The Mystery of Edwin Drood

After several phone calls to multiple facilities — and a brief spat with my oncologist — the mystery has been solved regarding my MRI. As you may remember, my follow up MRI for my renal cell carcinoma showed “evidence of breast prostheses”. Considering I did not have reconstruction, I challenged this (and questioned the validity of the whole report). A subsequent read of the films said they could be expanders, which left me with no further resolution.

I called my surgeon again and haven’t heard back. I left a message for my oncologist last week but she was on vacation. She did call me yesterday, trying up understand the message I left and, when I explained, responded with “and why are you involving me in this?” Really???? I don’t have to tell you that response really ticked me off.

So I said that, as my oncologist, I just thought she might be able to help get this resolved because despite my best efforts I had had no luck to date. She said there was nothing she could do since she was not the ordering physician. I would have to go back to my urologist (who really was only interested in my kidneys).

As I was seething over this whole conversation and ordeal to get my question answered, I noticed later. that I had a missed call. Apparently my oncologist had a change of heart and intervened after all. She called in a favor from a radiologist pal (who just happened to be the brother of my surgeon). She felt compelled to tell me that he, too, asked “why are you involving me in this?” Is this really what our health care system has become? Does anyone really care?

At any rate, they agreed to send me for an ultrasound to resolve the issue. I had that done this morning by the woman who did the ultrasound that found my breast cancer. I was surprised she remembered me and many of the details of that day (including that I was on my way to Florida for vacation).

The ultrasound revealed that what appeared to be implants were really just saromas, those pockets of fluid that form post-surgery. The radiologist did explain why the initial report indicated they might be implants (location and shape of saromas, where the MRI ended, etc). He was very understanding if why I pursued it, given my history.

Case closed.


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