September 7, 2016 Another update:
This week I heard back on the chest CT scan (the doctor’s nurse practitioner is still trying to identify why I have come and go rib pain when using my hands to sew, carry, etc.) Heavy breathing at night after climbing the stairs and lying down is another symptom that she would like to identify.
The results showed pulmonary nodules, but they are small enough to say that they are most likely not malignant, and so I will have a repeat CT scan in a year to compare the views, watching for any change in size.
The simple basal site on my back hasn’t yet healed, and the abscessed stitch that is weeping has enlarged from 3/16″ to 3/8″. I called the skin surgeon back to let him know that it continues to weep fluid and blood despite the past week of antibiotic cream twice a day; he decided to start me on an oral antibiotic today. I’m to continue that for two weeks, and if it has not by then healed, come in to see him to decide whether it needs another suturing. I’ve scheduled that appointment for one of the days that we are not in the shop.
I do trust my instincts. I regret not having held to them ten years ago when I allowed the first neurologist to talk me into the nightly injections which I now blame for the blooming of all these skin cancers; the disease modifying drug that I injected for four years was designed to attack my immune system, just as any chemotherapy will do. I believe in the six years since discontinuing the DMD my immune system has regained strength and the skin surgeon believes my immune systemis now attacking the sutures in my back – thus the continuing fluid and lesion growth.
Because I have had two melanoma sites (successfully removed with Mohs surgery two years ago) I do think that monitoring these other things that occur is logical; if melanoma metastasizes, it most often will do so with cancer of the lung, liver or brain, all of which are serious cancers. I will stay on top of these skin cancer sites, whether they are basal, squamous or malignant melanoma.
As for the multiple sclerosis … it is way, way back on the proverbial stovetop… that ‘whatever it is’ is still there, but just in the background of the skin cancer and the watch on other organs.
Last week, I heard back from the nurse practitioner that she had the report from the cardiologist (the one who had said that I had had a silent heart attack a month or so ago) … the two-day echo cardiogram testing he had suggested was completed, and it showed no evidence of ischemia, and so there is no evidence of my having had such an attack. I felt validated by that report, as I was sure if I had had an attack, silent or not, I would have known something was different.
I continue to avoid inflammatory foods (fried, meat, dairy) and believe my instincts will keep me as healthy as I can manage to be. I will avoid another episode of chemotherapy at all cost, physically, emotionally, and financially.
Be well, all. It makes life easier, if you can.