Saturday, December 24, 2011

RFA Rescheduled

The radiofrequency ablation (RFA) I was supposed to have yesterday has to be rescheduled.

I arrived at JHH at 6:45 am. By 9:00 am I was lying on the table of a CT machine and a nurse was sticking (very cold) grounding pads on my thighs.  Then some sedative was put into my IV line and I faded into a warm dreamy place...then the doctor (a radiologist) gave me a shot (which I did not feel) in my chest area and started to give me breathing directions. It seemed as though he wanted me to hold my breath for longer and longer and longer. It was very hard for me to hold my breath so long. He asked me to do it again and again. Finally, he said that we would have to stop the RFA and reschedule. The lesion is in a place where my lung expands and contracts a lot with each breath I take, and it moves around "like a marble in jello." He showed me the images on the screen (remember, this procedure is CT guided, so I am in a CT machine with images being taken the whole time). It is also quite close to my heart. He felt it would be dangerous to insert the needle without greater control of my breathing, so we're going to try again, only this time with me under general anesthesia. Sometime in early January.

I was happy about this, as of course I want the doctor to do what is safest, and I was rather impressed with how very close the lesion is to my heart and goodness knows I don't want that needle in my heart, but I was also a little disappointed and a little worried about having to do this all again.

In the recovery room, my heart rate was so low (I was awake and fine, just lying still, under the effect of the sedation and really sleepy) that the heart rate monitor alarm went off! Obviously the walks I have been taking have made my heart very efficient. Good to hear at least one part of my body is functioning the way it is supposed to! (I have recently been thinking a lot about my lungs and how much I like breathing...)

Got home, napped for a few hours, then tried to rally and join my Captains for an early dinner at my favorite restaurant. I threw it all up when we got home and went to bed soon after that. This morning when I got out of the shower I noticed that I am developing a fungal (yeast) infection on the area of my chest which was cleaned to prep for the needle insertion: all over my breast and upper chest. Good thing I insisted on getting the prescription written at the hospital before I left (I am allergic to the over-the-counter yeast infection medicine). And here's something weird--because the needle has to go in sideways (last time it went in from directly above), it will go through my breast. Which kind of weirds me out. Ick.

Anyhow, here's more information about RFAs if you are interested. It seems that RFA is not widely used for lung cancers at the moment, so this is a pretty cutting edge decision to use this one my cancer! :) Lucky me (and I am not being sarcastic when I say that)!

Radiofrequency Ablation of Cancer (article from NIH Public Access)
Radiofrequency Ablation (There is a video of an ultrasound guided liver ablation here. Only one needle is used for my RFA.)

1 comment:

alexis224 said...

It sounds like you are in very good hands. I'm sorry to hear that you threw up your dinner, though I hope you had a nice time with your Captains! Crossing my fingers that the next one is easy and successful! xoxo