Okay, I’ll cut to the chase. The “something new” that the scan report refers to is not cancer-related. It is age-related, which comes as no surprise because here, we are talking about this Senior Babe who does exhibit many other symptoms of old age.
Let’s review the 12/23/2014 CHEST CTscan report. It repeats the same things it has been saying since December 2012, after one hundred days of Tarceva’s relentless whacking of the 3″ x 3″ cancerous mass into submission: Primary nodule now a mere sliver or may just be scarred tissue, STABLE; two little fellas maybe cancer, maybe not, who knows? STABLE; the too-many-to-count spots, BIRD CACA INFECTION.
The 12/23/2014 ABDOMEN/PELVIS CTscan report is the new story. The report concludes: (1) No high suspicious findings of abdominal or pelvic malignancy. (2) NEW mild intra- and extra-hepatic bile duct dilatation without obstructing etiology identified.
The words “intra- and extra-hepatic dilatation of the bile ducts,” immediately sent me shaking in my Indian moccasin slippers. I wasted no time and made a mad dash to Google University (GU). My favorite professor, Dr. N. Ternett explained to me that dilatation is another word for widening, as in dilating the eye pupil, or bulging as in well, bulging, enlarging; a bile duct is a duct that carries bile – duh! – a body fluid that eventually pours into the intestines to help digest our food. His statement quickly brought back memories of my younger days in the squalor when my mother demonstrated to me how to gut the fish that would become our meal. She showed me the intestines attached to which was a tiny sac filled with blue-black liquid. She warned, “When you clean fish, you must take great care not to puncture the “apdo” (bile sac). The bile is inedible. If it gets on the fish, it will taste very bitter.” The thought of a dinner consisting of steamed rice and bitter fish compelled me to take her lecture to heart. Back to the human bile – it makes sense that its delivery to the intestines must be unobstructed. The report mentions “without obstructing etiology identified,” which means in street language that there is no visible obstruction. There we have it.
You’d think I’d be happy with that. But no, not me. I am an engineer. I have this crying need to know how a machine works. The human body is an awesome machine. I need to know why the dilatation or bulging of the bile duct? What causes this phenomenon? To satisfy my curiosity, I rushed back to GU to audit more courses. I found out dilatation could be caused by rapid weight loss or aging. I recently experienced free-fall weight loss when my appetite went on a temporary deep nap. A jolt from a few medical marijuana (MMJ) drops over three days yanked my appetite back to action. Remember the MMJ adventure in my January post? And aging? Well my aging process started the day nature ejected me from the warmth of my mother’s womb at crack of dawn a good chunk of a century ago. There we have it again.
The more important question I thought was, How would I know if something is in fact obstructing the bile duct? What if the Good Scan Doctor, Dr. Ray Deologist, simply did not see the obstructing object when he got distracted while admiring his selfie? According to Dr. N. Ternett, there are two major symptoms when the bile does not make it into the intestines: dark urine and pale stool. His pronouncement immediately transformed me into a color expert of all matters flowing out from my digestive system into the community sewer system. Suddenly I became like a conscientious Interior Designer who meticulously coordinates colors of drapes and Persian rugs. Each time I got done with my potty number, I hung my face from a reasonable distance over the commode to discern contrasting colors of the landscape below. At the end of the week of this ghastly drill, the desired shades of stuff convinced me that Dr. Ray Deologist had not been distracted after all. I emerged on the hall from the bathroom door, an ear-to-ear grin plastered across my face – a look that mystified my caregiver.
Off to Laguna Beach for real breath-taking sceneries!