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Is There Any More Room for “Some” Good News?

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Well, I got through the MRI Wednesday…just barely…but I made it through…


This time it was for 30 minutes with no contrast required.  I explained everything to them about the problems I might have and we got started. 


They had the fan turned all the way up, but it still wouldn’t reach my face, just sort of blew up to my chest.  They were just going to scan the lumbar channel of my spine this time. 


What was interesting was how ‘hot’ it gets for you there inside the tube when they have to scan the spine.  Within minutes, my whole back was hot and I started getting uncomfortable quickly. 


We made it 2 cycles and she asked me how I was doing….and I asked her to pull me out, so I could get some air on my face and wipe the sweat off and then we could go again.


She was a very nice tech and did this for me…


She went the extra mile though…she could see how bad it was and she brought me two cool wash cloths and put one under my neck and the other one on my forehead and slid me back in for another cycle. 


When that cycle was over, I asked her to keep pulling me out each cycle, so I could cool out…..we ended up doing about 5-cycles.  On the very last cycle, she even went and got me ice cubes for the cloths to keep me cooled down.


When we exited that cycle, I had melted the ice cubes and was drenched with sweat from head to toe….but we did get through it. 


That’s about the best I’ll be able to do fully inserted like that….I’ve done brain scans when you’re head is inside and your body is out.


What she told me was that when doing the spine, it really gets hot.  I’m assuming from all the magnets and the friction that it creates or something like that…makes it generate a lot of heat pretty fast.  


Last night, as I went to bed, I sincerely prayed that my spine did not have cancer in it….but was willing to accept the outcome if it weren’t in my favor. 


I got my MRI report back…


From what I can ascertain, there are problems that need addressing; I’m not downplaying any of that, because there is work to do…..BUT……


It looks like I “Do Not” have metastatic cancer in the lumbar channel of my spine!!!


I’ve got huge pain that has been building in intensity the past seven-months…but, no indications of cancerous activity.  Whew!


I immediately thanked the Lord for his grace with true sincerity in sparing me this part of the journey:)


What I do have are a lot of degenerative changes (from radiation) that have been superimposed onto a congenital stenotic spinal canal.


 There is desiccation at L2, L3, L4, L5, and through S1.  There are diffuse disc bulges from L2-L5  and some narrowing of the Thecal Sac along with other fancy buzzwords. 


Bottom line is radiation damage from 2004 that has gotten progressively worse – combined with congenital spinal stenosis.    


That was interesting, because that is what got my dad last year that ended up putting him in and out of nursing homes and ICU and ER’s …only he was 82….and I’m just about to turn 52 in a couple of weeks.


Radiation apparently played its part in speeding up the clock and at some point later in life; I probably would have had to deal with it.  I’ve quipped about it being the gift that keeps on giving…and it truly does. 


I remember them telling me I would suffer should I happen to survive the cancer.  This is one of the problems that we encounter when we live longer than we were supposed to.  Eventually, everything that was sowed – gets reaped. 


I did some investigating on this condition….give me about 30-minutes of research time and I’ll have an answer for you:)


But, while it is risky, it appears that surgical intervention would be the only thing that could alleviate the pain enough…..


I’ll have to see what the doctors say about all of this….I meet with 3 of them next week to go over things now that the tests are done.


No cancer in the spine was huge though….had there been cancer…all bets were off…and they were just going to go the chemo route…no surgical intervention or anything like that would have been offered. 


So, hopefully, this puts me back into contention to fight lung and liver….waiting to hear what they want to do on lung still.


Currently, I am inoperable in the liver due to the hepatic dome location…but the thoughts of TACE were introduced by the surgical liver onc…we talk to him again next week to go over MRI and the liver. 


Anyway, I’m always trying to find the good in any situation…but, who ever thought bad news could feel like such a relief?    It’s amazing how we were able to see through all the clouds and find a blessing amidst the rubble. 


I know many of you are very concerned about me (including myself) and so I wanted to give you some “good news” to help alleviate your own worry.  We’ve still got a long way to go, but this was as promising as it has been the past few weeks and I wanted to share it with you.   


The spine is the highway to the brain….and so this is a rest stop that I was glad to just drive right on by:)


Thank you each and everyone for all of your expressions via the forum or PMs…


I could sense and see the collective shrugging of shoulders around the room as folks were thinking to themselves…”this time he’s done for sure.”


I saw the lights go out in my wife’s eyes too…and I felt it in some of your words too…I could literally feel the energy drain out of you…I could hear the sound of acceptance and resignation in your voices.  


After all, I’m still the Seer of Seers – Prognosticator of Prognosticators, LOL!


It’s ok…it’s a normal human reaction for the people that we care about…letdowns always change the tone with which we deliver our expressions…


To be perfectly honest with you, I had lost hope too…real hope anyway…


So, this news was an unexpected relief to me and my wife…and I hope for you that are watching as well!  My wife’s attitude immediately changed when I told her the news….”Oh, we can beat this now”…”don’t give up, you can still do it.”




It was like watching a sail go taut after turning into the wind when it catches the ocean breeze…


She had looked pretty forlorn since I told her the news.  And you know, there is something about the spine that makes you very queasy and unsteady…because, even for the unversed, you can “know” something without really knowing….”know” what I mean?


You don’t have to be a cancer expert to understand some realities…


And even for those of us who know enough to really know…the knowing carries with it a certain fear of future events to come that seems unshakeable.  And that weighs heavy as you try and superimpose an image for those you want to protect - that differs somewhat from you’re truly feeling. 


Anyway, we’re still in contention (plans still being formulated next week)…who knows, I might surprise you yet again…and you’ll end up stuck with me for a little while longer:)


How would that be?





Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

Your right Linda. If the docs want to say they are scared they should step into our shoes to understand the defenition of the word scared.

Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Posts: 508
Joined: May 2012

Sounds like a bunch of stuff to still find out before they throw just chemo at you. I know how these docs are, I've worked with all kinds of them. We all really have to be our own advocate. These docs have so many patients that we have to keep track of ourselves. Its sad but true. The medical profession gets immune to the patient and it's just a number. Good luck on your journey and sounds like you definitely will keep the docs in line with your care.

Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

I find it particularily interesting they want to remove your spleen, even before they start chemo.    I have a friggen tumor on my spleen it was there when they removed my colon tumor and did my hysterectomy and no one touched my spleen.   I would have liked that one take out too,  WHY NOT!!!    They didn't take it out, they left it ..... for a while it did nothing, looked calcified, oncologist said he didn't know if it was cancer or not.....but it's been growing again.... wouldn't be doing that if it had been taken out the first surgery~~~~     


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