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A Follow-Up

The last time I wrote a blog, other than yesterday’s tribute to my dad, was June 28. A major portion of that blog talked about my husband and the illness he has had since last October. Here’s what I wrote:

            In October of last year, my sweet hubby, Dave, came home from a week-long business trip feeling as if he were getting the flu. Over the weekend, he felt worse and by Monday, was ready to see a doctor. His physician told him he had pneumonia, gave him some antibiotics and sent him home. He took the usual 10 day dosage, got better for a couple of weeks and got sick again. This happened four times – get sick, take antibiotics, get better – get sick, take antibiotics…you get the picture. When he got sick the fifth time, I insisted he find a doctor in the city where we live and even recommended one. He saw that doctor who immediately referred him to a pulmonologist. This was in late March. To make a very long story a wee bit shorter, since March, Dave has seen two pulmonologists, two thoracic surgeons and an infectious disease specialist. He has had three CAT scans, two bronchoscopies and there is discussion of a third one to be done this week. At last count, he has had over ten vials of blood drawn for an unknown number of lab tests. No one has determined what the problem is. Many ugly diseases, such as lung cancer, tuberculosis, lymphoma, leukemia, etc. have been ruled out and for that, we are truly, truly grateful. But we need a diagnosis. We are weary…especially Dave. He has battled whatever this is for almost nine months. (This is in addition to his long-standing, chronic back/hip/leg pain.) We are in the midst of deciding what the next step should be. Do we stay with the doctors he is already established with or do we ask our insurance company for a referral to a different doctor or perhaps even to the Mayo Clinic? Your prayers for wisdom and for complete and total healing for Dave are greatly appreciated.

       Since that blog was posted on June 28, Dave has seen another pulmonologist, another thoracic surgeon, had another CAT scan, another bronchoscopy, and countless more tubes of blood drawn. Finally, he was referred to a doctor at Emory Hospital, Dr. Daniel Miller, who Dave (and I) saw last Tuesday, August 2. Dr. Miller is the Professor of Thoracic Surgery at Emory University, Chief, General Thoracic Surgery at Emory Hospital, and Surgical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at Emory Hospital. Dr. Miller was on staff at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, New York for twelve years before coming to Emory. I share all these fancy titles with you, not to brag about Dr. Miller but to show that God has provided the very best for Dave.

It was such a relief to finally meet with someone who understood Dave’s situation immediately and had a surgical plan when he walked in the door.

In just a few hours, Dave and I will drive to Emory for his pre-admission appointment. We will stay overnight at the hotel next to the hospital, which will also be my home away from home as long as Dave is at Emory. We are to be back at the hospital at 7:30 tomorrow morning. Dr. Miller is not sure of the extent of the surgery and will not know until he biopsies the mass and sends it to Pathology. He will leave Dave under anesthesia while waiting on the pathology report. Once the report is back, he will make a decision as to how to proceed. Regardless, whatever surgery has to be done, will be completed on Tuesday. And the extent of the surgery will determine the number of days he will be in the hospital and the recovery time.

To Be Continued

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