Thursday, July 5, 2012

We recently had a lung cancer-recurrence scare, and I went back to read Ray's blog, and saw that it's a really good record of what happened during that scary time two-plus years ago, so I think I'll start updating it to maintain it as an excellent record of Ray's lung cancer experience. Back in February, after his 3rd 6-month follow-up visit, Dr. Jones told Ray things looked good, and he should come back in a year. And, in fact, when I looked at my calendar, I see that Ray has an x-ray and appointment scheduled with Dr. Jone for Feb 2013. As it turned out, though, as I mentioned earlier, we recently had a lung cancer-recurrence scare. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Ray has been having dizzy spells at various times for several months now, so his heart doctor, Dr. Lewis, put him in a heart monitor for 2 weeks and had him take a stress test to see if he needed a pacemaker. In late June 2012, when we went to Dr. Lewis' office to get the results of the monitor and stress test, Ray's blood pressure was 75/51 (!!!) but Dr. Lewis couldn't find any reason to give him a pacemaker. He told us that we should get our GP to get an adrenal sufficiency test on him, though. As it turned out, our GP, Dr. Paquette, was out of town and we were told that we couldn't get an appointment until September. Dr. Lewis then suggested we go to the ER, where they could do the blood work immediately. At the Lee Hill ER, they did the blood work and the young ER doc returned to say that it looked like Ray either had COPD or a blood clot in his lung, and if he did, he should be in the hospital, and he wanted to do a CT Scan. The CT Scan indicated that there was a new (since his last CT Scan in Sep 2011) 1.2 cm nodule in his left lung and some signs of infection. I sent the blood work & CT Scan results to Dr. Jones via email, and the following day, on Friday, Jun 22, I mailed a copy of the CT Scan DVD to him. On Monday morning, Dr. Jone's scheduler, Millie, called and said Ray was scheduled for a PET Scan at 10 AM at the Emily Couric Cancer Center in Charlottesville and he had an appointment with Dr. Jones at 12:30 PM. We had a long, cold (why do they keep those rooms so cold???) wait in Dr. Jones' exam room, but finally, at 2 PM, Dr. Jones came bopping in with a big grin on his face, and said it's not cancer, it's an infection, and that's already beginning to clear up, and Ray should come back in 6-months for a final follow-up. What happens to the body when long-held tension is released is amazing! First there's elation, then you want to lay down somewhere and go to sleep. Now, to prepare for our 50th wedding anniversay trip!!!

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