Thursday, January 28, 2010

Medical updates

Further updates: I picked up the films from my scans the other day.

The useful bit of the report says:

The small nodule on the right is likely to be a benign lymph node. Further imaging is recommended in, say, 6 months.
The rest of it says that whatever it is, it's the same as last time, and the reason that the ultrasound was much quicker was because he gave up looking for it much quicker than the other sonographer, rather than having found it much more easily. It can't be seen on ultrasound at all apparently.

So, given that my doctor had asked for a fine needle aspiration to be done if necessary, the conclusion that this was "likely to be a benign lymph node" had already been drawn before I left the place. Certainly the sonographer had concluded that he couldn't see it.

What am I? An empty shell with possibly defunct bits? I will be going back to my doctor to have her interpret what this means in the context of my ongoing care and risk management, but there is no reason (that doesn't involve a complete collapse of common sense) why the information they had couldn't have been passed on to me at the time. For godsake, the sonographer just told me when there was no foetal heartbeat way back then.

I understand that if what they've found is life threatening, or complicated, they may want to say something along the lines of "We've found something, but you really need to discuss this with your doctor". Of course, you'll know that's not good news, but you'll also know you need to see your doctor ASAP. I also understand that having to tell someone this is distressing, but really, if you are doing this kind of work, don't you have to accept that sometimes the news will be bad?

Anyway, I'll be discussing this with my doctor too - about whether there are other places that might be more prepared to talk me through what's going on, or about whether there are some other arrangements that can be made to make sure I don't have to fight for information. Maybe I just need to learn to ask the right questions. Realistically, I'm getting older, I'm going to be having more run-ins with the medical profession, and I need to learn how to navigate the system and minimise the mushroom treatment.

I also want to thank all those people who offered sympathy and support. I wasn't all that concerned (more angry at the system), the odds were on my side, but I was surprised by how much better I felt that so many lovely people had stopped by to say something. It's a wonderful thing, this blogging.


  1. Good news :-)

    I've yet to have this sort of run-in with the system. Not something to look forward to.

  2. Yeah, I think I'm kind of treating this like a dry run. If I can use the regular screening as a training ground for learning how better to deal with it, I might be prepared when something serious happens.