UPDATE cancer progression: T1 fracture and cord compression

Today we met with my neuro-oncologist at Chao Cancer Center to learn the results of the MRI of the brain and spine. It was good news and bad news.

The good news was the MRI showed no mets to the brain.

The bad news received a lot more discussion. The cancer seems to be planting itself along the vertebrae, and in at least one place pressing upon the spinal cord. This is the same area as a fracture of the vertebral body (T1), and the compression of the spinal cord was visible even to my poorly trained eyes. She explained that this could cause a variety of symptoms, including poor hand coordination (which I have been mentioning to them recently as I having been finding it difficult to write) There were some other symptoms, which I will save until they actually start showing up.

The solution is perhaps to do surgery to mend the fracture and take the pressure off of the spinal cord. The complication is that my CTC looks like it has increased, and I will be discussing that further with my regular hematology-oncologist next week. The presumption is that the current treatment may not be working as fast as they would like, and perhaps a change is in order. If that is the case, they may want to do chemo before surgery or before anything else, including the pending radiation that we wanted to do to alleviate the symptoms in my lower spine, radiating out to my left hip and femur.

In the meantime, next Tuesday we will proceed with a spinal tap, and she wants me to keep an eye out for any new or increasing symptoms.

It is amazing how, even when the news is not great, it is still better for someone like me than not knowing. At least I know we have a plan, a direction, and all of my oncologists are discussing the plan of attack together. While she was seeing me, she was already in contact with my regular oncologist to discuss possible plant of attack. That always gives me confidence; knowing my doctors are communicating and discussing what should come next makes me feel like I could not be in better hands. I just need to sit back and figure out how much I want to undergo. If my chances are good because I’m still strong enough and they think there is an expectation that I can derive a good result from a plan, I will take it. We have been discussing in one of my forums lately when “is it time to stop treatment,” and I think until it is clearly that point based on all of my team members’ perceptions, I am going for each next viable treatment. I believe I have a few, if not several options, before I hit a different threshold.

Next week: spinal tap: outpatient procedure performed by my own neuro-oncologist. New research to do between now and then. As always, your comments are welcome.

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© 2004–2012 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.


12 responses to “UPDATE cancer progression: T1 fracture and cord compression

  1. Atta girl. You just keep counting and you keep dancing…because you still can!!! Good news is great, not so good news means on to the next plan…which you still have!! ((Kisses and prayers)) Two of my favorite things!

  2. Thank you for posting Donna… news is news and yes, you are in a position to make choices that suit you! That’s a good thing… Blessings and affirmations galore and love and hugs to the max!

  3. Donna, I wondered where you were yesterday. Sounds like they have a plan and you can move on to that as soon as possible. Just wanted to let you know you are in my prayers….Blessings and healing thoughts going out to you this morning….on Eagle’s wings! Huge Hugs to you!

  4. Donna you were in my thoughts yesterday also…My SIL told me years ago….as long as the doctors have a plan, give it your all and fight. You stay strong and keep on dancing…you are an amazing person. Just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you each day and know I’m sending positive energy your way at all times. ((((Big Hugs)))) from Texas!

  5. I am SO glad you have information and a plan!

  6. I am so glad that you have the information that you need and a plan going forward.

  7. Donna, may God hold you so close you can hear His heart beating just for you! All I can give you is my prayers, and as amazing as you are, I am happy to see all the support your friends send your way. I wish I could have known you more all those years ago!

  8. I will send good thoughts your way. I’m with you – I always prefer to know what the deal is.

  9. It’s hard to know what to say when you start thinking about stopping treatment. I can only imagine how difficult it is to know this wicked cancer is progressing. The good news is you have a great team who knows what options are available to you. As always, I lift you up in prayer.


  10. Irma von Steinburg

    Dear Donna, I think everyday of you and all the time I please God for a miracle. I read that there is a plan and this is good. Big hugs and lots of kisses and much love from me to you ❤ ❤ ❤
    PS I will vote everyday for your organization!
    All the best.

  11. businessrelationshipsmatter

    Thank you for keeping us posted. I’m thankful you have physicians who are communicating with each other and keeping you so well informed, I wish this was the case for all patients.

    I will continue to keep you in the LIght.

  12. SO glad you aren’t dealing with the monsters I have lurking… but sorry to hear that the progression is not slowing adequately. I haven’t had an MRI of my spinal cord, and now, hearing some of your symptoms, I’m wondering if I should. Well, I guess at the moment we’ll stick to worrying about the brain mets, since they may render treatment of other mets rather moot… if and when we can treat that little monster at the base of my head, then I’ll move on to other things than just systemic chemo/hormonal treatment…

    In the meantime, I agree that things are a bit easier when a plan of attack is possible, so I’m glad that you seem to finally be moving in that direction. I know making these decisions is very stressful, but I’m grateful that you are intelligent enough to understand what is going on, and to assess for yourself what will be your best plan of attack. Keep your chin up, girl – and remember that you have a lot of very strong women pulling for you!!

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