Nothing wrong with my good little lung. She is just perfect. In fact my doctor talked to me about my lung for about 30 seconds and then we discussed that we would both be going skiing this weekend.
I feel like one lucky one lung girl. So I’m going to explain what the process is, what these results mean, and end with some super awesome news.
Every 6 months I go to NYU Langone Hospital in NYC. I take this old scary elevator in the corner to the second floor and check in for a CT Scan. From there I wait about 10 minutes, and then I’m brought to the back, asked to change into a gown, and not use my phone for what feels like 100 years while they prep the machine. I’m taken into the room, lay on a table, in front of a giant machine that has a little circle where your body will eventually go. Once I lay down I put my hands over my head and they slowly move me into the machine. There is a little microphone and speaker and they ask me a couple questions and then have me do a series of breathing exercises while they take pictures of my mid section. The CT scan takes pictures in cross sections. Which means you see your body in a million different horizontal slices. They are looking for any shadows, holes, anything to light up, really whatever shouldn’t be there. Because I only have one lung, this gal is going to have to last me about 75 more years – it needs to be in perfect working shape.
Then I wait for my results! I usually get a bagel and walk to my Thoracic Surgeon (Dr. Bernard Crawford). He’s about 2 avenues and a block over, an easy 10 minutes.
Side note: The first scan I had about 4 weeks after surgery my mom and I went to the wrong location. And that 2 avenue and block walk was one of the hardest walks I’ve ever done in my LIFEEE. Now I basically run between the two of them. Man what a difference 2 years makes.
While I wait I basically text all my best friends and mom and they send me funny pictures and videos because they’re the best. Then finally I’m called to the back. They weigh me (gross), take my vitals and ask me how I am feeling. Dr. Crawford finally comes in and gives me my results. What he’s looking for is anything out of the ordinary in my good lung. As a reminder I had a carcinoid tumor in my right lung. This is neuroendocrine cells that multiple and stick together to cause mayhem. They are VERY slow growing and the only course of action is full removal with margins (this means take that stupid tumor out and everything around it that it touched / like my entire lung). We don’t know a lot about carcinoids. Why they grow, if they come back, do they have a pattern, is it because I eat too much cheese? We do know they don’t react to chemo therapy or radiation, there is no targeted treatment, and they are rather rare. Basically if the worst happened and another one popped up we’d want to know about it ASAP.
He tells me “You look good kid, she’s one healthy lung”, and then keeps me on scans once a year as opposed to every 6 months! This is AWESOME news. The less radiation the better!
Basically what this boils down to is I’m very healthy, I’m VERY happy, and I’m going to go get a beer. CHEERS.