I saw the pulmonologist today for the first time. And as I suspected, nothing definitive came from it. The high res CT scan that she ordered isn’t scheduled until Wednesday, so I won’t know anything until sometime after that. She also ordered a sinus CT to be done at the same time, since sinus drainage may be a factor. She asked a lot of questions and provided some answers. I provided a lot of answers and asked a lot of questions. Additional answers from her await the new scans. And she mentioned a possible bronchoscopy, which gave me a chance to explain how very unhappy I’ll be if it comes to that. She explained the procedure, if it should become necessary, but I’m still not going to be happy.
She did say I should discontinue the albuterol inhaler but continue the Advair. The latter is a corticosteroid and works with the prednisone that she wants me to keep taking. She also wants me to keep working with the spirometer every day since airflow in my lungs is still somewhat compromised. Exercise resulting in a little huffing and puffing would work too. It’s sort of up to me to decide which method I want to employ. Hmm. Go for a walk or sit on the couch? Given the time of year, my money’s on the couch and spirometer most of the time. One way or another I need to exercise those little bronchioles (the tiny passageways that carry air to the alveoli, or air sacs).
She suspects bronchiolitis, based on the thickened bronchioles and mosaic attenuation pattern showing in the first CT scan. (She showed me the scan and what she was talking about.) The high res scan will show the pattern more clearly. I still don’t understand exactly how bronchiolitis differs from pneumonitis, but it doesn’t really matter; I just want the cough gone.
As far as cancer treatment goes — which, after all, is the subject of this blog — I’ve noticed no side effects from the Aromasin, although I’ve only been taking it since Thursday. I’m hopeful this will continue to be the case because such a tiny little pill really has no right to cause problems. And as before, the Herceptin treatment is still on hold pending resolution of the cough.