Need advice on bone scan

TommiRB
TommiRB Member Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hello all - I am new to the board and have a question about bone scans. I was diagnosed in July 2001 with StageII BC - 2 out of 9 lymph +. After mastectomy and TRAM flap recons, needed 2 additional surgerys for hernias and 1 again on "new" breast. After 6 rounds of CEF chemo, I am currently on Arimidex. I see the doctor every 3 months and last week we did bloodwork and my calcium level was a bit high so I am going for a bone scan on Friday. Had a CT scan in Jan. and all is fine there but I am very anxious about this bone scan. Does the result of the bloodwork mean that is has most likely spread or is there a possibility it is precautionary? As a side note, I also suffer from GAD and take Paxil and Valium to try and stay calm but right now it's hard. Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • bullfrog13
    bullfrog13 Member Posts: 213
    Dear TommiRB
    First off WELCOME the room :-)
    I would not worry to much about the bone scan. MOre than likely is just precationary like you said. I have had two bone scans in the last 2 years. Hardest part is laying still for 30 minutes! and then there is that WAITING part to get the results.

    If you have never had one and JUST in case they have not told you what to expect-I'll fill you in. First you will be given an injection. You will be instructed to return for the test about 2 or 3 hours after they give you the injection. It has to have to time "circulate". You can eat or do what ever you please for the waiting period. The test will usually take about 30 mins. You dont even have to undress, only take off belt and stuff out of pockets. You will be asked to lay still on a REALLY hard table..LOL while the this machine passes over you from head to toe, then POOF your done, then you will probably be told that your doctor will have the results in about 3 business days.
    Good luck and keep the room updated ok
    hugs
    [email protected]
  • TommiRB
    TommiRB Member Posts: 4

    Dear TommiRB
    First off WELCOME the room :-)
    I would not worry to much about the bone scan. MOre than likely is just precationary like you said. I have had two bone scans in the last 2 years. Hardest part is laying still for 30 minutes! and then there is that WAITING part to get the results.

    If you have never had one and JUST in case they have not told you what to expect-I'll fill you in. First you will be given an injection. You will be instructed to return for the test about 2 or 3 hours after they give you the injection. It has to have to time "circulate". You can eat or do what ever you please for the waiting period. The test will usually take about 30 mins. You dont even have to undress, only take off belt and stuff out of pockets. You will be asked to lay still on a REALLY hard table..LOL while the this machine passes over you from head to toe, then POOF your done, then you will probably be told that your doctor will have the results in about 3 business days.
    Good luck and keep the room updated ok
    hugs
    [email protected]

    Thanks so much for the information on the bone scan. Now I know what to expect although staying still for that long will be hard..LOL. I'll keep you posted.
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi TommiRB:

    I was dx in Feb. '01 with a 1cm, Stage I invasive. Hormone neg. Her2/neu positive. Had lumpectomy, chemo and radiation. Have had medical onc. check ups every 3 months. Mammo's every 6 months, followed by a check up with my surgeon and see the rad onc. every 6 months. I'll soon go to every 6 months with the med. onc.! A milestone for me...one I've looked forward to for quite some time too!

    All my check ups have basically been fine. No scans, etc. since the initial one, prior to beginning chemo. Just a yearly chest x-ray.

    About a year out of treatment, my calcium level increased one point outside normal. (If you get a copy of your chemistry profile, you can see for yourself, what's normal, and where yours is in comparison) It was a minimal increase and no special tests were ordered. My onc did however, have me come in every 6 weeks for bloodwork, to see where it was going. Where it went, after one more "extra" check, was back to perfectly normal. And has remained normal. As explained to me by the doctor (and supported by my own research) a slight calcium rise is not really that uncommon. It can mean several things: one being that your parathyroid is out of whack. My dr. did specific blood tests to see what was happening with that hormone, first. Much simpler than more invasive, expensive, time consuming tests. My parathyroid tested normal. Certain supplements can also increase one's calcium levels. So, tell your doc EVERYTHING that you're taking. Finally, it can mean a bone met but usually the levels will come in moderately high and continue to rise steadily.

    Sounds like your doc just wants to be very cautious. I've come to the conclusion, that if we had so much blood work done, on such a regular basis, prior to ever having bc, the same little dips and glitches would likely have been seen then too. Our bodies aren't perfect machines with exactly the same chemistry levels at all times. So, try to keep that in mind as you try to relax with the scan as well as the reason for it. For most people, a bone scan is no big deal. I happen to have a bit of claustrophobia, so I had a few rough minutes until the scanner was past my face. After that, I was perfectly relaxed. (the thing was like a mere millimeter away from my face at the outset!) I know it's not easy to remain calm and our tendency is to worry and become fearful about everything, post bc, but it's a goal worthy of the effort. Have you tried Yoga or meditation at all? I find that Yoga is the perfect start to my day and can't imagine
    not doing it! It thoroughly oxygenates and relaxes every part of my body while energizing my
    spirit.

    Just know that no one approach serves all doctors equally well. Some prefer to scan at the slightest changes and other's prefer not.

    Hope this helps. Wishing you the best and hope we'll hear good news soon.

    Love, light and laughter,
    Ink
  • bullfrog13
    bullfrog13 Member Posts: 213
    TommiRB said:

    Thanks so much for the information on the bone scan. Now I know what to expect although staying still for that long will be hard..LOL. I'll keep you posted.

    Dear TommiRB
    YOur welcome HOPE it helped. email me anytime
    I have instant message programs all over the place if you every want to chat.
    [email protected]
    let us know updates!
    HUGS