Seeing Dr. Guber

Fall and the Sukkot Moon

Kate had a much better day yesterday. She decided to conserve her strength for the appointment today so we missed Yom Kippur. The parking at CBE gets problematic on the High Holidays and walking much distance creates breathing difficulties for Kate.

On to Harvard this morning. Harvard Avenue that is. Denver has a small cluster of streets with names like Yale, Vassar, Bates, Cornell, Dartmouth. In or near them is Denver University and Iliff Methodist Seminary. Also, Porter Adventist Hospital and its campus with the offiices of Dr. Gruber, the cardio-thoracic surgeon.

Kate’s seeing him for a consult on the lung biopsy and assessing the new nodule found on her lungs. The lung biopsy involves taking many small samples of cells from her lung tissue. Diagnosing what kind of interstitial lung disease she has depends on the relative amount of scarring (not treatable) and inflammation (treatable). It also allows pathology to look at the specific types of cells.

Once diagnosed she can get treatment and a prognosis. The problems? Well, taking the samples collapses the lung. This means a chest tube to reinflate it. The chest tube is painful even after the anesthetic wears off. There is also the risk of pneumonia and/or ending up on a ventilator.

Here are some positives. Kate’s in much better physical shape overall than back in May when Ed Smith put the feeding tube in. She’s had a prednisone burst which improved her breathing and made her feel better.

Then there’s that new nodule. Will require a biopsy, too. How to do it? That and whether she’s fit for a lung biopsy is the purpose of this consultation.

Just to add a bit of interest the temps dropped wildly from yesterday. And there’s snow! 15 degrees right now.