A defining week, hopefully.

Posted on October 8th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

This week is a big week for us. The specialists were meeting today to work out more of a definite diagnosis and treatment plan for me. It is a tricky situation, and has required patience to wait for answers. There is a big difference between having a Plasmacytoma and having Multiple Myeloma as far as treatment and prognosis is concerned. We have been prepared as much as possible for the worst, but it doesn’t make the wait any easier. We should find out tomorrow.
We feel like we are on standby for a flight we don’t want to catch, but know it is the only way to reach the destination. It is just that the flight is so risky, the airline food sucks and the forecast is for turbulence the whole trip. Whatever the case, our bags are packed and there have been many others who have caught this flight and made the trip ok.
Both Eilzabeth and I have been exhausted this last week. Our usual routine is to do something for about an hour a day (usually this is the radiotherapy outing) and then crash for about 3 hours and sleep. I think the emotional aspect of what we are expecting and what we have been through is taking its toll on our bodies. Elizabeth’s work has been extremely kind to us and really gone out of their way to make things great for us. It has made a huge difference in being able to get through these weeks and we are incredibly thankful to everyone there for the way they have cared for us.


A few of the tests

Posted on October 8th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

These are a few of the tests that I had while I was in hospital for those that are interested in the medical side of things.

Blood Tests
I have lost count of how many blood tests I have had, and I know there will be many more to come. It will now be a regular part of my life. Darnit.

CT Scan
This gave an incredibly detailed image of my hip that could be spun around and viewed from numerous angles. Very impressive to be able to see my hip bone. I felt like I was at the butchers.

Full Body Scan
This is where they took X-Rays of my whole body. It took a while but the staff at the hospital were excellent, making sure they got the best shots while treating me with the utmost care. They are mainly concerned with the long bones and the larger bones where the cancer is usually found. They took special X-rays of my spine/neck as the Oncologist has been concerned about the lack of movement in my neck.

Pelvis Biopsy
Yes folks, this is the same kind of biopsy I had at Fremantle Hospital (refer to video) at the beginning of this saga. This time was a bit different in that it was done while I was fully awake. Not only that, but I was unaware that the biopsy was going to take place until the Registrar came in with the toolbox. They completed the procedure right there in my hospital bed. Makes my last biopsy seem like overkill.
They gave me a local anaesthetic in my rump and then proceeded to core into my pelvis. When they extract marrow from the bone, there is a strange sensation as the pressure inside your bone is reduced quite suddenly. Needless to say the procedure was quite tiring and I was glad to get it over with.

Nuclear Scan
This was fascinating. I was injected with a radioactive solution into my arm while under a radiosensitive scanner. The solution emits radioactivity as it streams through my body and then shows up on a monitor so you can see it spread.
I lay down on a platform that had a screen above and a screen below. Both take images of the radioactive emissions coming from my body. When they first inject the solution, you can see the radioactivity stream through my body as it goes through the bloodstream. The radioactivity shows up as random dots that make up a fuzzy image. The initial session ensures that the solution is spreading through the body as it is meant to.
I was to come back two hours later once the radioactive solution has ‘settled’ in my bones. So that afternoon, I headed back for stage two of the scan. I lay on a different machine and it scanned my whole body in sections. Then they took a rotational scan of my pelvis. I was watching the image on the screen as they did the rotational scan so I could see my bladder filling up with radioactive urine. Fascinating!
Once the scan was over, it was back to the ward for some rest. It is strange to think that you are emitting radioactivity from your body and it gets rid of it through your urine, but the upside was that I didn’t have to turn a light on when I went to take a leak.

1 comment.

Home Page | Site Credits | About This Blog | Blog Hosting - Fast Hit
© 2007 Cam Harris (Australia)