Today, met with the newest doctor on my team. A top rated Spinal Specialist. He's board certified, and very well published. He's from India, and was a sharp as he could be, and perfect English, no accent at all. Ended up being a 2 1/2 hour first visit.
He told me from the start, that he had a long telephone consultation between himself, my neurologist, and my oncologist. And he felt he was up to speed on my case. His first comment, was that I had a very complicated situation going on - between the advancing cancer, the chronic pain, chronic fatigue, neurological problems popping up left and right. And that it was going to take a team approach to get to the bottom.
After a rather robust physical examination, he had me take 12 full sets of new x-rays. In my condition, it was difficult to undergo them, due to the awkward positions and the length of time I had to stand on my feet. He had already seen all my recent MRI, PET, and CAT scans from the past 2 years.
He began by saying, that there was something majorly wrong going on. He complimented the neurologist for honing in on my neck (even though I have no neck problems or neck pain). He wants to withhold any serious opinion until I have even further tests. He wants another brain MRI done (conducted differently then the recent 3D one I had in January), plus a full set of contrast/no contrast scans of my central spine. He said he's got good pictures of the neck area, and my hips, but didn't like what he saw from the older MRI's of my central spine. He felt that someone misread them, and missed some suspicious shadows.
He mentioned he had seen patients with my increasing hip/leg problems that were later found out to have tumors hidden in the center spine. And when the spine moved in certain ways, they would put direct pressure on nerves that were specific for hip and leg function. He said he wants to know for sure what he's looking at.
He pointed out a bulge in my upper spine (don't remember the specific location), and commented that it didn't look like any kind of age-related degeneration he had ever seen before. This was the "suspicious" area that the neuro had pointed out.
He said depending on what he finds, there could be at least 2 somewhat serious spine operations involved, but until he sees the whole picture, he's reserving any diagnosis and/or treatment.
He wants the MRI's done immediately, and then a follow up as soon as the scans are in his hand. It's possible they will be done this week. He's concerned not only about my ongoing PC, but the possibility that my previous cancers could be lurking inside my spine (porocarcinoma). That was truly a frightening thought to me.
That's the latest. Liked him, he's not one for a lot of words like my other doctors, but he seemed right on target about everything, and based on his comments, he did seem to know a lot about my exact case and circumstances.
This past weekend, my wife and I went to Columbia for Valentine's Day and for a major Knights of Columbus event. We were engaged on Valentine's Day 1974, so it's been 40 years. The religious program was wonderful, but it took such a toll on my body. It involved me standing or sitting on hard chairs most all of Saturday, and then endless walking back and forth between the hotel my group stayed at and the hotel where the event was held.
By Saturday evening, I could barely walk without wanting to fall down, and my hips were given out about every other step. Instead of having fun with gang that evening, I had to lay down in bed with pain meds. The problem is getting much worse, and any kind of exertion or fatigue makes it happen with more intensity and severity.
I am really trusting my medical team can finally come up with both the proper dx. and proper treatment plan to offer me some relief. It's all I can hope for. At the rate of my decline, I honestly could see myself in a wheelchair within months.
P.S. Even the new doctor feels the root cause of all my woes: severe radiation damage. What a surprise.
Post Edited (Purgatory) : 2/24/2014 10:23:48 PM (GMT-7)