Dec 14, 2006 - 12:34 pm
I'm a 3 year throat/lymph gland cancer survivor. This fall, after rapidly increasing pain and decreasing joint mobility over the past year, I was given a bone scan, the results being severe osteoporosis. The numbers read like the skeleton of a 90+ year old woman. I'm 50, and have been very physically active my entire life. I'm a nurserywoman by trade with my own landscape design business on the side. I'm told I can no longer lift over 10 pounds or fall without danger of fracturing/shattering vertebrae or other joints or bones. At this point the doctors are doing tests ad nauseum to determine what is causing my body to simply sluff all incoming calcium rather than absorb any of it. So far, thyroid and parathyroid cancers (common side effects of neck radiation) have been ruled out. I cannot take Fosomax because of it's tendency to cause osteonecrosis of the jaw bone. Instead I'm scheduled to begin a series of shots of the Eli Lily drug Forteo. I'm researching it now before I go ahead with these shots. My question to the community is this: Has anyone else experienced severe bone loss as a result of radiation ( mine was maximum dose for the maximum time; can't recieve anymore in my lifetime), or other cancer treatments, and if so, how have you dealt with it? I also underwent chemo, both types of platinum therapy combined with constant flow of 5-FU. My peg tube was incorrectly placed so the insertion site became infected, ultimately requiring surgery to remove it and repair the stomach. So during the time I couldn't swallow, I became malnourished, literally as a result of starvation. Has anyone else out there had any experience with bone loss or the treatments for it? Also was turned down flat for SSI because I'm still working, therefore not destitute. Anyone had experience dealing with these beaurocrats? My spring season begins again in March, entailing much lifting and physical movement. I need to not be there! Help please!