1.9. Bite or Dodge the bullet

One of the inevitable facts about getting old and having cancer is that you are almost always assured that when they look into you, be it a CT scan, an MRI, ultrasound, they’re going to find something.

Over the years I’ve had some breathing difficulties going up steps and climbing steep driveways. I’ve always thought it was an allergy and the doctors after extensive “checking out the heart” tests concluded it was asthma.  I never have a breathing problem riding the bike or exercising or playing golf. And I never had the problem in Paris (ergo my belief that it’s an allergic reaction to where I live).

The shortness of breath started again after we got back home and I saw my internist who suggested a CT scan.

Do I really want to see what’s going on inside?

So we compromised on a regular chest x-ray and would go from there, if necessary. Sure enough, they found something. Nodules on my right lung. No choice now but to have the CT scan.

One of the advantages, for us at least, of being members of Kaiser Permanente is the way they’ve streamlined their system. The chest x-ray was done on a Friday afternoon. I got an email on Monday morning with the results and that my oncologist had ordered a CT scan. I got a call from Medical Imaging that afternoon and we scheduled a CT scan on Wednesday at 1:30 PM.

I had an email with the results by 6:00 PM that evening. The nodules were the same as they were in the previous CT scan – same size and nothing to worry about. And, of course the most important piece of information: “Sclerotic lesion in a left iliac wing is unchanged. No new bone lesions.”


So I dodged the bullet.