with all of these different people looking around inside me for going on 14 years now, somebody should have spotted this thing a lot earlier.

The specialist requested the CT and MRI scan images and reports for my recent stuff and I have already obtained those for him. Yesterday afternoon, since I was in the neighborhood, I stopped by my family doctor's office and requested the official records for a couple of the older incidents that affected nearby areas of my body. Specifically, the appendectomy in 2012 and a gall bladder removal in 2013.

Expecting a long wait for a flunky to photocopy files for me, I was pleasantly surprised when the girl at the desk clicked a few keys on her computer and the printer spit out a pile of scanned documents. It took only a couple of minutes. Walking back to my car, I sat down and took a look at the stack of paperwork I had been handed.

On the top of the stack was a summary of the CT scan done for my appendectomy. First page, middle of the page, "an isodense right sided exophytic renal lesion arising from the inferior pole the right kidney measuring 4.8 cm..."  Nearly the exact language used in my most recent CT scan except it's now grown to 8.5 cm. Someone spotted this thing nearly two years ago when it was half the size it is now!

As I read through the document, it was referred to as a mass or a lesion, and on page 3 in the doctor's notes, he speculates it might be a hemorrhagic or proteinaceous cyst. No references that even hint it might be cancerous. Post operative notes fail to mention anything at all. Did he even look at it while he was rooting around in my guts? It doesn't appear so.

While I'm slightly encouraged by a lack of the "C" word in this earlier scan, I'm perturbed that nobody felt it was important enough to say "Hey, by the way, you've got a big growth on your kidney that might give you some trouble down the way."

The most recent scan specifically suggests cancer, so I'm not out of the woods but maybe there's an outside chance....

Who knows? Keep prayin' people, you do a world of good.

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