Just has my first appointment with my new oncologist. Love her. Not only is she a fellow Giants fanatic and 49er Faithful, she agrees that communication is vital in the doctor-patient relationship. Looking forward to working with her in the ongoing monitoring of my continued remission.But
... about my previous oncologist. Remember about a year ago I was trendy and had H1N1? Came down with it literally the same day I had a PET Scan. With all that drama, I never heard about the results of the scan. A few months later, with no explanation, I was scheduled for a needle biopsy of some of the spleen remnants I have hanging around. Again, I never heard a damn thing about the results.
Understand that if anything Kaiser is over-eager to give you details. Almost every test I've ever taken with them has been emailed to my account on the Kaiser website, with the results linked to explanations of what is being tested and what the results mean. Every single doctor I've met there (but one) has been eager to explain what they are doing, thinking, and planning. Hell, Dr. Jeske turned the computer monitor around today and showed me exactly what was concerning her.A PET scan is an interesting thing
. Without going into too much detail, it uses radioactive sugar to mark areas. Unlike other imaging techniques, nuclear medicine imaging studies are less directed toward picturing anatomy and structure, and more concerned with depicting physiologic processes within the body, such as rates of metabolism or levels of various other chemical activity. Areas of greater intensity, called "hot spots", indicate where large amounts of the radiotracer have accumulated and where there is a high level of chemical activity. Less intense areas, or "cold spots", indicate a smaller concentration of radiotracer and less chemical activity.
In my PET scan, my lymphatic system lit up like a pinball machine. I'm a survivor of Hodgkin's Disease, remember, a common form of lymphoma
. Ya think that just maybe a good oncologist would inform his patient about this troubling development? Explain that the flu may well be the cause, but we're going to do additional tests? Does anyone reading this not think that Kirsten and I would be interested to know that my body was making several oncologists worried?
Even better, the biopsy I had reveal cells consistent with the effects of active Hodgkins
but no actual Reed-Sternberg cells
. I never knew this until today. I was never fucking told that my body was showing signs of a possible active re-occurrence of the fucking disease that almost killed me and changed my bloody life in ways that can best be described as devastating. For those of you blessed enough not
to know a great deal about this topic, it's not uncommon not to find R-S cells in the early stages of a Hodgkin's case. They are the instigators that infect and destroy other cells. Hodgkin's can spread through an entire chain of lymph nodes and you'll only find the R-S cells in one or two of the actual nodes. One of the many reasons why Hodgkin's is so hard to diagnose in the early stages.
So done with the old oncologist.
A long-overdue follow-up PET scan is now scheduled for November 22nd.