Tuesday, September 6, 2011


My parents spent all day in Urgent Care. Mom's shortness of breath has continued and this morning was concerning enough for the NP on duty to recommend that she go. Dad left work to take her-she still traveled by car, but brought a portable oxygen supply with her. At Urgent Care, Mom had a CT scan, a chest X ray and an EKG. Then waited.

As someone with a history of anxiety and panic attacks, I can tell you that worrying excessively about something can make you short of breath. If you're anxious about being short of breath, well, you're going to be even more short of breath.

Mom passed all of her tests like a champ. She does not have pneumonia (a possibility that I immediately thought of and worried about all day). She does not have a blood clot in her lungs (a possibility I hadn't considered, which would have terrified me if I had heard it any earlier than I did, which was following the words "I do not have"). She does not even appear to have what Dad referred to as "the thing that was there before" which is the metastasis that was found in her lungs on May. This little glimmer is almost too much to hope for. Though the point of the Doxil is really to see if we can slow spreading and perhaps reverse other growths. The skin metastasis is gone. So why not the lung metastasis too? And for that matter, why not the liver? I've been watching her symptoms like a hawk, asking for liver enzyme numbers and for any signs of metabolic interruptions (like I'd really know what that looks like with my masters in nutrition course anatomy and pathophysiology, but still) and sighing with relief every time things look pretty normal.

After returning to the Kline, Mom felt better. The anxiety has lifted significantly, so the shortness of breath has improved a bit. She was a little bummed that she had to spend her whole day awake but not doing anything: she was tired, but felt like she really should take a walk anyway. She may even do that tonight; nothing about her force of will surprises me anymore. I just watch in awe.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to heard about the day to the hospital. I hope she is feeling better today. It's been sunny and hot (and beautiful) in Seattle maybe the heat is making allergies going crazy and respiratory, short breath to somebody. Hope she will feel better soon.