Lung Biopsy Blues

Hello dear reader(s)!

I had intended to start posting again yesterday. but I was still pretty wiped out (and still am. but less so) from my lung biopsy on Monday.  My inconsistent posting has been primarily due to the appointments leading up to the biopsy and just the over all crappy feeling of needing one.  The fear of the procedure didn’t help either.  The fear of the results is minimal, however.

It all started about a month ago when I got really sick from a virus called RSV.  RSV is actually a very common virus that affects everyone.  It is usually just like a severe cold.  For me, due to the messed up immunity from the cancer battle, it lasted longer, and I was diagnosed with pneumonia after a while with it.  With the pneumonia. I had a chest x-ray that revealed some nodules on my lungs.  I then had a CT scan for a more detailed picture.

There were nodules on my lungs back in December when I had pneumonia the last time.  Those nodules were dismissed as likely scar tissue, and I was given instructions to have a follow-up scan this month to ensure they hadn’t grown.  Since I had the scan last month, obviously that wasn’t necessary.

At first. I was told it didn’t look like the nodules had grown.  I was happy to understand that the nodules were likely just scar-tissue, or perhaps a fungal infection that wasn’t active.  I was referred to a pulmonologist to schedule what I thought would be a bronchoscopy.  I’ve had them before, they suck, but I know what to expect with them.

Due to the deep location of one of the nodules on my lung, I was informed that the bronchoscopy would be done under general anesthesia.  I wasn’t too happy about being totally under, but I figured it would be a good trade-off for having to swallow the scope and gag on it.

When I met with the pulmonologist I was informed that the nodules were in-fact growing, and that they were just going to do a needle biopsy instead.

Having had bone marrow biopsies. I know the concept of shoving a needle into someone to collect tissue, but a lung was definitely new territory.  So after the consult, I left and then they called to book it.

After they booked it, I spent all day on the phone with my insurance company for errors they made and things they told me that were preventing the procedure from potentially being covered.  (In addition to other claims that may be sent back due to their errors.)  I got it taken care of, and began to prepare for the procedure.

The primary risk of the procedure was a pneumothorax.  This is basically when air from the lung leaks out of the hole in the lung into the space between the lung and the chest.  This air creates a pressure that can then collapse your lung.  The hole in the lung seals quickly, but it can still happen.  That did not happen to me, which is nice, because it allowed me to go home the same day.

The procedure itself was virtually painless.  I really was surprised by how little it hurt.  The medication I had helped with the needle itself, and all I really had to do was consistently breathe.  They mapped the area with a CT scan, and then inserted the needle.  Then they scanned me again afterward to ensure there was no pneumothorax.  There wasn’t.

But then I started bleeding.

THAT hurt.  The pressure from the blood seemed to refer elsewhere, and it felt like I was having a heart attack.  I was hooked to monitors, and I wasn’t, but it really hurt.  So they gave me Dilaudid.  That helped a little, and then they took me to recovery.  I was coughing up a little blood, which was normal.  When I got in recovery, I started feeling dizzy and threw up.  After nausea medication, I was still in a lot of pain and they gave me oxycodone.  The pain began to fade.  They did two more chest x-rays over the next 4 hours to make sure I didn’t have a pneumothorax, and then I was released.  On the way home, I got a little dizzy again.  We picked up some food, and once home, before I ate, I threw up again.  Yesterday I was extremely tired.  I was exhausted.

Today I expected to be better.  I am, but I am not 100%, and it is really annoying because it is beautiful out.

I haven’t gotten any results yet. but that isn’t surprising.  I’m not particularly concerned.  This is almost certainly an infection of some type.  It could be another cancer, of course, but all the doctors involved aren’t expecting that.  This biopsy was primarily just to identify the type of infection to grab the best medication to treat it.

Anyway, my dear reader(s), I just wanted to let you all know why I haven’t been consistent lately.  I look forward to catching up with your blogs and writing more consistently.

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Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

51 thoughts on “Lung Biopsy Blues”

  1. Josh I am so sorry things are tough for you right now. Keep you chin up, you are a damn strong person! Sending some positive vibes your way!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Josh, I’m sorry to hear about your difficulties. This all sounds painful, exhausting, and worrisome. I’m quite familiar with RSV, it almost took my son at one month old. It was the most terrifying time of my life and I know the damage something that’s supposed to be more or less harmless can actually do.
    I understand completely, very kind of you to keep us updated, but I understand, I really do. Take care of yourself, we can wait (your pots are worth waiting for), we really can.
    All the best with not only the results, but with feeling better very very soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh! It is amazing how simple things can hurt certain vulnerable populations, isn’t it. I’m glad it was just ALMOST with the RSV. If the results are what we expect, it’ll be fine. I’m better than yesterday, so I know tomorrow will be better still.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t even have to bother with medical. Recreational is legal here. But I don’t smoke it, specifically to avoid the fungus that is likely infecting ,my lungs anyway. (People with intact immune systems don’t have to really worry about it.)
      Although edibles might be a good idea at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gah! Josh, I’d rather hoped you were off having the best time ever. 😦 Sounds like I was exactly wrong. I’m hopeful for you and glad to know you’re still (kinda) okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I tried to message yesterday, but it didn’t go through. I have had a few pneumothorax’s and they aren’t pleasant, but neither is what you went through! I am thinking of you, and hoping that each day you are feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

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