J: X-ray shows fluid up a little. Biopsy now plan B but postponed

(I am reposting this blog update as an earlier version seems to have been eaten by WordPress)

We visited Bath hospital today for an X-ray check up. I have been monitoring my stats quite carefully (weight, pulse, breathing) so was not expecting them to show a significant return of fluid. Nor was there, but an increase of about 1cm was identified.

We then went to the Respiratory ward (the X-rays are instantly available through the network) where a doctor talked to the specialist Dr. Walters. He said that in view of the fluid increase he would move the biopsy to Bristol Southmead which had already been pencilled in as a plan B.

This has some advantages in that Dr. Maskell at Bristol can conduct a camera biopsy, thus increasing the chances of snagging some meaningful tissue.

But the main reason for the change is to take the opportunity to blow in some talc while they are about it. This has the effect of sticking the lung to the wall and, apparently, stops fluid production.

So I would hope that, assuming they drain off at the same time, my lung capacity and, therefore, day to day health will get back to normal. It also avoids the need to install a permanent drain, which had been mooted.

The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic, but needs an overnight stay. I think this is because of risk of reactions, or puncturing the lung which does occur in a small number of cases. Since I have a decent (and rising) amount of fluid to provide wiggle-room, the risk of puncture in my case is presumably lessened.

Unfortunately Dr. Maskell has had an emergency admission so the biopsy has been postponed until Wednesday 18th March. I will see him the day before for a briefing.

I also have a meeting with the urologist in Bath on Monday 16th. I am not sure why since it was confirmed today that no action would be taken on the kidney until the full picture is established, so I assume this is just a general briefing.

The histology (analysis) of the biopsy will take a few days and the Bath MDT (multi disciplinary team) meetings are held on Thursdays. So my case will not been discussed there until the 26th (assuming no further delays). After that, presumably, an analysis and treatment plan will filter down to me the following week. Dr. Maskell may give me some lung-specific feedback earlier.

My day to day health has slipped a little in the last few days. I think this is because I have picked up a head cold. It means I can’t do much physical activity and “brain work” starts to get difficult after more than a couple of hours. I hope this will pick up a bit once the cold goes but I am told not to expect to feel quite normal as lung capacity is still down.

We were turned around at Bath pretty quickly today. Arrived at 0900 and out within 45 minutes having visited two departments. Very happy with that.

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