When they ran the spinal MRI the other night, one of the techs noticed what he thought was a small mark in my cerebellum. So last night they ran a brain MRI. The cerebellum was just a shadow. However they did find a 1cm lesion in my parietal lobe.
Thus, I am having spinal surgery on Friday this week and then will be having gamma knife radiation at the beginning of next week on my brain.
All docs are very positive. They suggest that when people live with cancer for long periods of time that small things pop up in unusual areas and they simply require maintenance. They have no doubt that they will be able to tame this cancer in the brain and spine.
I will be having a rod placed into my spine to support it, so it is a relatively big surgery. But eventually I will be out of pain. That is a good thing.
Yesterday, as I have mentioned, I had an emergency CT-scan due to the extreme pain I was in. They found a 3 cm tumor on my spine that was pushing on a nerve, and had destroyed the bone in the vertebrae. It is standing face to face within a breath of my spinal cord. The good news is, it has yet to enter my spinal cord and I have no neurological symptoms. Also, my primary doctor told me that with surgery and radiation it can be resolved. Thus, I should see it as a bump in the road, not the end of the road.
The radiation doctor echoed her sentiments. Today, the underlings from the neurosurgical ward just came in and said they aren’t sure they want to do surgery because it will be a big surgery. So they are taking today to discuss the situation. And IF I have surgery, it probably won’t be for a week or so. But they wont let me eat or drink just in case. When I asked if I could leave the hospital during that time they wouldn’t answer me. To just sit here for a week seems ludicrous to me. Never mind how are they going to justify that to my insurance company? Never mind the fact that I have yet to meet the actual neurosurgeon and they said I won’t until later today.
All of my doctors are totally surprised by this tumor. My oncologist stated that she is curious if perhaps it isn’t even colon cancer because it rarely goes to the spine. Plus, she said it in no way has behaved like my disease. No clue what else it would be, but I am curious.
I didn’t sleep much last night. It is difficult to sleep in the hospital because of all the noise and lights. But I also had my mind spinning about what they would decide, how I was going to handle my job, how I was going to handle an on campus job interview next week. I don’t know if I should just cancel it or if maybe I will be out to go.
Whatever happens, I know it is happening for a reason. I am trying to be patient, but it is hard when you are frightened.
So over the weekend the pain got so terrible. I couldn’t sit or lie down comfortably. The pain was both in my back and abdomen. So when i came in to the doctor this morning she ordered an emergency ct-scan. I had the scan and went home. I was home all of 5 minutes when the phone rang. The scan found a new lesion on my vertebrae so I was told to come back to the hospital immediately to start radiation. I am sitting here now waiting to find out more information. I dont even know how long i will be here at this point. Hopefully the radiation will take care of it.
I forgot to follow up the last post. I did go to the doctor. My blood levels were all good and it still doesnt hurt more when they push on it. At this point they think it is a side effect of the trial. They are “watching” it for now asking me to note when it gets better and worse, etc. I go back on Monday.
As I sit here I am in so much pain I am wondering if I should go to the hospital. I’ve been getting this pretty severe pain in my upper right abdomen. I have a heating pad on it now, and another one on my back.
If I could put a stick through my torso, where my back hurts and where my abdomen hurts are a straight line. I did mention the pain to the doc when I went in last week, but when she pushed on my abdomen, it didn’t hurt. Thus she wasn’t overly concerned. But it is getting to be unmanageable. Keeping me up at night and dealing with pain all day.
Aleve doesn’t seem to be helping. They gave me some muscle relaxers and they seem to help sometimes, but not all the time, and they make me very sleepy which is making it difficult to work.
I do work 7 days a week right now because I am teaching 5 classes, between 2 different schools. It sort of sucks to have a PhD and have to work 2 part time jobs to make the money of a full time job.
Oh well, hopefully grading papers will get my mind off of the pain.
First follow up with the clinical trial today. My white blood cell count is low. ANC is 800. This is actually the first time my WBCs have gotten low. Previously it was the platelets. The funny thing is, it has been 18 days since I took the last pill and it is still this low. I have to wait a week and hopefully start round 2 of the drug. Can’t take the evil drug, a.k.a. Neulasta. I wouldn’t want to anyway, but the drug trial requires you to have an ANC of over 1500 naturally.
It may be time to start back on my supplements.
Today marks 4 years since I was diagnosed with cancer. Normally I would celebrate this milestone. But I will quietly appreciate the date today. While I am grateful for each day I have been given, today cancer took the life of my dog Millie. I hate cancer and already miss my baby girl so much.