So i got married on July 26th and didn’t go on a honeymoon (mistake number 1) and went back to work on the 29th. As a physician in the ER, i see patients with a myriad of complaints, most commonly back pain, cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Well, somewhere over the first day or two of my work week, someone coughed on me (at least that is what i’m thinking).
By Thursday (Aug 1), i had body aches and muscle soreness and thought that i was just struggling getting back into an Orange Theory routine and was sore from working out (mistake number 2). I continued to work out and went to bed early the next couple of nights. Then Saturday (Aug 3), i developed right sided chest pain, worse when i took a breath in. And i was still having body aches and pains. And at night i would cough (not a big deal) and would be hot and then cold, which i thought were just the joys of my new menopause (mistake number 3). I continued to have the chest pain on Sunday while at work and decided that i had a Pulmonary Embolism (blood clot).
I already had a CT scan set up on Monday, the 5th, from my oncologist to look to see if there was any metastatic disease that had occurred while i was getting treatment. After the scan was done, i asked them if i could take a look at it.
So there it is in all its glory (this is just one picture, and it is a bit larger than it looks in this picture). Oh, and for those of you who are not radiologists or pulmonologists or trained to read CT scans, you are looking at a slice of the thorax. The black is air, the heart is in the middle, and on the left side of the screen, there is my pneumonia in my right lung. The CT scan is read opposite of real life, so when you look at the picture and it looks like the pneumonia is on the left side, that is actually the right side. Picture a person laying in front of you, with their head up top and their feet closest to you) and you start slicing them like bread. When you look at them, what you are seeing on the left side, is actually THE PATIENT’S RIGHT SIDE. Make sense?
So i have a pneumonia. Not a blood clot. Not cancer in my lungs. Just an infection, which by the way, is easy to treat. 5 days of antibiotics. In hindsight, my body aches and fevers (not hot flashes) should have triggered me to think i might have had an infection. And my chest pain was actually pleursy, also from the infection. But now i know and have a plan for treatment and will most likely get an xray prior to surgery to make sure it is gone.
Isn’t cancer a wild ride?