Locality: Waukesha County_WI
Medical Diagnosis of Blastomycosis?: Yes
Where Caught: It is unknown, in a discussion with an infectious disease specialist, we came to the conclusion, that it was "caught" working in my Father's basement. Many, MANY opportunities for mold, and there was a number of poreous (sp?) items that were mold covered, in many colors. Documentation on the web, in books, CDC via WI health department and Doctors, all say that conventional Blastomycosis would NOT be contracted in this manner. But there was little other place I could have contracted it.
Symptoms: July / August of 2007, I had a dry hacking cough and it started into what seemed to be more sinus related. Being a smoker, hacking up sputem in the morning was not an uncommon practice, but for some reason, I started checking it out more. I noticed a small thread - string size blood colored object in my sputem. I kind of wrote it off, as I thought maybe it came from my sore throat. The next "oysters" (LOL) were fine and were uncolored. Later that day, while smoking outside, I hacked and spit out again. Again noticing a small string sized blood color item in my sputem. No fever, No anything. Very Asymptomatic. Called the Dr and we went from there.
Treatment: Aug 10th, 2007 - First Xray showed 5cm growth. - Treated with Anti-biotics
This is a long story, and I do have the dates (for some unknown reason, I kept a journal of the ordeal)
Being a smoker for the better part of 20 years, Quit for 9 started back up again for 8 by this time, it was worrisome that it was cancer.
Treated with anti-biotics, prednisone (30 days), xrays, CT scan (with and without dye), PET Scan that found "a Hot Spot".
3 different biopsies (bronchoscopy, laser guided CT biopsy procedure, and finally a upper lobe ectomy (right upper lobe), as it was not going away.
The PET Scan suggested Cancer, but the 2 biopsies didn't show it. My Pulminologist didn't like those two items of information. Hot Pet Scan, negative Biopsies. She felt she was missing something. Even though her collegues suggested that perhaps it was just pneumonia (sp?). But she perseveered.
3 weeks Post-op, the diagnosis came back as Blastomycosis, and started immediately on Itraconozole (Huge Pills). I tolorated it fine and was on treatment for nearly 9 months, with periodic Xrays.
Cost of Treatment: ALOT! LOL. It really is no laughing matter. I am thankful that I had the money, insurance, a loving family and a caring employer. I believe, my out of pocket expenses were upwards of $10,000.
Additional Comments: My father passed away in Jan of 2000. Suddenly taken from us with Pancreatic Cancer. Diagnosed in September, gone in January. I have 2 children, 1 that was starting collage, and the other ending his Middle school career. A loving a supportive wife of 26 years.
I knew the hurt, of loosing your Dad. It doesn't matter at what age apparently, but I certainly didn't want to have my children have to enter these unchartered territories without the possibility of me being there for them.
I believe, my father was there by my side during this whole thing. There was only a few times that I felt anxious and worried. I was very calm and believed that everything was going to be ok. even going into surgery December 26th, to remove "IT" and that part of my lung. I thank God for my Primary MD that found it, and got me in touch with my Pulminologist. And I thank God for her dogmatic approach that saved my childrens father and my wife's husbands life.