Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Of bladders and bobcats

The purpose of this follow-up post is to report on the actual scan results, which I've just received. However, I have to also report an unusual wildlife sighting on the Pipeline Trail (which goes up from the Sammamish river valley along the Pipeline right-of-way): a very large bobcat. By "large" I mean that when you first spot it out of the corner of your eye, you think it's a dog on the order of a German shepherd. It is then a bit disconcerting to realize that it is clearly a member of the cat family. A mountain lion? But the coloring is all wrong, with the spotted fur pattern. As soon as it saw me it lay down in the low bushes, so I couldn't see if it had a tail; indeed it was so well camouflaged that I hadn't already known it was there, I wouldn't have noticed it at all. Finally I decided to lob a couple of small rocks its way, just to be absolutely sure it wasn't a mountain lion (in which case a 911 call would be in order, with all the houses around). It jumped up and ran off, clearly a bobcat. But a HUGE one. I had no idea they got that big (up to 65 pounds or so, as I later checked).

Now, as to the scan. This one illustrates why I want to see it myself, as what the oncologist tells me over the phone is not necessarily the complete story. If you're interested in such things, here are some actual excerpts:

Liver: Significant interval increase in size of segment 7 hepatic metastatic
lesion (3/120), measuring 4.4 x 4.0 cm, previously 2.7 x 2.0 cm. Previously
noted small left satellite nodules is no longer identifiable on today's CT.
There is a new 1.6 x 1.1 cm lesion in the segment 6 (3/154).

An then in the summary:

1. Significant interval worsening of hepatic metastatic disease with new
lesion in the segment 6 and significantly enlarging known segment 7 lesion.
2. Unchanged thickening of the inferior urinary bladder walls, consistent with
primary bladder cancer.
3. Unchanged retroperitoneal and pelvic lymph nodes.
4. No evidence of new disease.

The doc didn't mention the "new lesion", but maybe it's another mirage. In any case, as I already knew, it's not exactly good news. But hardly surprising. Also, I think he's stretching it a bit to say that my bladder is "pristine". I can see the ad now at Al's Used Bladder Emporium: "Almost like new! Top quality bladder in pristine condition, used only on Sundays by a little old mathematician!"

The radiologist looks at everything in the abdomen/pelvic area, and had this to say about my hip replacement: "No evidence of hardware failure." Well, that's good to know!

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