Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oh, Oh… Here We Go Again…Update

Yesterday was my visit with one of the local radiation oncologists… I was told to expect to be there all day… Well, it turned out to be a couple of hours… and most of that was waiting time!

After filling out all the forms… again… we (Cindy came along for support ) waited to be taken in to the examination room… Once there, we were interviewed by one of the nurses to find out what we knew...why we were there...and any missed past or present info… Then we waited for the radiation oncologist.

Dr. Ghose came in and introduced himself… We chatted about my past medical history...7 1/2 years of hormone deprivation, 7 weeks of radiation in 2005 and 5 days worth again last year for the same problem… We chatted about what was currently going on...pain in the left hip again, no real loss of strength in the leg, good reflexes with no loss of feeling and no tingling… We chatted about how bad the pain was...varies throughout the day depending on what I am or have been doing, being anywhere from a 3 out of 10 to an 8 or 9 out of 10… He asked if I wanted any medication for the pain...NOT until I have to.  He then gave us my options for treatment.  I could have a few (1 or 2) radiation treatments to the hip - no more than that as he felt I’ve already had a lot and the chance of complications would be much higher with each subsequent treatment...and the effectiveness goes down as well.  He said that he would radiate the hip, but would rather not… He felt that a clinical trial would be my best option at this time… If I could handle the pain for a while, then that would be his suggestion… I agreed with him… The biggest problem now is getting in to see a medical oncologist since mine is currently away until fall…

He also explained that there wasn’t any significant change in the x-rays… there is active cancer, but not any (or noticeably) more than last year… He ordered a full body bone scan to be see if there is any showing up elsewhere… I go for that tomorrow.

So, tomorrow a bone scan… then I wait to see a medical oncologist in Calgary… and then who knows… for now, it’s one day at a time… enjoying life as best we can!!

Until next time....

Posted by John on 07/17 at 03:06 PM
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Friday, July 13, 2012

Oh, Oh… Here We Go Again…

In my last post I had said how my PSA levels were rising, but the oncologist wanted to wait a couple more months before moving on with the next step – a clinical trial…

Well, we seem to have waited too long…

Shortly after my last post, I was giving my dog a bath… I bent over to towel her off and felt a pull from my lower back down to my left knee… OUCH!  I was in a fair bit of pain…but it settled enough that I could walk ok… just not up stairs or pretty much any incline… I managed ok and it seemed to start to get better after the first week… Stairs became easier…walking much more comfortable… Then, last week it felt great…until it wasn’t any more… a quick sneeze, and it hurt again… not as bad, but it caused me to almost fall at the time.  It seemed to get better quite quickly, and by the end of the day I was walking pretty normally again… but there was still something not quite right… I decided to give it until over the weekend to improve.

Come Monday morning it was feeling great again…but after going for a walk it started to ache a bit… On Tuesday, it was just a little more tender… Enough of that…

I tried to get in to my family doc, but he’s away on vacation… I did manage to get an appointment that morning with another doc, but since he has NO idea who I am or what I’ve been through, he seemed a little overwhelmed to deal with me...LOL He did have an x-ray taken of my left hip, but had to ‘consult’ with the radiologist before being able to decide what the next steps are…

That afternoon I tried to call my oncologist… he too is on vacation...go figure!! Anyway, his staff got back to me… They were going to get the x-rays and compare them to previous ones…

Later on Tuesday afternoon I heard from the medical docs office… they felt a CT or MRI was in order… I told them that I would wait to hear back from the Cancer Centre…

On Wednesday morning I heard from the oncology department… They said that the x-rays showed “increased involvement” in my hip… and they were going to set up an appointment with the local radiation oncologist… I left it at that… it was enough to digest…

On Wednesday afternoon I got a call from the local Cancer Centre and was told that I have an appointment on Monday morning with one of the radiation oncologists… I was told to be prepared to spend the day there… First thing in the morning will be the visit with the oncologist… then probably mapping of the site for radiation…and possibly even the first treatment… But until we talk to the radiation oncologist I’m not sure about the specifics of the number of treatments or extent of the “increased involvement"…

On Thursday morning I figured I should find out when my medical oncologist was going to be back to work… and what to do with the medication I’m on… originally I was supposed to stop it at this point… I called the Cancer Centre again and left a message…They called right back… I was told that my oncologist was going to be away until the Fall…???… Hmmm I was then told that since my oncologist was away that I should remain on the medication until I’ve seen the radiation oncologist and then that oncologist would make me an appointment to see another medical oncologist… That will be the 4th medical oncologist in 1.5 years…

So, I guess I just have to sit tight and wait until Monday to see what is going on first… then get an appointment arranged in Calgary to see a medical oncologist so that we can once again set up a plan of attack… hopefully this time we can follow through and get on a clinical trial…

There are a few clinical trials available...so I guess we’ll see which ones are open and go from there...in time…

Until next time….

Posted by John on 07/13 at 02:42 PM
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