Last Week’s Oncology Appt

Lots of things happened last week, including a turnaround drive to Davis, CA for my grandpa’s funeral on Mon/Tuesday.  That post will come up tomorrow or so.

I had an appointment last Wednesday with my Oncology Team.

Some bullet points:

1. They are concerned that my neck/shoulder/arm/wrist and hand pain is so severe (it’s a bit better now), so they ordered a C-Spine MRI to make sure that:

a) the cancer hasn’t travelled to the bone (unlikely, since my tumor is still the same size)

b) that I haven’t injured my neck in any way.

Now, I’m happy that they are so thorough but this is a Sucky McSuckerson MRI for those of us with claustrophobia.   Why?  Because it involves laying for 45 minutes in an MRI with your head/neck in a catcher’s mitt.  Seriously.


Oh yeah, that’s gonna fly!   I’m not sure what the USC Neck Coil looks like but I’m totally taking advantage of Ativan and the panic button.  At least I get to lie on my back for this.  The 30 minute breast MRI on my stomach was horrible!!!


2.  If you’ve been following along, I keep getting infections this year.   This is not making my surgeon happy as, even though I recover from antibiotics, she’s concerned that I’ll get a massive infection quickly with surgery.   She told me that she’s waiting for the “Big Thing” whatever it is to happen so she can call off surgery without guilt.  So, she’s getting uncomfortable but is still on board.  I totally trust her  and I have another 10 months on the medicine before we HAVE to make the decision.  I’m still hoping for summer.  We shall see.

3.  Good news!!!   One issue that has to be dealt with for surgery is my HgbA1C.  This is a test that measures my average blood sugar over three months.   Five weeks ago it was 8.1.  Last week it was 7.3!!!  It is a huge jump down and my docs are very happy that I was able to bring it down so much in such a short time.   We need the number to be in the low 6’s before I’m good for surgery.   Having high blood sugars is just an invitation for infections to start and since we can’t pump up my white cells without killing my platelets, I have to get these numbers down.   I started exercising a little yesterday.   When I mean a little, I mean like a 10 minute walk where I had to stop and rest for a bit.  Ugh.  I have the body of an 80 year old.  I’m losing weight with my meds but it’s all muscle.   I’m going to try to do a little every day…working up to a little more every week.

So overall, I’m status quo.  I get blood this Friday!

Well, my cat just smacked the back of my head so it’s obviously his “good wet food time”.

Happy St. Patricks Day!



5 Comments on “Last Week’s Oncology Appt”

  1. Kim says:

    hey Pam-I just had the catcher’s mitt MRI at USC. For one, the MRIs are bigger than others I’ve been in. I took the Ativan 30 min. before, and had them cover the cage with a towel on top so I couldn’t see. I closed my eyes as soon as I got into the MRI and didn’t open them until I got out. Also, ask them for a warm blanket or towel; they wrapped me with one. I’m a lifelong claustrophobic, and I was FINE. In fact, I even felt relaxed. I know you can do it!! Sending hugs and as always positive thoughts, XO Kim


  2. Pam says:

    Thanks for the reassurance Kim! Thank goodness I had the breast MRI before and know that the machine isn’t going to gobble me up. Having something over my head like that freaks me out but if you say it’s okay, I believe you!

    Ativan and a warm towel… I may just sleep through it!


  3. elizabeth lamar says:

    Thanks for the update. So, you are 80; that makes me 140.


  4. Barbara DiCarlo says:

    Glad to hear your spirits are up. Hey how about sitting and getting a very light weight or better yet do isometric arm and leg lifts from a chair to start. When I walk I do arm exercises without weights but hold muscles tight. Want to do a short walk sometime? Take care, love Barbara


  5. Barbara DiCarlo says:

    Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. Very busy babysitting. Thank you for the update. I continue to get you and mama in my prayers. I have been working on my 45Th reunion from Pomona Catholic. We will celebrate this weekend. Small class but over half are coming. We will tour the school then go to Espiaus restaurant for a dinner. Yikes 45 years ,can I be that old. Take care, Barbara


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