I don't want to go on and on about being sick, but as a follow-up to my earlier post about it, I should just say that what I have is definitely not "just a virus." It is, among other things, a "cancer scare," that peculiar condition of modern medical diagnosis in which you're told they don't know what you have, but what you have might kill you. Basically, what happened is that they found a mass on my lung. I've been sick for two weeks now, and have seen three doctors and undergone X-rays, blood tests, and a cat scan, but we appear to be nowhere close to an actual diagnosis that anyone is willing to stand behind. "Could be this, could be that," is what I've mostly gotten.
As I was having my cat scan interpreted last night, I asked the doctor if maybe getting an opinion from a pulmonary specialist with relative speediness might be a good idea, since lung cancer is still among the possible diagnoses. "It doesn't matter," he said brightly, "because if it's cancer, you're a goner anyway, so it wouldn't matter when you're seen." You know that much-overused word, "stunned"? We're always tossing that word casually around, calling things stunning as a way of saying "good." But last night, with that—well, I was stunned, let me tell ya.
Anyway, I'm getting some really good advice from a guy who is mainly a photo-buddy. I'm reminded again of something that I always try to remind myself of—that my readers might not know as much about photography as I do (although some do), but many of you have really impressive expertise in other areas. I've been thinking tonight about how lucky my friend Steve's regular patients are, to have a doctor as good as he is on their side. He's been advising me via long distance and at one remove, but he's really been a huge help to me through this whole ordeal.
The upshot is that I probably don't have cancer, and probably do have some sort of pneumonia. I've now secured an appointment with a pulmonary (lung) specialist for next Tuesday, and another pulmonary specialist—a friend of Steve's—is going to look over the CAT scan. So even if I'm not better by then, I'm hoping to have an actual diagnosis soon.
I'm still very weak, but not in pain, and every night I seem to sleep a little better. So although I'm not out of the woods yet, things are definitely looking up. I'm even going to go to some friends' for dinner tomorrow (with a go-ahead from the clinic doctor, of course), which feels like a big step.
Meanwhile, I have to tell you, the cloud formations I saw on the way back from the medical clinic yesterday were truly the tops. Conditions were just perfect—dramatic color variegation, excellent vividness, superb highlight differentiation, wonderful formations—just as photogenic as clouds ever get. I was sorry that I was too sick to drag a camera out of the house, but it gave me comfort that other photographers were out there, somewhere, photographing those spectacular skies. Really, really lovely. Whoever they were, I hope they got some nice pictures.