Jeffrey’s Story

Site created on July 16, 2019

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Journal entry by Jeffrey Johnson




I  might as well get some use outta the damn box before it’s needed for its original purpose.

After my CT scan last Wednesday I picked up the pathologist’s report at Kaiser on Friday to scan it and e-mail it to Dr. Ram for our video meeting today. In the report it says, “This result is not viewable by the patient.” (But sign a release form and it’s yours.) It’s not entirely readable either. I searched the Ms in Google Translate hoping to find Medical Mystery-speak between Marathi and Mongolian, but…nuthin. I don’t know “subpleural reticulations” from “compressive atelectasis,” but there are a few words in there besides “and” and “the” that I can understand. Like “improvement” and “smaller and less dense.” I like those words.

The CT machine scans the body from where the thigh bone connected to the hip bone all the way up to where the neck bone connected to the head bone. There’s a lot of important organs laying in that territory that all need to be playing from the same sheet music. Alla mine are humming a solid middle “C.” From the report, to wit:

Mediastinum and hila: Unremarkable

Chest wall: Normal

Liver: Normal

Gallbladder and biliary system: Normal

Spleen: Normal

Pancreas: Normal

Adrenal glands: Normal

Kidneys and Collecting System: Normal

Gastrointestinal tract: No bowel obstruction

Peritoneum/Retroperitoneum: No adenopathy, No ascites, No free air

Vascular: Abdominal aorta and its major branches are unremarkable.

Urinary bladder: Small calcifications

Reproductive organs: None a your damn business

Musculoskeletal: The osseous structures appear within normal limits.


I did eventually work my way through the document with able assistance from the internet to find out what exactly is a “subpleural reticulation” or a “compressive atelectasis.” Their definitions definitely explain my shortness of breath and lack of endurance. And in my search I found a study titled: “Early Changes in Tumor Size in Patients Treated for Advanced Stage Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer Do Not Correlate With Survival.” So I’ll still need that funny-shaped bookcase sometime down the road. Just not before I get to travel more of its twists and turns.


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