Sunday, October 28, 2007

More… Post Surgery Update

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m still recovering from the prior week’s surgery. The surgery seems to have been successful, as previously reported. But, the pain in my tongue has not subsided which has resulted in further difficulty in eating and talking and has added to the amount of pain medicine required to be comfortable. The pain medicine makes me a bit drowsy as well. I may shift to a complete liquid diet for a few days to give my tongue a chance to heal and thereby allow me to reduce my pain medicine. I had some wonderful visits by family and a friend this week. Thank you. Also, some correspondence from a few people I haven’t heard from in a while. That always makes me feel good.

I’ve spent a little more time talking to various doctors about early cancer detection. It appears that early detection of lung cancer is a magic bullet in the battle of this disease. The issues here are a bit complicated. First, the cost of a chest CT is about $200 – 300 (you have to shop around a bit for this price) and more than likely will not be covered by insurance. Second, there is a natural avoidance by seemingly (and probably) healthy people to go through the expense and inconvenience of this test. Although it is non invasive, painless and only takes about 15 minutes to perform, the scheduling hassle is still there. Also, the “it can’t happen to me” syndrome is pretty strong. And, third the potential for a false positive would lead to more costly tests or even invasive procedures that could lead to health complications. So, for the time being, this magic bullet may not be gold or silver, but it must be at least in the bronze range. If you are a smoker or a drinker, are around smokers, or you used to smoke heavily, I encourage you to consider this test. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. By this, I mean the action is now in your hands. By the way, I got my chest CT results back on Friday and it was negative for disease. This is what I was expecting, but it is always nice to have it confirmed.

I read a very sad blog entry today. It chronicled the final hours of a cancer victim by his spouse on Friday. If interested, it is at I am a bit obsessed with cancer stories: good, bad, and sad. If you’re not up for reading a sobering account on this subject, I’d suggest skipping the above story.

Take care. I hope you all had a good weekend.

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