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Oncologist Input

by on November 12, 2009

On the most part, my previous post “Terrible News” was correct.  As it turns out only 2 of the 3 damaged areas of her spine is in the thoracic region and the third is in her lumbar region.  There are signs of compression fractures at each of those locations.  We didn’t have the actual film so I couldn’t gauge the severity of the fracture.  Luckily, all areas don’t correspond to Satomi’s pain.  The scan also showed a kidney stone blocking her right kidney.  That may be a source of some of the lower back pain so we need to see a Urologist.

Everyone (our Oncologist, the Radiologist that read the Pet/CT scan images, and our Neurosurgeon) seems to think that these areas are cancer but the truth be told, no one can be 100% sure without further tests.  As I mentioned before, a biopsy is not possible but additional CT/MRI images on the specific areas of concern will provide adequate confirmation.

We won’t know if the damaged vertebrae will need localized treatment before continuing with our systemic treatment plan until the images are taken and scrutinized.  From what I can gather from articles and talking with the Oncologist, the localized treatment options range from doing nothing (since she’s in no pain) to radiation to drilling holes in the damaged vertebrae and injecting a plastic-cement reinforcement.  There are pro’s and con’s to all but the biggest factor seems to be quality of life.

The systemic treatment plan is primarily more chemo but drug details are a bit more gray.  There are several treatment plans that we could follow.  I’ll give you more information about it after I do a bit of digging.  We’re looking into second and third opinions.

The doctor recommended that Satomi have a Port-a-Cath (or “Port”) put back into her chest to facilitate chemo.  When we had her first port removed, we didn’t consider the possibility of needing to put it back in later.  In any case, it’s a relatively minor operation.

Between the scans, kidney stone, localized spine treatment, 2nd/3rd opinions, and putting the port back in, we will be pretty busy over these next weeks.

Whatever treatment we select, we need to start it as soon as possible.

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From → Medical Update

3 Comments
  1. Mako permalink

    Ah, man… what terrible news to read. I wish there was something I could do up here. Tell Satomi that we’re all sending our best thoughts down to you guys in LA.

  2. Julia permalink

    Please let Satomi know that her WMSA PT/OT/ST friends are all thinking about her. Is there something we can do? Do you have any kind of account set up where we can donate money to? You have enough to worry about while you sort out your COBRA and the LOA issues. Do you need meals? Babysitting relief? Please let us know. You are all in our thoughts an prayers.

  3. Minh permalink

    Oh, Dear!
    Take care of yourself and stay strong to take care of the girls.

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