- First, they found a Synovial Cyst on my L2-3 disc, which is the disc above the L4-5, (which is the disc where I've had all the failed back surgery), and this does help explain why I've been having serious and ever-growing pain radiating up above the normal pain zone where all the surgery has been. Apparently, this type of cyst is fluid-filled and simply will continue to contribute to my ever-growing pain level, and no one will operate on it so it can't be removed (especially with my spinal track record!!), but it's not cancerous--just another way to cause additional and progressive pain.
- Second, I have Facet Arthropathy in my spine, which is a fancy way of saying my spine is arthritic (which we already knew!!) and getting worse. Yippee--more pain & I really feel like I'm way too young to have arthritis and a deteriorating spine, but there you have it!
- Last, but certainly not least, on the spinal MRI, they found that my spine has a "salt and pepper" appearance, which means there are black spots all over it, and this salt and pepper appearance of the spine is indicative of Multiple Myeloma, a blood plasma cancer.
Sep 23, 2011
Cancer Scares and testing--Please put out good thoughts for me
Please excuse me, but this is not a craft post today, it is instead a very personal post. I hope all of you don't mind.
For anyone wondering why I've been mostly absent from my sites (blog, Facebook. Cricut Message Board...), it's because for the last month or so, I've been undergoing a ton of testing to see if I have Multiple Myeloma, a blood plasma cancer. After having what I thought was a routine MRI, I was told they found several things on the MRI, listed here in order of least to most serious:
Once getting all this wonderful news, I was sent on a path over the last month or so of first being referred to the Oncologist and being told it would be 3 weeks to even have the first appointment with her. Well, I was soooo stressed out and knew I would seriously lose my mind if I had to wait 3 more weeks to even get to speak to someone about this, so I pushed back a little (maybe more than a little) and did get an earlier appointment with the Oncologist. However, once I was at the Oncologist, she breezed in for a few minutes, and very matter of factly told me she couldn't tell me anything yet because I still needed to have a bunch of tests. (I would venture to say she needs some work on her bedside manner, but I suppose with all the very sick people they deal with in an oncology practice, they have to keep their own emotions in check at all time!!)
So over the last weeks, I have been back and forth to the hospital, to the Lab, and especially to Radiology, where I've had several CAT Scans, Skeletal Bone Surveys and many more X-Rays and studies. I have given away so many bodily fluids I worry that I will never replenish them and I've been "nuked" so many times, over and over again in Radiology that I'm pretty sure I will be glowing in the dark soon (that would be a good party trick for Halloween, right??).
In the midst of all this, I also needed to have a Bone Density test, and since I was also due for my annual Mammogram and they like to do those 2 tests at the same time, I went ahead and scheduled them both together at their suggestion, but really never gave the Mammogram a second thought (well, except for when they were performing an actual "titty twister" maneuver while I was in the Mammogram machine--yikes!!). My mind was totally focused on getting results so I could get answers about whether or not I had Multiple Myeloma. So imagine my surprise when a couple days after the Mammogram, my phone rang, the Caller ID showed the hospital, and I picked it up expecting someone was going to tell me I had to have yet ANOTHER test for the Multiple Myeloma, but instead it turned out to be the Breast Center at the hospital. They called to inform me there was something the Radiologist didn't like on my right breast when he read the Mammogram and wanted me to come back in either that afternoon or the next morning for some follow up tests. I went back in the next day and after further testing, I was told there could be a problem with the lymph node under the armpit on the right breast. They said looking at my baseline films and my subsequent Mammograms from years past (which luckily had all been done in this same hospital, so they could take a good look at the entire history) this had never shown up before. But, because of all the testing for Multiple Myeloma that had been going on, they weren't sure it might not be tied into that somehow, so the decision was made to wait until after I got those results before following up again about the lymph node!!! So I already have a follow up appointment for that. Until then, I just wait and worry.
Also in the midst of all this, I was referred to a dermatologist because I've developed some red spots on both my legs that keep getting worse. I thought I was probably broken out with some sort of common skin condition or something, but after examining me, she didn't seem to think so. She gave me some very serious prescription cream and set a follow-up appointment for me in about a month or so, and if these spots haven't cleared up by then, she said she will need to do a biopsy, because it could be the beginning of a different type of cancer, melanoma. (That's what happens to naughty sun-loving, white-as-paste blond haired/blue eyed girls who live by the beach I suppose!!)
Then earlier today (Thursday), I got another call and this time it was about the Bone Density Test. I was informed that they found that there was thinning of my bones and I am in pre-osteoporosis (there's another term for it, but I didn't write it down & now can't remember it!!). This also didn't really surprise me because my Mom has Osteoporosis and has had it for quite a while, but again, this wasn't something I was really even thinking about, because I was concentrating on the tests and upcoming results for the Multiple Myeloma. But I have thought for a while that this could be a factor and could be contributing to some of the spinal problems I have.
So to say it's been a rough couple of months for me would be a bit of an understatement. First, I had the unexpected, sudden and horribly sad loss of my darling little dog, Gucci and that about knocked me out with grief, let me tell you, and the timing of it couldn't have been worse because with everything I've been dealing with right now, I need her with me more than ever!! There's nothing better for what ails me than some seriously unconditional puppy love! Then I had no sooner had started to get back on my feet after Gucci's death, then along comes all this bad news from the MRI, first with the Synovial Cyst, then with the Facet Arthropathy (arthritis), but especially the potential of having this Multiple Myeloma cancer. And then, after reeling from the possibility of having cancer and all that would entail if it turned out to be so, then I was completely shocked to find out about the lymph node results and breast cancer scare from the Mammogram, And to add insult to injury, apparently my bones are thinning, so I'm on the road to Osteoporosis (which REALLY irritates me because I drink at least 3 huge glasses of milk every day and have done so since I was a tiny child!!), which should REALLY work well with the arthritis in my spine, don't you think?? And of course, let me not forget about the possible melanoma on my legs, woo-hoo!!
If I weren't so exhausted from all the worrying, I would laugh about all this because it has almost been comical, with one thing after another, after another. I tell you what, if it turns out that (hopefully!!!) I am cancer-free, I'm still not sure that all the stress and worrying won't have killed me when this is all over, LOL!!
I'm asking all my crafty peeps, friends and family out there to please put out lots of positive thoughts for me to get great results when I follow up with the Oncologist tomorrow morning/Friday. I'm hoping that I get a completely cancer-free result. Once I do, then I can try to focus my attention on dealing with what the Synovial Cyst and the Facet Arthropathy will bring, as well as watching out for further developments with the lymph node, the pending Osteoporosis as well as the possible Melanoma on my legs!!! (I’m just a regular party right now, aren’t I??)
But through all of this, I intend to continue helping my customers, just as I have been doing-- in fact, the more I can do that, the better off I'll be because I will have less time to focus or dwell on any problems or concerns I might have!! So please--keep me BUSY!!!
And most of all, please put those positive thoughts and vibes out there for me, so I can happily report back here after seeing the Oncologist later today (Friday) that the results for the Multiple Myeloma are 100% negative!!
Now I am going to head upstairs to try to catch a couple hours of sleep if possible, because I want to be as sharp and alert as possible when I meet with the Oncologist later!!! Wish me luck and send up some prayers for me if you can spare them!!! I could really use them right now!