Fact: I found out last Monday, five days ago, that I have a preliminary diagnosis of lung cancer. It’s been a very busy week. I guess that I should give you a little background.
On February 13th I awoke about 3:30 AM with a small pain on the left side of my chest. Over the course of the next two hours it grew to a point where ignoring it seemed not to be an option so I woke Joan and said I thought that we should call 911. Living in a small New England town with a volunteer fire department, which handles ambulance calls, a young policeman arrived first. He tried to rouse a local EMT response with no results so he finally called the neighboring Exeter Fire Department that employs full time EMTs and they arrived. I got an initial survey, EKG, blood pressure, glucose level, etc and was loaded onto a gurney and out into a very cold evening. I was transported to the Exeter Hospital Emergency Room and a round of testing for a heart problem began.
After about an hour and a half the attending ER doctor came to tell me that the good news was that I was not having a heart attack. He said we should check to see if it was a blood clot and sent me to x-ray for a picture. About an hour later he came to tell me that the good news was that I didn’t have a blood clot and perhaps the bad news was I didn’t have a blood clot because there was a suspicious shadow on my left lung in the area were the pain hard occurred. He ordered a CAT Scan to take a further look and came back to tell me that I should see my primary care physician, John Reidel, and schedule an appointment for a biopsy.
On Friday February 23rd I had a biopsy done and the following Tuesday I left for Houston to attend a long scheduled conference, returning home late Friday evening. On Monday morning I called John who said the biopsy had been positive for cancer and that I should see an oncologist as soon as possible. John asked if I wanted him to set it up and I said yes. He called back in about ten minutes and told me that I had an appointment with a doctor Sims at 2:15 PM on Wednesday March 14th.