Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It's in My Bone, Damn It!

Had the scans today and they found cancer in my left hip bone - in the ball of the hip socket. When I walk, I could feel something there. The good news is that this is very treatable. The better news is that the tumors in my liver look stable. The possible bad news is that my spleen looks mottled or spotted on my CT- scan, but Dr. Bergen says that cancer rarely goes to the spleen. We'll have to wait for the written reports from the CT-scan radiologist.

I will have radiation for the bone, and we meet with a radiation radiologist tomorrow in Grand Junction (GJ). His name is Dr. Oldroid. (Robert says this is opposed to Dr. "New Droid". I think I'll just call him R2D2.) Anyway, they were going to send me to a radiologist in Motrose (which is 65 miles closer than GJ), but I have to have a "simulation" with a CT scan first so they can mark precisely on my body of where to direct the radiation. They don't have the equipment for that in Montrose, but I may be able to have my radiation treatments there. We're hoping the simulation can be worked in tomorrow in addition to meeting with the radiologist and possibly even the radiation itself. Dr. Bergen didn't give me chemo today in case I have radiation tomorrow. He says the two together can make you really sick, so we held off on the Gemzar infusion. He told me to keep taking Xeloda. (I had to suspend it last weekend as usual due to hand-foot syndrome which hit my hands more this time than my feet.)

We're not sure how many radiation treatments I'll have. I've heard it can be every day for two weeks, but another radiologist told Dr. Bergen they can possibly do it in one shot. We are supposed to go to New Mexico and Arizona for ten days leaving on Nov. 10th, and I'm hoping it won't interfere with this trip.

Dr. Bergen says we will be starting the Avastin and he also wants to infuse another drug once a month to strengthen the bone, but I can't remember the name of it. He said I need to be careful about falling as my bones will be more brittle. Guess I'm done with skiing for this lifetime. Rats! I also have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon in Montrose. Dr. Bergen said we may want to put a pin in my hip bone which is a fairly minor procedure.

Robert has suggested I give up bowling, but I don't want to. I've decided that I'll just stand up straight and hurl the ball, overhanded if necessary (just kidding), OR just hold it between my legs and chunk down the lane. Our team was in third place before we started Tuesday night, but we lost three of four games, so I don't know where that will put us. I started off great. My average is 93 and I have an 87 handicap. I bowled a 124 in my first game (211 with hadicap), and then my hip started hurting and I bowled a 90 and then 75 (ugh!). The best and worst games of my season, but I calculated that the Tuesday night games still raise my average to 95. I've never know anyone who's broken their leg bowling, so I really don't want to give it up!

My hip pain had actually gone away for a few days before bowling, so I thought sure that nothing would turn up on the scan. No such luck. I did feel awful last Saturday morning from chemo and couldn't get to work until 11:30 am. My bones ached, my muscles ached, my organs ached. It hurt to open my eyes. Once I got to the bookstore, I just perched on the stool behind the counter and took it as easy as possible. When I woke up Sunday morning, I told Robert, "I feel much better!" Yesterday, I almost felt normal.

I need to do a few shout-outs to family members. To my cousins in Nebraska, I hope Tony has as speedy as recovery as possible. To my Mississippi in-laws, thank you for the wonderful blanket with the felted hearts! I just love it.

Just up here in Colorado going to the doctor a lot. Hey, now I get to check out the radiation department at St. Mary's. I think I've had the full cancer experience: surgery, clinical trial, chemo (both oral and infused), and now radiation. More fodder for my book.

I'm really not ready to leave this world yet. Cancer be damned!

Sincerely, Caroline

1 comment:

Ralph said...

Keep that attitude, that is HALF THE BATTLE.

Sorry we missed you while in Colorado. Was a good (cold & snowy) trip.....

Our thoughts and prayers are pointed toward CO.

Ralph