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The Massively Ruinous Inspection February 25, 2018

Posted by Judy in Musings.

Thursday afternoon saw me back at the Cancer Center for another imaging study.  It started out with a tech who, after I warned her that my veins behave badly and don’t like to be poked, bragged that she never had any trouble.  Of course, she tried twice and failed spectacularly twice.  A nurse came down with a bit of swagger.  I sort of wanted her to fail, too (shhh, I know, I’m bad!), but I was glad she didn’t cuz getting stuck 3 times was more than enough.  I was having lung pain because of my thoracentesis that morning, (Here’s a short 1 minute vid if you need a visual.) so the MRI was delayed a bit while they checked with the doctor to make sure my pain was normal.  It was.  Although it would have been nice to have been warned that I could still be having discomfort hours and hours later.  Alas!

Anyway, they gave me earplugs, bundled me up with blankets and a wedge for my head, and the knocking and wild noises began.  I was apparently incredibly tired, because I kept dozing off.  No, not dozing off, falling fast asleep.  I was so asleep, that when the test was over and they pulled me out, they had to help me sit up and I was oh, so groggy!  lol  But that’s really where the hilarity ended.  I got the results the following morning.  From this point henceforth, that test shall be knows as the Massively Ruinous Inspection.  As if I hadn’t already gotten enough bad new, this test showed even more bad news.

  1. If you’ll recall, the PET scan showed metastatic pleural fluid.  (Pleural fluid collects in the pleura, which is the space between the lung and the chest wall.)  The MRI has me a little confused as to what is happening in my lung.  I”m not sure if there are mets in the lung itself, or if it’s just in the pleura.  That’ll be one of the many questions for the onc on Monday.
  2. The progression of bony mets appears to be mostly in my spine, but it’s all over my spine, and it has spread to the soft tissue next to my spine (paraspinal tissues at T7 and T8).  Also, the cancer has caused a compression fracture at T3.  This means that the bone was weakening from the cancer, and it could no longer support my weight,  so the bone compressed.  It compressed so much, in fact, that I’ve lost 70% of the height of that particular vertebra.  It sounds really terrible, and it is.  Fortunately, I don’t appear to be suffering any pain as a cause.  But, now that I know that my spine is weak, I’ll have to take extra care to not do anything wild.
  3. There appears to be something happening in the right lobe of my liver:  an indeterminate hyperintense lesion measuring 8.4 millimeters.  I think indeterminate means it’s not known whether or not it’s malignant.  So, I’ll need to talk with the doctor about that.

So the way I read it, I have progression to my lungs and liver, and then more stuff in my bones.  I’m not gonna lie, I’m starting to feel like this is the beginning of the end.  Maybe it’s because I actually feel sick, or because it’s for sure that the first line of treatment failed me.  I don’t know, I’m just not feeling overly positive.  I’m hoping that after meeting with the onc on Monday I’ll have a better sense of where I’m headed.  There is still a big question mark hanging over my head:  will it be oral medication, or IV chemo?  Do I need to do radiation?  What about a biopsy?  Is surgery in the future?  What kinds of side effects will there be from the treatment.  So. many. unknowns.  Blech!

The one thing that is keeping me going is my incredible support network.  You all are just amazing!  The outpouring of love and tears and prayers and support is a thing of beauty.  Regardless of what happens or where things go from here, I know we will be a team.  For that, I am eternally grateful!


1. Jeanelle - February 25, 2018

Praying for miraculous healing Perla! Praying for comfort in all the ways you need it.

2. Mary Slayton - February 25, 2018

Dear Perla, If there is anything to be glad about it is that you slept through the test! I’m praying on my knees that you will get a short reprieve from all of this now. I’m praying for just plain old simple rest and relaxation for a period of time so that you can re-double your efforts to get better. Sometimes a break in the seemingly routine daily discomfort gives one a boost. You are loved by your family and friends with all our might!! Keep us posted as you feel up to it. May Gods warm love and comfort envelope you this week as you visit the Dr and do all the things they require. We love you, dear.

3. llusp - February 26, 2018

I continue to pray for you, Perla– praying for God to intervene and heal you, to send his people to love you and support you and lift you up, and to bring you peace. Sending you a *gentle* hug 🙂

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