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good.dictus's blog

[2011-01-13] 7 km walk (10% jogging)

Being encurraged by Dr.R. yesterday (you can "push it" a little bit more)I went today for a "faster" walk toward La Farge Lake, 2x around it, and back. It was, altogether, ~7km. I tried also to jogg short distances (20-50m) and then to continue walking.

Here is a map. Distances are in miles and feets (imperial system):

[2011-01-12] Seeing the surgeon again

I visited my surgeon, Dr.R. This was a "check-up" in 6 weeks after my open-heart surgery.

Dr. R., had only one question, "Do you have any problem?". I mentioned pain in my left arm, numness in my left hand fingers (4th and 5th), taking the pain control pills (Tylenol #3 with codeine). He gave me the same type of answer as I heard almost from every doctor before: "It happens sometime, it is caused probably by position of the left arm during the surgery, it will improve".

... to be added

[2011-01-04] Back on the road

5 weeks and 1 day after the surgery, I am driving again ... :)

[2010-11-15] Communication with the customer M

M to me


We need (as usual) to update our website in January with Annual Report, camps, etc. I'm wondering if you are available the week of January 17 - 21st to make changes. Please let me know if this works with your schedule.

Much thanks. M
I to M

Hello M,

I hope that I will be available and capable to do the work by the end of January.


p.s. To clarify my "capability", I am going for a major heart surgery in coming weeks but I believe I will be ready to help with the website by the end of January.

[2010-11-20] Communication with the customer S

I to S:

Hello S,

several weeks passed and, although I still do not know the date, the surgery day is coming closer (my guess is that it will happen in the week starting Nov 28 or Dec 5)

10 days ago I had scan of my heart and it suggested that some arterias feeding the heart itself are plugged.

Yesterday I had angiogram that confirmed that suggestion.

So, it looks like not only myxoma should be removed but also some by-passes are necessary. Well, 2 in 1 :)

I will know more details next week.

[2010-11-18] Pre-admission docs, angio & Dr.R.

Hi Everyone,
ok, latest update...

Karen from Dr. R's office called dad today - I will relay what she said in point form :)

* wanted to ensure that angio is indeed tmw and wanted to know what time - said that Dr. Cook wants to look at it
o we're not sure what that means, whether he will be around or if it will emailed to him or ?
* she is currently preparing the pre-admission documents
* Dad to expect a call on Mon/Tues from "VGH pre-admission clinic" to book an appointment with the clinic

[2010-11-15] Angiogram schedulled

Nov 15

Hi Everyone,
Here is an update on the latest health news :)

What: Angiogram
When: Friday Nov 19th at 9am
Where: VGH - Jim Pattison Pavillion, Main Floor - go to Admitting
Other Info:
Time spent @ VGH will range 6-9hours
Will need someone else to drive home
Do not eat or drink after midnight
Bring any medications that you are taking to Angio appt

Dad to go for another blood test before then/asap, requisition is being faxed to lab on Lansdowne Dr.

Some info on what an Angiogram is:

[2010-11-10] Consent for medical or surgical

[2010-11-10] Meeting the surgeon, dr. R.

The whole family went to see dr.R. We had questions prepared for him and my daughters, my wife and myself asked them in "random" order.

Dr. R. was a gentle and cofident man. He explained us that he could not tell us if a less intrusive operation would be viable because it depended on status of my arteries and veins around my heart. He recommended an angiogram that would imply what type of surgery would be necessary.

He also offered me to sign a "Consent" for a medical/surgical operation (for a surgery) and for an administration of lood products (blood transfusion) if necessary.

[2010-11-09] Questions for Dr.R.

Hello team,

Here is compilation of the questions for Dr. R. as of this morning:
· Has the myxoma grown since the echocardiogram?
· Since this is a rare operation, what are comparable heart surgeries to removing the myxoma?
· How risky is the heart surgery? How comfortable are you in conducting the surgery?
· How long will the surgery be?
· When will the surgery date be?
· If date is farther away...why is the surgery that far off? What risks exist between now and the surgery?

[2010-10-26] Booking appointment with a surgeon

My daughter pro-activelly booked an appointment with the surgeon, Dr. R., even before the CT scan was completed ...

Hello Family,

Here finally are details about dad's appointment on November 10th with Dr. R.

Date: November 10th
Time: 1:30pm
Location: St. Paul's Hospital

Dad, you should bring a list of current medications you are on and your care card.

...and that's that. Sorry it's taken me a while to send this information out.

See you soon :)

[2010-10-21] Email research - Dr. R.

Hi Everyone,

Getting to be friendly with surgeons all around. :) I wrote to dr. R today and he too wrote me back!!!!. Here, below, is his response.

I will call Karen his secretary tomorrow (office hours are 9-4pm) to ask how long CT results take to come in from VGH and based on that book an appointment with Dr. R. Mom, if you are the one who booked dad the CT scan at VGH, can you call me / email me and let me know who you talked to? It may be good to also call that person to ask how long it takes for results to reach the surgeon

[2010-10-19] Email research - Greenville, North Carolina

One of my daugthers did some further email research:
Hi Everyone,

I wanted to forward you a brief email exchange I had with a cardiac surgeon from Greenville, North Carolina. I first noticed his name on dr. R.'s list of credentials, but then also came across his name in articles he wrote about myxoma surgeries - someone I felt had some expertise in this area. So I decided to write him to get his opinion about who would be a good myxoma surgeon in Western Canada to talk to / consult with....

Here's his response :)

[2010-10-17] Email research - Dr. W.

Hi All,

I wanted to pass along some information / insights from dr.W. who is Karen's friend and an orthopedic surgeon. Myxomas are not his specialty obviously, but he offered some insights / information. I thought I'd summarize what I remember:

* he confirmed that myxomas are really rare. he was quite surprised that it was found
* he suggested as the next step is to talk to the surgeon (he says he doesn't know dr. R.) and to not be afraid to ask questions like:

a) how many surgeries like these have you done in the past?

[2010-11-03] CT scan of heart

CT scan had been done at VGH.

Wikipedia says: X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging method employing tomography created by computer processing. Digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation.

In my case nothing special happend during CT scan. My heart beat was initially higher than allowed (more than 80/s) so a nurse gave some midication.

[2010-10-29] Go for blood test

A phone call from dr.S. office asked me to go for a blood test that was necessary for the CT scan. A request form had been sent by fax to a near medical lab. Test instructions asked for "Serum Creatinine eGFR".

A quick look at Wikipedia explained that this blood test is used to asses kidney function. eGFR stands for "estimated Glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)" and describes the flow rate of filtered fluid through the kidney. There is a complex theory behind eGFR see

My email:
Hello team,

[2010-10-22] Booking a CT scan of heart

After spending the last weekend with "heavy" research of myxoma, we built-up an urgency of doing "something" about it.

Dr.S said that he would make an appointment for me for angio, we wanted to have it as soon as possible.

2 days ago my wife called the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) to see if they received the booking request for angio. They said "No".

Today she called again and they said that a CT scan of my heart had been scheduled for November 3, 2010.

[2010-10-18] Talking to cardiac specialist again


An email to family members:

Hello team :),

I got an aswer from my family doctor, dr. V, who I met yesterday and whom I informed about my condition (he returned from abroad on Saturday last week).

Hello g.d.,
everything suggests that there is no reason to postpone surgery, rather to get rid of that tumor, the sooner the better. I will talk to dr. S. Post-surgery prognosis are very good and it is a good idea to avoid possible complications that the growing tumor could cause.

[2010-10-16] Web research - busy weekend

2010 October 16, 17 (Saturday, Sunday)

Dr. S told me on Friday "You can learn more about Myxoma on internet".

Yes, that was true. The whole family spent the weekend by surfing web and trying to gather as much info about Myxoma as possible.

Here are some results.
This link says:
* No known medical treatment exists for atrial myxoma.
* Operative resection of the myxoma is the treatment of choice.
* The surgery is safe, with an early postoperative mortality of 2.2%.

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