Apr 18, 2006

Paperwork soon and More doctor visits

Today was great but the day did not get us much closer to a firm word on whether or not we are staying or not. Holly and I made our way up to NNMC to visit with Dr. Rosenbaum for the first time since my discharge over a month ago. Our visit was good and he was very impressed with my recovery and progress. In fact, many of the people that worked with me are impressed! He answered a ton of questions for us and also talked to us about the actual procedure. I asked him a lot of questions while I was in the hospital, but I can hardly remember the answers. In fact, I am learning that I don’t remember a lot of what went on while I was at NNMC. I guess most of that was due to Decadron, the steroid that I was on to reduce the swelling in my brain. Apparently, I was very open talking about bodily functions and some people saw more of me than they ever thought they would since I was very hot during most of my stay. Enough about that…

Back to the visit – There is quite a bit of hair loss along a half inch wide strip following the incision on the top of my head. I asked if it would ever grow back and he said they really don’t know. I guess I’ll have to wait and see on that one – we’ll post a picture soon. Also, the incision itself is still a bit crusty, but he said that is also normal and that it looks normal and is healing well. We got the pathology report from AFIP and we’re going to scan it in so that you can see it for yourself. I am happy with the findings – they agree that it is an ependymoma. I am also going to start tapering off of Keppra, the anti-seizure medication. I should be off of it in three months if all goes well.

Lastly, now that I am out of the hospital and doing much better, we went back to some of the radiology reports from a chest, abdomen and pelvis CT from March 2, 2006. Here are two of the findings that we are going to look at further (text is from the report):

  1. The pulmonary parenchyma is remarkable for an ill-defined opacity adjacent to the left ventricle on image #45 in the medial aspect of the lower lobe. Recommend radiographic follow up.
  2. On image #116 there is a spiculated peripherally sclerotic lesion in the superior aspect of the left hip. In the setting of probable CNS malignancy, recommend dedicated radiographs of the left hip and bone scan for further evaluation.
Basically, they saw something opaque in my lung and want to look at it further. I can barely see it in the image. See where the arrow is pointing? Click the image for a larger version.

And, there is obviously something in my hip. Click here to see all three images.

Who knows – more testing will tell what it is. I’m not too worried about either. And also, this weekend, while administering a self examination of the jewels, I noticed something that I can only describe as a very small semi hard pebble in my right scrotum. I could be freaking out about this one because I can’t find it now, but we’re going to check it out just in case. So, I managed to get three future doctor visits out of one… how fun. Overall, the visit was excellent and we’ll see him again in a few months… but really – probably sooner than that since I’ll most likely be there quite a bit in the next few months.

We walked over to Radiation/Oncology to make a future appointment, and Dr. Smart agreed to see us! That was quite a surprise, but it was worth the visit. I have an MRI scheduled for next Monday at 1345 to help them decide how to best treat me. More on Radiation some other day. Lastly, Dr. Rosenbaum and my PCM, Dr. Abbott, spoke this morning about my paperwork issue. Dr. Rosenbaum advised Dr. Abbott that she is responsible for the paperwork. So, Holly and I went off to have some lunch at CafĂ© Asia and then went off to the clinic at Bolling AFB to pick up the paperwork. We got there and they were surprised to see us. We waited for a while and finally got to meet with Dr. Abbott. I again reiterated to her the importance of getting this one page form completed. She asked us a lot of questions and wanted to speak to the Radiation doctor before filling out the form. She said she would have a draft ready in the morning and we are scheduled to be there at 0820 Wednesday morning. I also have Physical Therapy in the morning and I may have to cancel or reschedule it as I’ll need to hand carry the form right to work. If we get the form like I think we will, we should be able to get the packet submitted and processed before May 2.

Last but not least, I got a call today from the company that we are leasing the apartment from. They need an answer by the end of Wednesday on whether or not we will be staying in the apartment for a few more months. This put me in quite a predicament since we still didn’t have the form. We should have an answer on the form and the apartment by noon tomorrow. Please pray that the form is completed, can be submitted and approved quickly. That’s all for now. I can’t wait until I can stop dealing with paperwork and can continue just getting better.

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