Hmmmm

It’s taken a few days for me to process the results of my husband’s bone scan.  It was, and still is, a devastating result.

At the meeting with the Oncologist and prior to having his most recent chemotherapy session, my husband complained about the persistent pain in his left shoulder.  In early January he had been for an x-ray and CT scan to access his progress.  The Oncologist had reviewed the two scans and in our meeting stated that it appeared that the issue in the shoulder was arthritis.  As the conversation continued the Oncologist stated that although nothing had “popped” on the CT scan he could, with the simple click of a button, order a Bone Scan – if that was what my husband wanted.  This is how the Bone Scan came to be.

We had met with the Oncologist on a Tuesday, and a Bone Scan was set for the following Tuesday.  Two days after our Tuesday meeting with the Oncologist my husband had his chemotherapy treatment using a new chemo drug, Docetaxel.  This chemo drug can act as a bone marrow suppressant (http://www.cancernetwork.com/oncology-journal/radium-223-vs-ebrt-multiple-painful-bone-metastases-data-favor-radium-223). “Because docetaxel is a cell cycle specific agent, it is cytotoxic to all dividing cells in the body. This includes tumour cells as well as hair follicles, bone marrow and other germ cells.”  (ref: Wikipedia)  Four days later he went for his Bone Scan freshly juiced with Docetaxel.  I can’t help but wonder if this influenced the results.

At our meeting with the Radiologist she showed us pictures comparing my husband’s first Bone Scan (in July) with his second Bone Scan (in January).  Prior to viewing the pics I asked the Radiologist if I would be shocked – her simple reply was “yes”.  I was, we were, the image highlights (hotspots or growth) were so widespread that I couldn’t fathom how my husband could be sitting upright in a chair and not writhing in agony.  Anyway, we were at a loss for words and just got through the rest of the appointment.  In retrospect I wonder if we should have discussed the timing and type of the chemotherapy my husband had just received.  I don’t know that the radiologist was aware of this aspect of my husband’s treatment, I would hope so, but I have learned never to assume anything.

As a result of our meeting with the Radiologist my husband was advised to have some radiation to address the pain in his shoulder/neck area and a subsequent appointment was made for today.  However, we cancelled the appointment based on our concern about the veracity of the Bone Scan as well the risks identified with the selected radiation spots.  We also have learned that Paget’s Disease runs in the family. We plan on waiting until Monday when we can have a meeting with our GP to discuss all of our concerns before we decide on any more radiation.  We also need to ensure all information is conveyed to our Oncology team (including the Radiologist) so they are making the best and most informed decisions for my husband with respect to his treatment.

That’s where we are at.  It’s confusing and frustrating because we just don’t know what to do next.  Now my sister-in-law is another story, again complications and frustrations all around.  She deserves a full blog on her issues – which I will work on getting out today.

A Long Day

The pathway near our house - beautiful but can be so lonely.

The pathway near our house.  It is a nice walk when you need to clear your mind. 

Today was a very long day.  We spent it waiting for news that we didn’t get.  Waiting for test results can play on one’s nerves.  My husband is almost fatalistic about the results of the bone scan.  He’s gone to a dark place and there is no moving him out of it until we get the news from the Oncologist.  We’ve had minimal communication between the two of us today since he has nothing to say.  He’s quite withdrawn and has no appetite.  The pain in his neck/shoulder is unbearable and nothing seems to touch it.  Personally I think that the pain, although quite real, is magnified greatly by the anxiety and fear that is playing in his mind.  He won’t speak about his fears because he knows it would upset me, however, withdrawing is equally upsetting.  It’s difficult for me to stay upbeat or positive when I’ve been shut out of the private hell he is in.  Over the course of the day we’ve had a few phone calls and our very pregnant daughter (8 months now) stopped by for a quick visit; her visit relieved the tedium, but that relief was short lived, he retreated back into his world once she left.

Tomorrow we should have an answer one way or the other as to what is going on in his bones and that will take away the dreadful mind-numbing fear of the unknown.  Fingers crossed.