This week really packed quite a bit of a punch. I kept meaning to get to updating the blog, but was either too tired/drowsy, in too much pain, or too preoccupied with medical appointments, to do so. Here it is, 9:30 Sunday night, I’ve been asleep in my chair since 5:30, so let’s get-er-done before I slip back into sleep zone, shall we?
Monday I went back to see my orthopaedic surgeon, to find out about possible treatment options for my right rear hip lesion (the one just discovered after surgery on the right front hip/femur lesion), and possible implications from that lesion on recovery from surgery.
I was unhappily surprised to find out that I will have permanent restrictions for my right femur/hip. The surgeon said these included: no running or running sports; no weight training involving the legs. Presently, I also still have movement/positioning restrictions and lifting/carrying restrictions, in place for a range of 3 months to a year.
I asked about whether there was any procedure involving cementing or pinning/filling that could be used to improve stability and shore up the ilium, where the newer metastases is located. The surgeon told me that the lesion was too small to consider this. This was also eye-opening as it is 3x 3.5 x 1.5 cm, which seems a significant size to me.
I haven’t really had time to process the departure of running and lunging and squatting, and other fun movements, from my life. This change feels sudden, and sneaky. I’m guessing that if/when I start to feel a bit better and more mobile, this life change will hit me, possibly hard. Maybe then I’ll question whether the rationale behind the ‘no running’ clause necessarily applies to my situation. [the orthos want a new hip to keep serving the patient for 10-15 years, and running wears it out – I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to use it for 10-15 years though]. So, for now, the registration for the teeny-weeny triathlon in the Spring will not be withdrawn.
This week I also saw my oncologist on Friday. It was good to see her, after so much happened with my condition since out last appointment January 9th. She addressed most of my questions, other than the one where I asked her to confirm that outside survival for mRCC patients with visceral and bone metastases was 15 months. Trying to figure out if non-response really is a response, or whether I raise this again at the start of April when I see her again.
Finally, I started radiation treatments this week on my hip. As with my stereotactic lung treatments, I have a high dose delivered over a short number of treatments. When I finish my five treatments on Wednesday, I resume my oral chemo meds. My palliative care nurse, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, and radiation technicians, all said to possibly expect some flare ups in pain; oh, boy, did this deliver. Both areas of my right hip feel like they have the worst kind of bone/arthritis pain I’ve ever experienced. I’ve taken up to 6-8 ‘breakthrough’ pain pills in a day. Lots of nausea, some other gastro experiences.
The pain meds plus the anti-nausea meds make me very blurry. So, my apologies to anybody I’ve not quickly replied to by message/text/email: I’m probably either asleep or too blurry eyed to see the screen. Apologies also to anyone with whom I *have* interacted, if I’ve seemed blurry or stopped making sense at any point. Hopefully, once the radiation is done on Wednesday, and I can back off on some of these side effect medications, I’ll resume being a little less Major Tom in Space, and a little more Captain Sensible.
Good things this week: visits from Kristy, Dave, Steve, Sue; and from Kathy, all the way from T. Bay. The meal planner/cook, a gift from some of my partners, who came and prepped us a whole lot of dinners, now happily stockpiled in the freezer. Being able to help Liam fund raise for his Relay for Life Friday night, and to walk the survivor’s lap (slowly, and with lots of pain killers) to kick it off, after Friday’s radiation session.
And today, it’s International Women’s Day, so a big thank you and respect to all the wonderful women in all of our lives. xoxo