Here’s the back story to this post. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2016. I was treated. It moved to my lungs in 2021. Again I was treated. Now it has moved to my spine.
I had a busy week. I worked Monday through Wednesday. I called Mayo Clinic early on Thursday morning hoping to move my MRI appointment for my back from next Wednesday to something Thursday or Friday of this week. No luck. I am a little pushy when it comes to advocating for myself. I guess I feel some urgency with all of this as in January there was no cancer in my spine and now here we are a few months later and it’s raging, actively eating my bones.
I was told there were no appointments. I decided I would call back in the afternoon and then again Friday morning. I really wanted to get the process of being treated rolling. My back pretty much hurts all the time now so the pain gives me a sense of urgency.
In the meantime, I got a call from the local clinic that was setting up Zometta infusions for me. Apparently, Zometta is a drug that is used with osteoporosis patients and helps beef up the bones. I was told that the infusion takes the calcium from your blood and moves it to your bones. The person calling said I could come immediately and they would do the infusion.
I was told that people often end up with flu-like symptoms, sore, achy and tired, the next day but I followed the hydration rules and was okay.
I treated myself to some thrift store shopping after the infusion…I’ll talk about my finds in another post.
Later on Thursday at about 4 pm, I called again to Mayo Clinic again to see if there was an MRI cancellation. There was!! They could fit me in on Friday at 10 am. Whew. That’s an awesome time of day because then I don’t have to get up SUPER early to make the 2 hour drive. Traffic has been bad lately…well not really traffic, parking. Parking has been bad lately.
I was up and out the door at 7:45 on Friday morning.
I got lucky with parking and was able to stitch for 10 minutes in the waiting room before they called me back.
This MRI was with contrast so I got hooked up again. This time it was in my elbow joint so there was no stitching for me. I waited a long time in my room. I’m guessing a half hour as nurses came and checked on me twice apologizing for the delay. It was A-okay with me. I was getting this done.
I have to say I’m totally impressed with the gown improvements. No more underwear sneak peeks with these 3 arm-hole gowns. I’d love to write a personal thank you card to whoever came up with the idea. Your backside is completely covered with these.
I’ve had an MRI done on my shoulder before. It was in a mobile semi-truck. That sounded like a loud airplane at tack off. This was an annoying series of constant beeps and buzzes. It wasn’t at all what I expected. It was do-able but I’m guessing it would be really hard for some people.
And then the wait was on…when would the results be read and put into my online portal so I could read them? I drove home making a few stops along the way. I had roasted tomatoes for yard sauce the night before and had left them in the oven overnight to cool. I ended up processing those and then I made several pans of eggplant parmesan. I made a 9 x 9 pan that I cooked up and will eat for the next few days. I did two small pie tins and one 9 x 13 pan. Those all were made for the freezer. I can pop them out, unthaw them, and have them anytime. I’d really like to make a few more for the freezer before the season is through.
I was starting to clean up with my phone dinged. My results were in.
The news is not great.
I have a 3 x 2.6 x 2.1 cm lesion on L5. It sounds like the other issues are on L2, not L1 as we originally thought. Looks like there is involvement with S1 as well. There are lots of words that are hard to understand.
If you think about your vertebrae and think a portion that is 3 x 2.6 x 2.1 cm is compromised, that’s a little scary. Vertebrae aren’t that big.
I called Kalissa. I told her and admittedly, I was a little upset and so confused. Here it is the Friday of a holiday weekend and there is no guidance from anyone. The results were just dumped on me. Kalissa was upset and she immediately called Mayo and got to the desk of Radiology Oblation who I’ll be seeing next but no appointment was scheduled with them. I had to have the MRI before they would schedule an appointment.
They did give me an appointment…Next Friday the 8th. Kalissa will go to the appointment with me.
There is more to the MRI report but it’s terribly hard for me to understand…bulging discs, and more.
In the meantime, Kalissa asked “Since there is so much damage, do I need to not lift?” The nurse said she is not a doctor but would recommend that I take it easy. I still need to move so my back doesn’t freeze up. Limit lifting, bending, twisting. If I do something and it hurts, I shouldn’t do it. UGH. My back hurts all the time now and has for the last couple of weeks.
With that news, I called into work and told them I can’t come in. I lift dogs all the time to put them in their kennels. I carry dog food. I do all sorts of bending, lifting, and twisting. UGH.
I really love my job and this is hard. Plus I just started. I don’t want anyone to think I’m a slacker.
BUT…for now, living the life of a slacker is what I’m going to have to do. THANKFULLY, THANKFULLY, THANKFULLY, I have hobbies that allow slacking.
Kalissa put something together for at least a month or two to arrange for someone to come clean the house once a month so I’m not vacuuming and worrying about the floors. That was super sweet.
I’ve already started to make some modifications. I used my main floor shower for the first time. My upstairs shower is in a claw foot tub that curves on the bottom and is slippery. This will be much better.
I’m going to do my best to still live a happy life but make smart choices about my back. The last thing I want to do is break it…and honestly, if I fell or did something, that’s a real possibility. The hardest thing for me is that I can’t care for any grandkids that I’d need to pick up or change diapers on. UGH.
I am told that treatment from here will likely involve thermo oblation and then after, a process that puts cement in my back where the cancer has eaten the bone away. Who knows how long that will take and how sturdy that will make me. We’ll know more by the time the month of October rolls around.
In the meantime…I got a pass to craft!! I can sew. I can stitch. That’s not at all a bad prognosis!! I’m looking for the good in all of this and stitching and sewing are definitely the good!!
Many thanks to those of you who have sent cards and words of encouragement. A big shout-out to Annie!! Your card and gift had me crying. It was a good crying though. I can’t thank you enough.