Friday, September 18, 2015

The Day After the Pet Scan Uh-ohhh

Dr. Witek called Rich the day after the PET scan.

"Our techs were going through your PET scan again and I need to know Rich if you've been having trouble with your eyesight?"

Rich said yes, but we of course hadn't linked any vision changes with anything other than the possibility of normal aging eyes.  The eye doctor had found cataracts too.  We'd told Dr. Morris about that the day earlier and he said that radiation could increase the time frame for cataracts if a person were to get them.

Apparently 'they' found 'something' in the occipital lobe of his brain.  The something was something they wanted to identify very soon.  Dr. Witek had put in an order for a CT scan of the area.  The 'techs' had wanted an MRI but Dr. Witek opted for the CT scan as Rich is very claustrophobic.

There was a knee jerk reaction in our household.  Our good news had turned into a 'Something'.  An unknown.  

We had to go to the VA for Dental, Swallow Clinic, and Mental Health yesterday.  Rich's Dentist did prep work for putting in some teeth to replace those he lost before the radiation therapy started.  Since the Dentist can't place a post in the jaw for partials, he had to make a work around. Radiation in throat and head makes the jaw bone brittle and no teeth can be pulled for about two years without causing huge issues.

Our appointment with Dr. Faris was perhaps the best appointment of the day.  Dr. Faris deserves a nod and some applause as he probably went way past his quitting time to hear Rich out.

He let Rich talk on and on about the Old Days and how he could do anything and everything.  His main complaint is of course how terrible things are for him because he has no energy.  After a long while Rich said out loud, "Maybe I am just getting old and I can't do the things I used to."

There it was, out in the open at least in my mind.  He is not 19 anymore nor 10 foot tall and bullet proof.  He admitted it.
I think it can be very difficult to face the fact that your life is not as it once was.

Dr. Feris discussed Palliative Care for Rich and he actually considered it. Palliative Care is not Hospice but is defined as special medical for people with serious illnesses.  It involves working with a special medical team that focuses on providing the patients with some relief from symptoms and stress from serious illness. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and the family of the patient.

I asked Rich on the ride home why he was always very negative when people asked how he was.  He didn't really have much of an answer.  I'm of the belief that if you always say you are not well, you will be unwell.

As for the Uh-Ohhh?  It is there and for the moment I am going to cope with it in the only manner I can.  Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and don't freak out.  No knowledge is more fearful than having knowledge.

I know it is weighing heavily on Rich's mind.  But he told Dr. Feris yesterday that he didn't care, he was not afraid of it after all he has gone through.
We can all put on brave fronts in front of other people can we not?

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