The x-ray technician took the films to be read immediately for a “wet” reading, as my primary physician asked for, but with regard to another reason that's not serious. The tech told me to wait in the chair. I was shirtless and the room was cold. So I obeyed, like a good patient. She drew a curtain as a staff radiologist proceeded to read the film. Mind you, I could hear some of the conversation. After some typical medical mumbo jumbo, there was silence. Then some whispering. They must have forgotten that curtains are not as good as they used to be in blocking the human voice, so they started talking about something they saw in one of the lobes of someone’s lung. I felt it was about me, but I wasn’t sure.
So I got up and asked through the mighty curtain, “Can I put on my shirt now?” The tech opened the curtain and apologized for having me wait in the cold. I saw three older folks looking at the film. I don’t know my personal anatomy that well, but the lungs on the film sure looked like mine.
Then they turned toward me and said that your lungs look clear in terms of pneumonia and stuff, but there’s something we saw. “We can’t tell you, because you have to hear it from your primary physician,” an HMO thing. So in a minute, they handed me the phone (through the curtain) and my doctor’s nurse told me the doc’s at lunch, but there’s an 8 mm nodular growth in one of my lobes and that I need to make an appointment immediately so they can start the medical circus: CAT scans, follow up x-rays, and, of course, blah blah blah.
Ok. I turn my attention to God, prayerfully and selfishly. I’m not panicked about the medical thing, but about the mortality of an imperfect person. But God knows that! So I get to feeling better.
The nurse says, “It can be anything.” She lists some “things” until I say, “What about malignancy?” She seemed relieved that I brought it up. She assured me that it could be anything and that we simply have to follow up. Meanwhile the curtain crew of techs and radiologists are looking at me with strange sympathetic looks. In general, I appreciate sympathy and the humanity of it, but at that moment I would have preferred the typical impersonal, cold-room "treatment."
I'm not a smoker, never was. So see what happens, God willing.