The Way Things Is (as of December 4th)

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend.

I’m still in the hospital (St. Luke’s East), and will likely be here through the middle of this week. We’re not 100% certain what caused the emergency from last week, so I’ll be here until we have that mystery figured out.

For what it’s worth, though, I’m feeling fine. Even after five days of laying in the same damn bed and being constantly poked and prodded, I still look at least somewhat human.

WIN_20171204_00_56_14_Pro

Fig. 1 – Large North American Male after being subjected to one week of the American Health Care system.

Here’s what we do know:

  • When I was admitted, I was in sepsis (aka severe blood poisoning).
  • I also had a fever of over 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Lastly, scans of my lungs showed a large amount of blockages that weren’t there the previous week.

After several days of additional scans and tests, and a lung biopsy* (more on that one later), we’ve lowered the main possibilities to two:

  • Due to my wasted immune system and crazy low white blood cell count, I caught some kind of infection (my wife and son were sick last week, which could account for this) that resulted in severe pneumonia. This would be a pretty good result, because we could simply treat the infection and take care of my immune system moving forward.
  • The other possibility is that my Lymphoma suddenly exploded without warning or obvious reason, and spread to and throughout my lungs. While this is very, very unlikely, it would also be very bad news, and would mean that we’ll need to again adjust my chemotherapy.

As I mentioned previously, one of the tests they performed to try and diagnose my lung issue was a lung biopsy. As it was explained to me, it’s a simple procedure where a needle is inserted into a numbed spot in my side, and a piece of the abnormal lung is pulled out in order to be studied. And, as far as I can tell, the biopsy was successful, and a piece of lung was successfully extracted for testing. Hooray!

However! There was a little surprise in addition to the biopsy, a surprise called Pneumothorax. This is a condition where the doctor accidentally lets out some of the air that’s supposed to be hanging out in my lung, and isn’t immediately able to replace that air. Soooo I ended up with a partially collapsed lung. Not so Hooray!

Blausen_0742_Pneumothorax

It wasn’t life threatening, but any type of deep breath resulted in the kind of pain where your eyes pop out like that lady who was popular on talk shows in the 90s. I would not refer to the next few days as an enjoyable experience.

Anyway, we’ve got it fixed now, and I have to really try hard to get that pain to come back. For now my breathing hurts just the normal amount.

So that’s where we are, mostly in a holding pattern waiting for those test results. Obviously I’ll share them once they come through, and we can all celebrate together or maybe just stare at a wall or something.

There’s also Christmas coming, and family is in town, so I have lots to blog about. Hopefully I’ll have the time and energy to get back on a pretty regular writing schedule. Have a great night, everyone!

 

3 thoughts on “The Way Things Is (as of December 4th)

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