Thursday, 29 December 2011

Cobblers

I've been keeping quiet on here of late but then there hasn't been much hill action (for me) recently anyway. What there has been is a lot of is stress. After my last update regarding the Sarcoidosis I was referred to the chest clinic in the local hospital. I went through a repeat of all the lung function tests, blood tests and X-ray's again before being sent for a CT scan of the lungs to get a clearer picture of what was going on in there.

When I went back for the results I was given a bit a of news I wasn't really expecting. The specialist sat me down and informed me that the CT scan results indicated the same damage which was apparent on the previous X-rays but had also shown my lymph nodes in there to be very swollen. Although this is in keeping with Sarcoidosis, it may also indicate something more serious.

"What do you mean more serious?" says I.

"Lymphoma"

"You mean Cancer?"

"Yes"

"F*ck off, I climb mountains for fun. I can't have cancer!...can I?"

"I still think it's Sarcoidosis but we have to check."

There was a long period of silence while this sunk in. Turns out that the only way to check properly is by taking samples of the tissue and sending it off to the lab. Now when the "C word" is used the doctors definitely don't hang around as we only had to wait a week and a half before I was admitted to the Golden Jubilee hospital in Clydebank for a Mediastinoscopy and a Bronchoscopy. Then another two weeks before we got the results.

Thankfully the results were as good as could be hoped for. It still looks like sarcoidosis and is not cancer. I won't go into the details of our thoughts and worries over that period as it's just a bit too personal for on here. It was though, by far the longest and most stressful month I think I've ever spent and I hope we never have to go through another period like it.

Since the surgery (which has healed well) I have had more lung function tests to get a baseline and then for the last 6 weeks or so I've been on a pretty high daily dosage of steroids. Of all the nasty side effects that you hear about with these drugs I seem not to be suffering them. They're making me eat like a horse at the moment though and the pills themselves taste disgusting but so far that's about as bad as it's got.

Within a few weeks I started to notice my breathing was noticeably easier almost all the time whether it be sitting on the couch or walking up steep hills. It's difficult to quantify something like that though so I kept quiet until my last appointment the other week there. My latest X-rays are showing less white areas on the lungs and the numbers for the lung function tests are looking a little better. Not a huge amount better but definitely starting to head in the right direction. So it appears that the treatment is starting to work. I'm to remain on the current dosage for the time being and we will continue to monitor the situation. It's early days yet but the indications are positive.

Finally life seems to be getting back to being on an even keel again and we have had a nice and relaxing christmas. I'm sitting here writing this with a head full of excitement, plans and genuinely looking forward to a prosperous and happy new year and I wish you all good health, good luck and plenty of happiness too.

...and so, what did I do as soon as I realised my lungs were feeling a little better?

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I went for bloody good walk!

5 comments:

  1. Christ!

    Here's hoping 2012 is a drama free year, health-wise!

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  2. Jeez. Life sure has had it's ups and downs. Let's all hope that it's the ups for you now!
    Good to see you out & about, fella.

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  3. Jings - it does rather seem that drugs are now a must-have bit of gear for Scottish hillwalkers.
    :0/

    Glad things are looking better Sandy!

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  4. Thanks folks. I'm hoping there's going to be lots of "ups" as in up hills in the coming year.

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  5. I hope you get a lot of ups and all comes good on this. All the best for the future.

    ReplyDelete

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