Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A new voice, a new day

I went with Mom and Dad to a couple doctor appointments yesterday.
First, we went to Aston Ambulatory for Mom to get a CT scan. SW Med has created a major convenience for patients. The CT appointment is timed so the test results get to the doctor in time for a later appointment the same day. So we did both.

I met Dr. Timmerman, finally. I like him. During the appointment he really seemed to be focused and not pre-occupied with other patients. Rather than jumping to a conclusion, he listened until he really understood the problem.

His comments on the neuroma:
  • A neuroma should be a lump that you can feel (Mom's is not a lump)
  • There is a small bone at the bottom of the sternum called the Xiphoid
  • An inflammation of the area is costochondritis.
  • My Internet research: it can be inflamed as a result of lung cancer but there are lots of other reasons for an inflammation
  • The treatment of costochondritis is to address the pain.
  • Dr Timmerman suggested a new Bayer aspirin product (he used it on his dog for arthritis). It is aspirin but it has a different delivery method
His overall thoughts on Mom's health:
The scans (today and one on June 5th) both show improvement in the lung where the radiation damage occurred last year. They both show a swelling in the area around the Pulmonary Artery. This swelling could be swollen lymph glands.There are some lymph nodes in the area. The scans don't show anything abnormal in the xiphoid region.
His said that this doesn't explain the decline in her health in the last 6 weeks.
He was concerned that the symptoms were not being looked at as a whole. e.g. A lung cancer diagnosis means that all issues are expected to be related to the lungs.

So, to look at all current symptoms:
Abdominal pain/ hurts to breathe deeply
Can't catch her breath even though she is fully oxygenated
Weight loss
Cold all the time
Swelling around the pulmonary artery
Memory loss/confusion - intermittent - this is Polly after all
Severe emphysema
Racing pulse
Erratic blood pressure

These could be the symptoms of congestive heart failure or metastasized lung cancer or lung cancer or.....

SO. He wants to do another full body PET scan do see what else might be going on. Check for tumors throughout her body. He wants her to make an appointment with Wyatt and a Cardiologist. He recommended that Wyatt make the appointments for both the scan and the doctor so that both would be expedited. (We hope).

Mom had an appointment with Secor today (Wednesday). He still says it is  a little bundle of nerves not affecting any major organs. Which is basically what Timmerman said.

Mom called Wyatt today and asked him to schedule the PET scan.
She did not ask him to get her a cardiologist appointment because she has an appointment with him on Monday and she wants to ask for the referral then. I suggested that Monday was too long to wait. She felt that a cardiologist couldn't do anything anyway. She agreed with me that the cardiologist may be able to make her more comfortable so she will call Wyatt tomorrow.

She read me her to do list:
Feel better so I'm not grumpy.


  1. Thanks Helen. This makes it very clear: whatever they find, there probably won't be much they can do. It makes me think of Dave's remark: how fragile their world is. And that means ours. I feel like I need to visit again soon.

  2. Nice report. THANKS for going to the appt's and THANKS for the report.