I have put off writing this post as it seems like even I don't want to accept the facts. This past Tuesday they did a MRI on TJ's spine while he was in the hospital and sure enough the cancer has spread to his spine. As horrible as this sounds I am still ever so slightly optimistic (well, at times I am at least). On Tuesday when they read the MRI report and saw that it was cancer they immediately sent TJ home. Now, he was happy to come home and I was happy to get him home BUT they still did not have his pain managed. They gave us a bunch of prescriptions for pain meds and told us to try different ones until we found one that worked for him!?!?!? For those of you that don't know, cancer in the bones is very painful. At first they had him on a pain patch and after I got him home he spent all day on Wednesday vomiting. Wednesday evening I pulled that pain patch off of him thinking it might be to strong for his gut to handle. Thursday we went back to him taking the hydrocodone which really does not do much for his pain at all.
Friday I decided to switch him to Oxycodone (5mg IMM REL). Now that is some strong stuff! He took 2 of these every four hours all day on Friday. When I got home from work he was sitting on the couch (he has not been out of the bedroom for almost 2 weeks) and said he was feeling pretty good. I can not tell you how happy this made me. All week he was hoping to feel good enough to go to a car show on Friday night and now it looks as though he was going to get to go. He went with a friend of his and I had an evening at home where I didn't have to do anything for anyone. It was wonderful! Don't get me wrong, he is still in pain but on a scale of 1 to 10 he went from being a 10 down to a 4 or 5 and that was a welcome relief.
When we first got the news TJ said no more treatments. But after we talked with the radiation oncologist he has decided to go through with another round of radiation. Dr. Ambrad told us that the chances of him eliminating TJ's pain is 85%. He will treat him with radiation 10 to 15 times and he said the side effects when radiating that part of the spine are minimal; lots of gas and mild diarrhea. There are 3 small cancer spots on his lower spine with the largest of the three being about 1/2" and he seems to think radiation will knock out the cancer and in turn eliminate the pain.
While radiation sounds like it will eliminate TJ's pain and the cancer we are looking at right now I can't get past the fact that it is now in his bones and wondering if it is festering somewhere else and will rear its ugly head again. On the other hand I know that this could just be a temporary set back and we could go for months or even years before it attacks us again.
Meanwhile we are taking an idea from fellow blogger (who just happens to have cancer in his bones too) and fellow Friday Photo Shoot Out member, Barry, and planning a mini vacation. We are going to rent a motor home and go see some stuff in New Mexico. We want to stay fairly close to home and neither one of us has done much in New Mexico so I think it will be fun. We have to get TJ through radiation first though and his Father is driving out from Indiana to stay with us for 3 weeks and then we are taking off. We should head out of here around the first weekend in November. Right now it is keeping us busy and we are having fun just planning it.
Last night (Saturday) we visited some friends for a couple of hours. It was nice to see TJ out 2 nights in a row and I enjoyed being out with him. We have an appointment on Monday with an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor about the constant ringing in his ears and of course he starts radiation next week also. Still nothing tastes good to him so it is a struggle to get him to eat and he is losing weight. I am hoping that this taste thing will pass soon.
I will keep everyone updated on the progress of the radiation treatments. I hope they begin to eliminate the pain very soon!
Battle On TJ, Battle On