Thursday, May 9, 2019

A new adventure

An exclusive look at the inner Al

If you’ve been following this blog the past couple of months you know about my quest to find out what’s wrong in my throat. There were times I thought the medications were working, but the improvements were minor and brief. So yesterday they sent me to have a CAT scan. The findings:
There is a large, slightly enhancing soft tissue mass identified superior to the larynx, in the vallecula region. The mass is inseparable from the epiglottis. The mass measures 4.7 x 4.1 x 3.9 cm in size and has a slightly lobated contour. It is noted to produce significant narrowing of the airway in this region. The larynx itself is not involved. Note is made of a minimal amount of adenopathy in the upper neck bilaterally adjacent to the neuromuscular bundle. This is consistent with a neoplastic process with associated metastatic lymphadenopathy. 
The parotid, submandibular, and thyroid glands are normal in appearance.
Okay, some translations:
Vallecula: a depression just behind the root of the tongue between the folds in the throat. These depressions serve as "spit traps"; saliva is temporarily held in the valleculae to prevent initiation of the swallowing reflex. 
Epiglottis: a flap in the throat that keeps food from entering the windpipe and the lungs 
Adenopathy: a disease of the lymph nodes, in which they are abnormal in size or consistency 
Parotid and submandibular glands: salivary glands
Lymphadenopathy: swollen lymph nodes 
So Friday Lou is driving me to Tucson to see an ear-nose-throat specialist. There might be some endoscopy and a biopsy. And I might end up in the hospital for surgery. That means I’ll probably not be posting for a few days.

Now to make this relevant to the nomadic life. I’m lucky in two ways. One is that I have Medicare, so I can afford treatment. The second is that I have someone I can depend upon for whatever help I need. A round of applause for Lou.


  1. I hope all goes well and the biopsy is benign.

  2. All that medical lingo coupled with the unknown prognosis can make for a stressful time.
    In times like this, it's great to have "family" nearby. Applause to Lou although you probably couldn't keep him from helping if you tried. That's the kind of friend we all need.
    Thanks to you for sharing your medical and nomadic journey with us, the reader. I hope all turns out well for you and that any discomfort is minor.

  3. Good friends = priceless


  4. Hope all goes well at the doctors and you are quickly back to driving more nails in the wall.