Oct 30, 2021 Latest post:
Feb 14, 2022
On Tuesday, October 19, 2021, we received the devastating news that Jim had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. The initial problem, beginning in early August, was atrial flutter which has now morphed into atrial fibrillation. He had a cardioversion shock treatment on October 11th, which has now failed. He was scheduled to have an ablation Monday, October 18, subject to resolution of other non-heart related issues. He had a nuclear stress test Wednesday, October 13th, and together with all the battery of other heart tests he's had, have caused his cardiologist to conclude that the heart problem is just “electrical” with no blockages, hopefully fixable by ablation.
But the most difficult problems were undiagnosed chronic pain in his chest and rib cage, which hadn’t responded to standard anti-inflammatory and pain medications. On Thursday, October 14th they performed a CAT scan, as they were concerned with swollen lymph nodes that had showed up in his x-rays. At this point they decided to cancel the ablation. On Friday, October 15th, seeing the enlarged lymph nodes on the CAT scan, they decided to perform a biopsy. On Tuesday, October 19, it was confirmed that he had stage 4 lung cancer. We have begun the process of working with his heart doctor and oncologist on a treatment plan. As this is now our primary concern, his heart issues are being treated with medication.
On Wednesday, October 20th, he started his first round of steroid and anti-nausea infusions, which continued for the next two days. He was able to have some pain relief in his chest, but started having pain in his lower back, which weakened him overall and caused concern. His oncologist determined that the best course of action at the time would be to admit him to rehabilitation, in order to get him hydrated and stronger through physical therapy and pain management for him to receive the next round of infusions and start radiation.
Yesterday, October 29th, he had his first day of rehabilitation, where he is working hard to alleviate his pain and prepare his body to start treatment.