Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Appointment with the oncologist

The good news from my visit with my oncologist is that my CA 15-3 tumour marker has gone down to 34.2, which is still in the normal range. It seems to be holding steady around 35 which is a good thing.

She is a bit concerned about my lower back pain and is ordering an MRI of that area to see what's going on. She doesn't think it's mets - she thinks that it's most likely me getting old but she wants to check it out anyways. Of course I'm thrilled about this because an MRI is just what I wanted for the area. That should happen within a few weeks and I'll see my oncologist afterwards.

My oncologist is actually more concerned about the pain I get when my leg is rotated, which is making my leg feel weak and which made my leg give out on me the other day. She's ordering a bone scan (scheduled for Thursday) and if that doesn't show anything, she'll order a CT scan. She said that I could call to get the bone scan results, if I didn't want to wait until I see her for the MRI results. Again, she doesn't think that it's mets - although it could be - but she's worried that there's something serious going on there. It could be something innocuous like bursitis or arthritis or some kind of muscle strain or just getting old.

Apparently the worst-case scenario is that something is happening to the bone. She specifically mentioned avascular necrosis, which is when the circulation is cut off to the joint and the bone around there dies. This isn't something that is likely happening... but she wants to be sure.

To be honest, the idea that the bone might have died in the femur scares me a lot. I hope very much that this isn't actually the problem. I asked my oncologist about treatment for this and she said that they usually cut the affected bone out, followed by a hip replacement. Sigh.

My oncologist says that I should probably avoid curling and other activities until we know what's going on with my back and hip. So I'll hold off on curling for a while.

I'm so glad that I have an oncologist that investigates and treats the whole me. Even when the investigation is scary.

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