Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hi everyone,  I will write this once and send it to all at once.    As most of you know our trip to Zimbabwe is on hold due to some health problems Jim has had.  He has some enlarged lymph nodes in his chest. So here is an update on what is going on with that.
Dr. Maxwell, the specialist we saw in SLC called late this afternoon.  He had discussed things with an oncologist and a pulmonary specialist.  They decided it could be: 1) an inflamatory disease called sarcoidosis  or 2) residue of a past infection,  or 3)  lymphoma or some other cancer. If it is cancer it is a kind that is very slow (takes years if not decades) and they would not treat it anyway as chemo therapy doesn't work on it.    Dr. Maxwell wants to do nothing right now - just wait and do another CT scan in 6 months. (He wants us to be reassigned to a mission near Utah).   He is going to request a copy of the CT scan that was done last year when Jim had his blood clots so they can compare.  We called Peter Lougheed Hosp. and they will send them 'stat' if his office phones and requests them.  Maybe that will be helpful.
Dr. Maxwell did call the mission dept. and talked to Dr. Holbrook (a brilliant Dr. who taught Dr. Maxwell).  Dr. Holbrook says he still wants to see us go to Zimbabwe!!   It has been suggested that if we want to go to Zimbabwe that Jim should have a surgery --- a scope through the trachea area that would go down and take out a lymph node or two so they can be tested. (Dr. Maxwell sees that there would be no real benefit by the surgery).  Also - Jim should have a stress test (on a treadmill) to make sure that the heart is ok since his original little bout of chest pain has nothing to do with lymph nodes problems.   So, we are going for a stress test on thurs. @ 11:30 in the same bldg. as Dr. maxwell's office.
So -- We are thinking that after we do the stress test on thursday then we will go to the missionary dept. and talk to them - hopefully to Dr. Holbrook himself (we will call tomorrow and see if we can set up an appt.).   We think they should send us to Zimbabwe and in 6 months we could go to Johanesburg and get a CT scan done since we have to go there a couple of times a year anyway for meetings.   If it shows problems then they can send us home.  If the Lord wants us in Zimbabwe then everything will be okay.  
Why do the surgery - if it is cancer, they don't treat it anyway since it progresses so slowly.    And, we haven't figured out anything regarding the sarcoidosis yet!!! -- other than what I read is that it mostly effects people 20 -40 yrs. old and mostly african americans -- so I figure he doesn't have that :)     But, then what do I know, right?  Maybe the surgery would determine that -- I don't know. 
We ask if our health insurance would cover the surgery, etc.  The Dr. wasn't sure but will check with Dr. Holbrook.  We will make sure it is covered if we do anything.
We went to the devotional tonight at the MTC and M. Russell Ballard was the speaker.  It was very good, of course.  
Must get to bed.  We will keep you posted. 
We are suppose to have some sunshine for the next few days which will be nice!!!  Although it is warmer here than in Calgary.
Love, Sister Bullock

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