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If you can fill the unforgiving minute ... with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run ... Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.
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Monthly Archives: May 2008
My stomach is much better today. Finally!
I had a CT scan on Monday - routine, planned. Sunday night, my stomach was upset. Nothing major, just your typical upset stomach. It was still upset Monday morning when I had my scan. I figured it was nerves. After all, cancer “restaging” scans are not the most pleasant things — they cause a lot of anxiety and stress over the results. We even have a term for it: scanxiety.
My stomach remained mildly upset right up until my Wednesday afternoon appointment with my oncologist. I even had to stop running on Wednesday morning due to some stomach cramps. (I attributed said cramps to dehydration. I ran indoors on the treadmill on Monday and I don’t think I hydrated back up adequately afterwards.)
My oncologist’s first question this time wasn’t “any lumps or bumps?” or “how’s your chest?” but rather “how does your stomach feel?” That was a new one, but hey maybe he gets tired of asking the same questions all the time. Or maybe he just wanted to make sure I was awake. So, I told him the truth: it had been a little upset.
Turns out he had a reason to ask.
The CT scan came back good on my chest. The lymphadenopathy in my chest (i.e. those baseball size masses) had stayed the same size and is even starting to calcify. My spleen remains enlarged, but it hasn’t grown or anything. All and all good.
But of course I can’t have a normal CT scan. The scan came back with this:
In the left upper quadrant, there is a loop of proximal small bowel, likely jejunum, which has concentric appearance of an intussusception. This is anterior to the left kidney and medial to the spleen. This may be a transient phenomenon, however, given the history of lymphoma, a pathological lead point cannot be excluded. Small bowel follow through is suggested. No evidence of bowel obstruction is seen supporting a transient etiology.
An intussusception is basically an obstruction of the small intestine. It most often occurs in children. When it occurs in an adult, it’s likely due to a benign or malignant neoplastic growth.
Adding to the problem, I happen to be one of an apparent handful of people in the entire world who is allergic to oral contrast. A “small bowel follow through” involves drinking barium and then making sure it doesn’t get stuck along the way. Kind of hard to do when you’re allergic to oral contrast like barium.
So my doctor said for now we will just wait and see and not do anything. But of course my stomach has remained mildly but persistently upset all through the weekend, which raises an interesting issue as to whether there is something going on down there or not. If not for the scan result, I would not even be complaining in the least about this mild stomach upset, but with the scan result .... who knows? So now what? Even though it didn’t appear to be a problem, do I go back to my oncologist (which would mean more tests)? Or should I just sit tight and wait it out. That is what I mean by …. ugh.