The Black and White of It All…

Chest CT Scan taken 01/08/15.

Chest CT Scan taken 01/08/15.

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all are making it through what trials and tribulations you have at the moment. Those of you in the East, South, Midwest and Southeast are freezing your keisters off right now, and I’m so sorry about that. I know you are tired of the cold and snow. Those of you in the West, Southwest or Baja are roasting in a drought right now, and I’m sorry about that, too. May we all make the best out of where we are…

Me? I’m giving it my best shot. Above, you see a picture of something, and what the heck is that something? Now, don’t be looking any other place than in the middle of this picture, because the rest is private, and I’m really shy and get embarrassed easily. I said, don’t look there!!!! Okay, so here’s the explanation. What you’re looking at is a CT scan of my lungs taken January 8, 2015. At that time, I was still thankfully hauling around a portable O2 machine, wasn’t walking far (maybe 20 yards), and was speaking in one word sentences. All that means is I was still pretty short of breath. The big black area on the right in the scan is my left lung. My left lung is looking pretty good, and I’m pretty thankful for that. There’s a nice black “O” in the middle of the scan, and that’s my trachea, or windpipe. To the left of that is a big white area. That’s bad. That’s big ol’ icky tumor, with a tiny bit of black in the left lower area. That’s the only area of that lung getting any air, or, it’s the top of my liver. I never said I was a pro at reading CTs, but no wonder I was short of breath!

This is the point I started the clinical trial at City of Hope with Dr. Karen Reckamp and the pulmonary oncology team. I took three pills a day of the super secret medicine for a week, then increased the dose to six pills a day. There were a few speed bumps along the way such as a bunch of blood clots and then some chest pain, but who said it’d be easy? Following is a view of the scan taken March 2, 2015.

Chest CT taken 03/02/2015.

Chest CT taken 03/02/2015.

See the difference? The area where my right lung should be is black, not white! We like black, black is good, black means air. It’s not as big as the left lung, on the right, but if you’d been sleeping at the switch for the last six months, you’d be smaller, too. This scan helps to explain the chest pain I’ve been having. I’ve felt a band encircling my lower chest and tightening, especially when I tried to take a deeper breath. It would increase when I moved in certain ways, coughed, tried to laugh, and take deep breaths. The chest surgeons explained this pain as textbook, as this is the way my lungs are telling me they want to work, they’re waking up. In their words, “Pain is good.” Leave it to a surgeon! Seriously, having an explanation is all I need to work through it and understand why it’s happening. I may never be able to get the right as “black” as the left as something called atelectasis has set in. This means I’ve lost some elasticity to my lung, the ability to inflate and deflate. This is caused by a disease process, and/or pulmonary inactivity. Some of it I may be able to stretch out, but much of it I may not. I am not complaining. I am ecstatic with the amount of air I’m able to move now, and am working to increase that amount as much as I can daily. This lets me begin getting some exercise, to get out and enjoy my new surroundings, actually go for a hike. Or a paddle.

I am so very grateful.

I’m planning on riding this wave for as long as it’ll break, enjoying the smooth, aquaeous beauty for as long as I can. Maybe even do a few headstands while I’m at it!

Take care, Everyone, and hang in through the rest of the winter. Spring is coming soon! Remember I love you all, and keep doing good things…

26 thoughts on “The Black and White of It All…

  1. Grace Vernola

    My jaw is STILL hanging open in awe of you !…Keep on paddling  !                                                                        

  2. Tom Brown

    All of your friends down here in La Paz are doing the ‘snoopy happy dance’ right now! Whoo hoo! Might just be cause for a ‘safety meeting’- you know we’re always looking for an excuse to gather together and what better reason than this news! We love you and really miss you. Jeanne & Tom


    So haw is the new apartment working out and how is your mother doing?? Great news on the CT. Hope to see you at the harbor.

  4. Laura Rodriguez

    Hi Wendy
    I am so glad your scan showed great improvement. Looking forward to seeing Patient#2 again.

  5. Luanne Colasanti

    YES YES YES!!! Great news! Vaughn and I are happy for you 🙂 Yes go take a hike this weekend…we are suppose to have great weather. Love to you

  6. Bill Bischoff

    Wendy, that is a startling difference. Yaaaaaay! Keep working and beating this thing. You are an inspiration in so many ways!

    Cheers, Bill
    S/V Odyssey

  7. David Frelinger

    That is great news and a fabulous picture! I think you were smiling when they took the last photo (scan). Keep at it.



  8. Roger and Glenda

    Wahoooooooooooooooooooooo! I love that the difference is so obvious! You go girl!!!!! I hope that “secret” potion continues to provide positive results!! You are wonder woman! Hugs!

  9. john cometti SWAGMAN

    wonderful news, darlin. as far as your shyness— I can see the spine in the back- that means the bumps in the front are boobies. men- what are you gonna do? get LOTS better and come back to your La Paz family.

  10. Antoinette

    EXCELLENT News!!!!!!!!!! I hope you continue improving!!! LOVE the secret pill!!!!! xoxoxo
    Antoinette : )

  11. Sue

    Yeah Wendy..that is great news.. I’m so happy for you.. Weather is great so I can see you out on your board already😍 love you too!

  12. martinagregory

    dear Wendy, what wonderful fabulous glorious news. we are just ever so happy for you. and grateful. love and blessings, Tina and Greg

  13. Ellen Todd

    Awesome news ! I am so happy for you – Ii think about you all the time and Kitty Girl and I say a prayer for you everyday. You are an amazing woman and terrirfc friend – so lucky to know you


  14. Tony de Witte

    So happy for you, Windy, at such great news of progress. I’ll be up in the area later this month, March. Will be looking you up.

  15. Grace Vernola


  16. Rhonda

    A big Texas hug and wow, good news. Black is soooo goooood!!! I’m happy to hear the good news. Hang on and the prayers continue for,the secret potion.


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