The Doctor Report

If you’ve been following along, you know that my cancer is acting up again. I started with thyroid cancer in early 2016. I had my thyroid removed and was treated. The cancer later moved to my lungs. I had a treatment for that in early 2021. Now it’s grown and acted up enough that it’s time for treating it again. This time it’s moved to my bones…specifically to my spine at L5 and L1. L5 is the bone right before where your spine and hip bones meet. It’s an important one and I need to keep it…but cancer is eating away at it so what do they do?

This is new territory for me. I don’t have the lingo down pat yet. If you give me another month or two, I’ll know all I need and more but for now, I just know a bit and I’ll share that with you in terms that I understood it in.

I am moving from my current doctor to a new one for the upcoming procedures. I guess technically we’re just adding a new team to my case. This will be a team that works with radiation and deals with lesions on the bones.

I have an appointment with them in about a week and we’ll set up a specific plan…for now, my doctor told me a little bit about some of the options they might do…

Most likely is a thermo oblation. They take a needle and jab it into my back using guided CT imaging. When they locate the spot, they would freeze or zap it. A few days later I would return. Then they would again do a needle-guided procedure only this time, they would blast cement into the area that the cancer has eaten.

I was told it’s a pretty simple (in terms of cancer treatment) procedure. I’m game for simple. This is the most likely option.

If I am not a good candidate for that, they might repeat the protocol I have previously done with the oral chemo and radioactive iodine.

There were other possibilities as well but honestly, I don’t remember them. These two were the most likely. I was at work when they called with a Zoom call and although everyone was great, I had people in and out of the room I was in. It was all new information and a bit overwhelming…not terrible…but overwhelming all the same.

In the meantime, I am supposed to contact my local doctor and have them line me up for Zometa. It’s an infusion that osteoporosis patients get that helps strengthen bones. I’m told I’ll get that every three months or so…the first time patients typically end up with flu-like symptoms but later doses don’t do that.

If any of you have done this thermo oblation therapy before, please leave a comment or email me at joscountryjunction@gmail. I’d love to know more about it…does it hurt, does it work? Any information on what it’s like from a patient’s perspective would be great.

42 thoughts on “The Doctor Report”

  1. I believe I had zometa infusions until insurance covered xgeva injections. I don’t remember any flu like symptoms. Did they mention taking calcium? I need to take calcium with the xgeva. I do hope your treatment plan goes well. Best of luck.

  2. my osteo treatment was daily inj. that i had to do myself. it was more convenient than having to go to the clinic everyday.
    Yours must be more concentrated and needing trained personnel applying it.

    We are praying for the best results for your treatments.
    Nothing but coming to facebook worked to be able to read your doctor update.
    How are your children doing ??? Prayers for them as well.

    1. I had to go to Bloglovin of all places to read the post. Typically if I get the “code issue” when opening a post, I will wait until a new post is posted and it works itself out and I can read it. I had been watching for this post so I fought as hard as possible to find a way to read it. Praying for everyone!

      1. Barbara Firesheets

        Hi Amy. I sometimes get the same kind of garbled code on Jo’s posts. The next day I am able to open and read them.

  3. Thanks for letting us know, Jo. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been thinking about you and wondering what the doctor said. Hopefully, you’re a good candidate for the thermal oblation treatment and they can start working on it soon.

  4. Rebecca Hoetger

    Praying, Jo, that the easiest on you is the best option. Thank you for sharing with us. You are in so many hearts and minds. ❤️

  5. I know this is more of what everyone else is saying, but I have been praying for you since your first cancer diagnosis in the thyroid. I am asking God for a miracle in whatever form that comes. We want you healthy and strong. You have been a blessing to so many. I pray whatever treatment plan they implement will be painless as possible and successful in combatting the cancer. I pray the Lord will give you peace and comfort through all of this.

  6. My prayers are with you! May the doctors decide the best course of action for you! You are so strong! I love that your family is so close and supportive!

  7. I had this procedure recently on my liver to drain a life threatening sepsis infection from my bowels that spread ( had no symptoms other than sudden high fevers) They give you a topical shot, there was some discomfort but I didn’t get any sedation prior, and not sure they give you that as I had to reposition myself a few times on the table for the surgeon who did it. They drew on my body as they took pictures to locate the area. PThey inserted a drain too, which I had for a month.
    I don’t think it’s anything you can’t power through, just ask them to review it with you and whether or not you can have some mild sedative along with topical anesthesia.
    Good luck warrior woman

  8. It sounds like they will do kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty – What is the difference between kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty?
    For a vertebroplasty, physicians use image guidance, typically fluoroscopy, to inject a cement mixture into the fractured bone through a hollow needle.

    During kyphoplasty, a balloon is first inserted into the fractured bone through the hollow needle to create a cavity or space. a minimally invasive procedure used to treat vertebral compression fractures by inflating a balloon to restore bone height then injecting bone cement into the vertebral body. kyphosis: abnormal curve of the thoracic spine, also called hunchback.

    My Mom has had the kyphoplasty twice for fractured vertebrae. Is was done as outpatient and very easy on her and recovery is a very short time.

    Praying that they can do the easiest option for you and get all that nasty cancer out of there. Hugs, Anna

  9. Keeping you in prayer, Jo.
    It does sound like an easy procedure – I’ve not heard of it so I’m no help there.
    Thank you for keeping us posted.
    Love and prayers

  10. Hi Jo, been a blog follower for a few years now and you are a wealth of information. My mother had Zometa treatments for 5 years (the limit for her case). The treatments were relatively easy and my mom does not tolerate any pain well. I’m sure your doctors and medical team will discuss this with you but I’ll just give you a heads up she was told at each infusion every 3 months to make sure if she had any dental work done that the dentist needed to be aware because of the fragility of the bone in the chin area. Apparently that is one of the side effects of zomata. I did notice after each treatment she seemed to have a bit more energy although if you ask her she will deny this LOL. Wishing you all the best and hopefully this treatment will be easier than the others you have had. Sending you many many blessings!

  11. Thank you for sharing with your community. As with all your topics you generously share with us and I appreciate all the feedback from your community, I join the many others wishing you well

  12. Prayers for you that the easiest option will work for you. Thank you for sharing. You have some great advice from others posting.

  13. Prayers for you, Jo! What an awful ordeal for you! You are not alone as many of your followers are with you in thoughts and prayers !

  14. Praying… and knowing that God will guide you and everyone involved to the best and most advantageous treatment for YOU.

    Jo, you are SUCH A SPECIAL LADY! Your light shines even through this temporary adversity as a beacon in so many ways to others. Thank you for being EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE and please know that i pray for you each day as do others here. We care about YOU, not just on the good days but also on the challenging or bad days.

    Thank you for allowing us to help in whatever way the Lord leads. Our efforts seem so small in comparison to your need at this time. But in the process YOU are also HELPING AND ENCOURAGING US to continue to grow in our faith and reliance on God for help and answers when circumstances we did not expect present themselves.

    So… THANK YOU! YOU ARE A BLESSING!

    Very Sincerely, April in Iowa

    1. Very well said April and I couldn’t agree with you more. I pray daily for Jo and her family and she really is such a blessing to countless people in ways she probably doesn’t even know.

  15. My husband’s kidney cancer migrated to his sacrum 12 yrs ago. I’m glad they now have some different treatments for it than they did in 2011.
    Prayers that one of these procedures gives you many more years of time❤️

  16. Barbara Firesheets

    Jo, you and your medical team are in my daily prayers. Love starting my day with a cup of coffee and reading your blog posts. ❤️❤️❤️

  17. Caryn in Eastern Washington

    Prayers for you, your family, and your medical teams as you move forward on your journey. Stay strong!

  18. ditto what April said. you are a blessing and inspiration to all of us. God be with you and give doctors the wisdom and knowledge to help you. love, h

  19. W all the best..and an easy time of it! thank you for sharing your story.. I read your blogs every day!ive enjoyed getting to know you!

  20. Praying for you every day Jo. Stay strong and know there are so many people rooting for you. God bless you and your family.

  21. You’re in my prayers daily, Jo! Asking the Lord for strength and healing for you, wisdom and skill for your care teams. Big hugs, Suzanne

  22. Beryl in Owatonna

    My wishes are the same as everyone else. I continue to pray for you, your family and the doctors.
    You are loved by many, Jo!

  23. Praying that whichever treatment that your medical team proceeds with, that it is successful and has the least side effects for you.

  24. Shirley from Calmar

    As brave as you seem, I am sure it is mixed with anxiety and fear. I pray for fast easy healing and for the Lord to give you and your family the strength to get through another set back. You are loved.

  25. In May I had fluroscopy guided ablation on three lumbar vertebra that have slipped and are pressing on the nerves. The locations were marked with the fluroscope then they used xylocaine to deaden the target areas and put in the needles to do the ablation in six areas. It wasn’t painful, just a bit of discomfort like getting a shot then some pressure when the ablation needles were inserted and the zapping was done. It took just a few minutes and has made a world of difference.

  26. Katherine Gourley

    Some days I just cry for you. My insurance refuses to cover Zometa (which I need) so I will not receive it. You are blessed if your insurance covers it. I see a pain specialist on September 7. I hope and pray he can help because my ability to quilt is very compromised. Jo, I think of you so often and hope your cancer can be controlled. You are such a beautiful woman and wish I could meet you. You are on my prayer list. Love you Jo.

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