Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The road from here...

seems to be getting a little steeper!

I had the P.E.T. scan done last week and got the results Monday. The mass (they're using that word now) in my left lung is 3cm instead of the 2.5 they originally thought. I asked if that meant it had grown that much in that short a time as was told no, it's probably just a better image.

The rub is that they also found 2 lymph glands in my chest involved; one in almost the center and one just left of center. That makes it "Stage 3" . That also takes a lung transplant to fix the IPF off the table. Now, besides the radiation for the mass I'll have to have chemo for the lymph glands because they can't radiate them because it will damage my heart.

Friday I go in for a CT guided needle biopsy so they can pull some samples from the growth in my lung and figure out what type of cancer it is. The doctor scheduled an appointment to give me results on Monday, but the radiology people said she won't have them until Tuesday; when I told them she already said I'd have them Monday they said "maybe she has some magical strings she can pull". 

They said that with the IPF there is a chance that they will collapse my lung trying to do this on Friday and that if it does, when I come to after the anisthetic I'll have to stay overnight, but they still didn't think it was that big a deal.

I have my first oncologist appt. set for Feb. 7th.

National Jewish Hospital in Denver finally called and I have my one hour phone interview on Monday before my results appointment with my pulmonolgist. I don't know if they'll schedule a visit then or not; hopefully the weather cooperates with whatever they decide to schedule. The oxygen company will loan me a portable to get there with and if I have to stay a few days, set me up a regular unit as well for while I'm there as they don't really want you hauling bottles around cross country and I couldn't fill them when I got there anyway.

I've been spending some time escaping lately, when I can. So far today I've only managed a half hour anime episode and listening to a bit of music. But I've been trying to listen to music every day (my era, thank you!) and read some; I've gotten some movies watched and trying to get to one of those a day as well, though the days are busier than you'd think between phone calls, e-mails, therapy appointments and doctor's visits.

Dottie bought me two belated Christmas presents, a Kindle and a Crosley stereo that will spin '78's (yes, I have many), 33's, 45's or cassettes and transcribe them to disc, besides playing CD's. I've dug out the albums I recorded in my school stage bands to transcribe, along with some 33's I can't find CD's of and a box of 80 or so cassettes that were my Dad's of big band radio airchecks he had recorded while he worked in his darkroom. 

The Kindle I've managed to happily load with all of the Bronte sisters novels and poetry, even finding the juvenalia I'd never managed to acquire; the complete works of Mark Twain, Jules Verne, H.G. Welles and some others like Wilfred Owen that I'd always intended to read and never gotten to. Twain is especially a comfort as I can pick up an editorial he wrote, or some of his correspondence and never fail to smile within seconds. My sister bought me a book of Groucho's letters that I think will be the same way!

I'm also trying to get Dad's negatives and mine scanned and onto a hard drive to digitize them into something more compatible with modern technology, as when I'm gone I don't figure anyone will be wanting to look through them. I had bought a nice flatbed scanner to do that with and just hadn't had time; now I have to get it done.

When it gets warmer out I need to drag an oxygen bottle to the garage and start tagging tools as to which were Dad's, a few that were his Dad's, and what some of mine are as I don't know if anyone will realize what they are or what they're for. I also have his flathead Ford manual, his 1955 Motors manual and the one he bought his Dad to cover the '59 Ford wagon I remember Grandpa driving when I was little. 

We're trying to plan a few 3 day weekend trips as well when we get a chance if I'm up to it. Dad took us to the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, OK when I was 6; I've been planning to go back ever since and after 51 years it seems like it might be time! 

There are some other short hops like that I'd like to make, but we'll have to see how that first one goes. 

Going to go walk on the treadmill for a while...

May the life be kind to each of you!



Angeline Larimer said...

If only this autobiography began at "I've been spending some time escaping latey..."

I'm catching up... thinking of you... imagining you in a '59 Ford wagon.

Sending love... and regrets for life keeping me away.

Doris said...

Ah Alan, we'll just have to see how this particular journey of yours goes. Thank you for sharing and please keep trying to when you can.

All that labelling sounds a great idea - but in the end you'll do what you can do. Reminds me I need to label our photos.

I've just got an app for my android and creating my bucket list. Even though I am well I am getting on with those things now... seems like such a good idea with people around me not being able to live the lives they could due to health.

Doris x

Anji said...

You sound really busy sorting everything out. Hope all goes well next week for you


Hawaiianmark said...

My friend; I will spend many thoughtful prayerful moments for you and a positive outlook for all you trials.

In the small amount of time I have had the pleasure to converse with you, I have gained the gift of positive influence; grand joys of the smallest things; and appreciation of the unexpected.

My sincere thanks.

robin andrea said...

Wishing you the very best with everything that comes next. Remember, old friend, that Roger had his bout with colon cancer, also stage 3, and is doing quite well now. You're doing all the right things to lift your spirits while the medical world does the rest. We send you good thoughts and wishes, Alan.

Kranki said...

I am so sorry to hear about your cancer. Continue to treat yourself and let all the doctors take great care of you.