Last week Roy and I went for a recommended heart scan, a simple, non-invasive test that checks the amount of calcium build-up in the heart. This serves as an early-warning sign for potential blockage. Since we both lost our fathers to heart attack/heart failure, we thought this would be a good idea.

And it was. Our scores were excellent, Roy’s in particular. He had the almost unheard of number of 0. But…

For some reason, the technician from the scanning facility called us with our report, instead of calling our doctor. And while the calcium scores were good, she also casually mentioned that Roy had spots on his lung, and should have a follow-up test. Naturally, we freaked. We called the doctor’s office and it seemed that they did not receive a copy of the reports because the scanning facility’s fax was down. So they had no idea what we were talking about. All they could tell us was to wait until the report arrived the next day.

It was not a pleasant night, but we were mostly OK until we received the call from the doctor’s assistant. She said that the doctor had the report on his desk, and wanted us to come in the next day, which was his DAY OFF. Roy was sure this couldn’t be good.

I must say that our doctor was great. He came immediately to the point and explained that even though the test is designed to scan for calcium, it is powerful enough to pick up other anomalies in the chest area. However, we never should have been contacted directly, especially since he didn’t have the report, and he had let the facility know that in no uncertain terms.

Bottom line: Although the doctor believed that the spots were from pneumonia scars, he couldn’t be sure, and sent Roy for a CAT scan this morning. We just heard the findings, which are basically very good — there is only one spot that isn’t clearly scar tissue and the recommendation is that they track it in 3 months to make sure that it isn’t growing. Because of the scarring around this spot, it is most likely also scar tissue, but they have to check it again to be certain.

Needless to say, it’s been a long three days. While we never really believed that Roy had lung cancer, it still was a shock to the system.

What we learned is that you have to trust, but verify, and that no matter how grateful you are for the blessings of life, you can still be even more grateful.

One Response to "A Post-Halloween Scare"

  1. Helene

    November 6, 2007

    Thank G-d Roy is alright! Just your little East Coast Friend checking on you.

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