Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The things that can happen in a week...

- I had a CT scan of my chest/lungs
- My best friend from childhood had a healthy baby girl (Lucy Claire, 6lbs6oz)
- Chris and I went under contract on our first home
- I tagged along with my Dad to visit my grandparents in Macon
- We had our first ever home inspection
- I got the inconclusive results of aforementioned CT scan

I am so excited about meeting Lucy I can hardly stand it. It stinks when your closest friends live far away and you can't be among the first to meet their babies. But I am planning on visiting them in December. Yippee!!!

Chris and I are also very excited about becoming homeowners. It is so cute, so perfect for us, and the inspection went fairly well. There are some issues, but hopefully we can come to an agreement on everything with the sellers.

As for the CT scan, according to my Pulmonologist, there is some "density" in the area of my thymus. At first I thought he said thyroid. But no, thyROID and thyMUS are 2 entirely different things apparently. The thymus is an organ located in the upper part of the chest cavity just behind the sternum and it stimulates the production of infection-fighting cells, notably T cells.

Wait...T cells! That's familiar. I have heard of those before!
I confirmed my suspicions with my good friend Wikipedia:
"According to most researchers, a special subset of lymphocytes, called T cells, plays a key role in the development of MS. These T cells recognize myelin (your brain's protective coating) as foreign and attack it as if it were an invading virus, which triggers the inflammatory process."

One of these days some researcher is going to discover that all these autoimmune things are somehow related and cure them all in one swoop! How cool will that be?

So back to the word "density" which is what is showing on my CT scan where my non-dense thymus should be. According to my ewver-growing team of doctors, it is one of the following:

1. The density is biological in origin, i.e. my thymus has always looked like that and we just never knew until we scanned it.

2. It is signs of thymoma, a fancy way of saying a tumor of the thymus, most often related to automimmune diseases such as Myasthenia Gravis, in which case most thymomas are benign.

3. Something involving the words lymph and oma. :-(

Inconclusive. This "blip" on my CT scan could be absolutely nothing...or it could be a teeny tiny benign tumor...or it could be a non-benign tumor, but since none of my doctors seemed to eager to crack open my chest cavity right away, I think that is a good sign. If they were really worried about it, they would have encouraged more aggressive actions.

So now I wait. There really isn't much else to do. My breathing hasn't gotten worse. In fact, I think it has gotten better (unless I get overheated, overfatigued or overstressed then there might as well be an elephant sitting on my chest!) So we watch and wait, keep track of my symptoms and do a repeat CT in 6 months.

Meanwhile, I have bigger fish to fry...I have a new niece to send presents to, I have flights to book to NJ, I have trick-or-treating with some UGA cheerleaders (and a football player!), I have a house to buy, I have furniture to pick out and rooms to decorate, I have stage makeup to design, I have a million things to be excited and happy about and worrying about whether or not there is a teeny tiny tumor in my thymus just isn't on the list today.

But, ya know, if anyone happens to have a couple of Xanax lying around or anything...I probably wouldn't turn them down...



Maggie said...

Very happy that you & Chris have found a house that you like. Still am in total awe of your optimism. God Bless you Caroline.

Love, Maggie

Adam said...

You continue to be an inspiration to me, Caroline. We will continue praying for you. (You're even on our abridged prayer list that we use when we're too tired to pray for things like world peace.) You rock!