Life has been a medical drama as of late. I would so much rather watch this all on Grey's Anatomy with a big bowl of popcorn than experience it all myself! Nonetheless, after many stressful days we have had a number of happy endings that I thought I would share.
First of all, Joey has had a very swollen lymph node under his jaw for over a month now. It is just about a square inch in size and is very noticeable. It looks like he's storing a golf ball or a walnut in his neck. His pediatrician tried antibiotics, thinking it was infected. They did not help, so he was referred to an Ear-Nose-Throat specialist. That doctor ordered a CT scan, a fine needle biopsy and six buckets of bloodwork. After nearly two weeks of waiting, we have finally learned that the biopsy is non-cancerous (as you can imagine, that is what we were mostly worried about given my history) and shows, basically, nothing at all. He has now been referred to a Pediatric Infectious Disease specialist at UCLA for follow up. I spoke to this new doctor on the phone today. After reviewing Joey's case he feels that this is probably a non-specific viral infection (in other words, something we humans haven't identified yet) that will probably resolve on its own in a few months. He will see him next week and will follow through with him until it is resolved, but he basically told me not to worry, so I will try not to! Whew!
Meanwhile, I myself had my routine PET/CT last week and received the results yesterday. Overall, the scans look great as far as the cancer is concerned, but I have developed some sort of lung infection (as anyone who has seen me in the last six weeks can attest to, since I can hardly make it through a sentence without coughing). I now have a pulmonologist who is reviewing my scan images and may or may not decide to stick a tube down my throat in the next few days to pull out some of what's in there and analyze it. The fun just keeps on coming! He assures me that, given the relaxation drugs they will give me to keep me from gagging, I might actually thank him rather than hate him after the procedure. I will reserve judgment on that.
My oncologist's concern is the possibility that my anti-cancer drug is causing this infection, which is why he is so all over this. Since my drug is untested, he has to be careful with any side effects that show up, as they could be medication-induced. It is probably a standard cough, especially since Jay and Lindsey also had one, but, as Dr. Glaspy put it, he did not save me from cancer to watch me die of a lung infection that he could put a stop to. Have I mentioned that I like him? A lot? Well, I do.
So, that's about it from here. I have to close so I can go pick up Julia from school--they just called to tell me she's sick. Why am I not surprised?!