Category: Discovery

The X-ray

The X-ray

Off I went to the imaging center to get my chest x-ray. I mean, I wasn’t wheezing or coughing, so it seemed that this was just a cautionary scan. I checked in, and they took two shots of my chest; straight on and from the side. I left, not thinking much about it.

The next day while in a meeting at work, I got a call from my doctor’s office. I assumed they were calling me to say that the chest x-ray showed nothing, and to continue on with the Mucinex. Suffice it to say, that wasn’t what happened. She told me that the radiologist reported that the x-ray showed something abnormal that “might or might not be pneumonia.” I asked what the hell that meant, and she said she didn’t have any more information, but that they wanted me to go in for a CT scan to clarify what it was.

The circle shows the mass, which is in my right upper lung.

Still, this didn’t strike me as anything of major concern, so off I went for the CT scan.

The Beginning…

The Beginning…

This all exploded on November 11th, but the path to learning that I had lung cancer began back in July.

I went to my primary doctor because it felt like I was breathing in cold air at the apex of a deep breath, and my ongoing neck issue was still bothering me – she had diagnosed the neck pain as likely due to arthritis a few years ago. I started having pain under my shoulder blade, so she referred me to an orthopedist for my neck who diagnosed it as cervical stenosis – which means that the foraminal bones the nerves pass through were narrowing, causing nerve pain at the base of my neck (C6 & C7). This explained my neck pain, but it also clouded the eventual diagnosis of the lung cancer because the symptoms of stenosis happened to mirror similar symptoms of cancer. We’re still not sure if the throat and back pain are caused by stenosis or cancer, but that’s how medicine goes sometimes.

So, back to my throat issues. She focused on the breathing issue over the next two months, and we went from antibiotics, to trying antacids to eliminate reflux, to an inhaler, and finally to Mucinex to see if I was simply clogged up from sinus drainage or a lingering infection. When she told me to take the Mucinex – this was November 11th – she also sent me for a chest x-ray, just to make sure I didn’t have some lingering infection. And so begins the adventure!