Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Meet the New Boss

We added another doctor to my team, the neurologist to whom my oncologist referred me. The main reason is I have one symptom that's returned that can be indicative of spinal cord compression, and my oncologist wants to make sure he hasn't missed anything. And I want to make some determination of how much weight I can realistically carry (this is the real world; I have to be able to carry a jug of milk or ???).

The neurologist made sure I understood that I'm not supposed to lift/carry ANY weight (by standards of practice/care) and that the prognosis for my diagnosis is that it is currently incurable and usually terminal. He also made sure I knew that no studies have ever been done to ascertain what weight patients with bony metastasis such as I have seen can carry.

So I made sure he knew that I'm volunteering myself as a guinea pig for anecdotal data. I also gave him the sheet on TurboSonic, and he had me tell him all the places I've been hiking (yes, there were some strenuous hikes in there). He's a hiker himself, having just climbed Mt. San Antonio (Baldy) recently.

He checked me for numbness, but all I can tell is just a bit of neuropathy leftover from the toxic chemotherapies...it causes some decrease in sensation in my hands, feets, and backside. Overall, not bad at all, esp. compared to the first time I finished the chemo series.

So what we decided is to do MRIs with and without contrast of the sections of the spine where the most recent bone scan shows spots of metastasis, then meet again to discuss the results. If there are any fractures or spinal cord compression, this test should reveal them. I'll be doing the imaging and meeting with him again over the next 10 days or so.

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