I had my consultation Friday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering.
The surgeon recommended I get a CT scan to see precisely where in my chest this parathyroid tumor is located, and what would be involved in going after it insofar as the surrounding healthy tissue is concerned.
This tumor, an unremoved remnant of a growth excised in 2005, actually shows up on scans much more distinctly than the one that was taken out. It's as bright as a summer fireworks display. The fact that it is so close to my aorta is a big factor in deciding whether to go after it. Any complications in that part of the chest could be disastrous. A CT scan would give a much better assessment of the odds for success. Indeed, location is everything.
In the meantime, I'm to receive an intravenous infusion Tuesday of a drug meant to lower my serum calcium level. The CT scan would follow sometime afterward, say, in the next several weeks (or sooner if the IV medication doesn't work as hoped).
Meanwhile, my nightmares continue unabated. They generally occur in the minutes just before I wake up in the morning, and they're especially vivid. These factors make them especially easy to remember.
The dreams seem connected to increases in my serum calcium level. On a few rare occasions, they're rather inocuous dreams, but mostly they're nightmares. I don't think they're tied to anxiety on my part about the progress of this illness because, luckily, I can generally keep it together emotionally when confronted with those realities. Then again, all this "keeping it together" may have created a need for some release, which might explain the nightmares.
But the funny thing is that in these nightmares, I see elements of my personality being depicted precisely the way they are in "real" life. That is to say, when I wake up and remember enough of the details of the dream to reach such a conclusion, I find myself saying, "Yup, that's the way I would've acted. They did a great job in central casting."
I'm grateful for these insights into myself, these mirrors on who I am (outwardly, anyway).