Just to bring folks here up to date on my current situation.
The 2 big issues that were pending for me, my doctor(s) were trying to find a way to do exploratory surgery to look for evidences of bladder cancer. Due to the radiation damage I suffered, and the fact that the normal means for checking have been eliminated because of the damage, there is no easy way to check for cancer. My urologist/surgeon met with some of his peers, and wrote a letter to me. It was not good, as in the end, there is no easy answer at this point, other than doing a high-level and risky removal of my bladder entirely. Due to the risks, my own surgeon won't do it, he wants me to consult with even a higher level surgeon at Duke University. I sent this letter to my oncologist, because he is acting as both my PCP and PM right now.
Second issue, on top of my other woes, I have another problem going on. For the past year, I keep dropping weight fast without reason. No dieting, no exercise per say. At first, it was like 3 lbs a month. Then it moved to 6 lbs, then most recently, last time I met with my doctor, it had hit 9 lbs. In just the past 3 weeks, I have already lost another 5 lbs. Fortunately, I had a lot of "fluff" in reserve to lose, so its not like I am bone thin or anything.
The weight loss was noticed by the staff at the Oncology Rehab I go to weekly for the past 1 1/2 years. They started getting concerned. They have me scheduled to meet with their oncology nutritianist very soon.
On top of the weight loss, in the past month, I have now developed "zero appitite". It's like someone turned off a switch inside my head. I never, ever feel hungry any more. It's not that food bothers me, or the smell turns me off, I simply have no natural desire to eat, which is bizzare coming from a guy like me. If I have any sense of fullness after eating, or if my bowels are full, it causes me very severe stomach cramps and makes my back pain and lower sides really flare up for hours. That alone makes it not a good incentive for me to want to eat much, which of course, is causing even more rapid weight loss. Feel like I am slowly wasting away.
The fear is that it may be evidence of pancreatic cancer. The weight loss pattern, plus the new loss of appitite, and the fact that I have underwent severe pancreatitis in the past, make me very suspect.
My oncologist contacted me late yesterday. To cover both issues, he has me set up for both CAT and MRI scans, starting next Thursday, the 30th, and wants to do extensive scans of both my abdomen and pelvic areas. In particular, he wants to look at my kidneys, bladder, stomach, spleen, and pancreas. Based on those results, he will order other blood work and tests as indicated.
And I thought dealing with advanced prostate cancer the past 4 years was bad enough. Sure don't need a new and more serious cancer to deal with.
You must remember, that all my CP and chronic fatigue is 100% related to failed attempts to stop cancer with me, not damage from the actual cancer itself.
I have dealt now, with 4 lethal cancers in a row since year 2000. Starting to feel like I am some kind of cancer magnet.
I will update here as soon as there are any results to report. I just hope that this doesnt turn out to be another time where the results are inconclusive. I had MRI's done of my spine in April, and a strange spot appeared at L4, but after 4 experts looked at the scan, they couldn't say for sure what the spot was or wasn't. All I know, is that my back pains are increasingly getting worse and worse.