Thursday, December 4, 2008

Yes, Yesterday’s Appointment Had Not Enough Information

I've had some pretty obvious psoas pain (what an awesome spelling!) in the lower left side of my back for the last couple weeks (haven't been able to get in to see Taya yet and have it fixed), and so when the resident said something yesterday about a new spot showing up in my bone scan, what had been an annoying but perfectly familiar pain in the ass became, for about 24 hours, the onset of a new outbreak of cancer.

It is not. According to Dr Specht, the CT is much more useful in a lot of ways than the bone scan in determining what's going on with the bones, and it continues to show lots of lesions, but they're all looking sclerotic these days (which means they're looking like scar tissue). My lungs still show some disease, but much, much less. Spots that had appeared on one adrenal gland and one ovary last spring have disappeared. And, yes, my brain lesions are doing better as well. Unfortunately, neither me nor my mom nor Ian could remember exactly what my new tumor marker number is (aren't three people between then supposed to remember the important information?), but it's somewhere in the 80s, which shows another drop.

Dr Specht thinks that the reason the bone scan showed new patches (a few—certainly more than the one mentioned yesterday) is because of the GCSF shots. The shots that I'm giving myself directly stimulate the bone marrow, and so frequently there is unusual activity in the bones, and it shows up on the scan. My descriptions of how I'm feeling and my other tests combine to make her think I'm in pretty good shape and not to worry.

It brings up an interesting question—did the resident yesterday act inappropriately by telling me the results of my tests, including that the bone scan showed new activity? I really don't know. Obviously, I left that appointment feeling nervous about my health, and now, given the right information, I no longer am. But he knew the results, so it seems appropriate that he share them. It might just be that a resident is still learning, and that in the future he'll know better how to recognize potentially frightening information, and collect more data before he speaks. I really don't know. As Ian pointed out, there is something particularly nice about being nervous before getting the good news—the news seems all the gooder. And, I was a little nervous. More so than I was all summer, actually.

My MUGA also looked good—heart's beating along normally.

I'll post this now, to set your minds at ease before I launch into my next topic . . .

1 comment:

Andrienne said...

"Gooder" may be in competition with "psoas" as a really great spelling!