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Arthritis vs. Bone Mets

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  • TenderIsOurMight
    TenderIsOurMight Member Posts: 55
    edited October 2009
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    Gracie- some warm milk, a little ativan, your favorite though and perhaps the night hours will slip quietly by. I sure do hope so. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow.

     Shirley H- can't imagine your personal angst just now. Just know your faith and fortitude will help.

    Good night all,

    Tender

  • GracieM2007
    GracieM2007 Member Posts: 1,255
    edited October 2009
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    Thanks, Tender.  I think I will be up all night.

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited October 2009
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    JO, "new" ortho? I don't even have an "old" ortho! I have to go to my doc to get the referral (Canadian, remember?), the soonest appointment I could get is November 3rd...he's on holiday.

    I had trouble with the cherry juice too at 4 oz. so I take a slug out of the bottle when I get home from work. I'm not seeing a difference yet.....

  • ktym
    ktym Member Posts: 673
    edited October 2009
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    Gracie, thinking of you.  Would second the recommendation for ativan.

    Shirley, thinking of you too,  

  • candie1971
    candie1971 Member Posts: 2,467
    edited October 2009
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    Jo, I am ok..can't post lengthy now..at work. Praying for you Gracie!! Be back later

  • jader
    jader Member Posts: 9
    edited October 2009
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    Sorry to hear the news Shirley!  Such devastating news is awfully hard on the family .. especially a family that is so close like yours.

  • Bren-2007
    Bren-2007 Member Posts: 842
    edited October 2009
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    Dear Shirley ... I have been checking on you, and this news just sucks.  I'm not around much these days .. but wanted you to know I am keeping you in my thoughts and sending you love.

    Bren

  • Alyson
    Alyson Member Posts: 3,737
    edited October 2009
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    Morning all,

    Hope you are all coping with the aches and pains. (((((((Shirley))))))))). ((((((((Barbe))))))) hope you get some answers on the 3rd. 

    It doesn't help the aches when you take an almighty tumble in the middle of a Church HAll in front of a drama group!!!! Finding new bruise all the time. Think one is now coming out on my LE arm - bother.

    Jo I couldn't do cherry juice, find pineapple too acidic, even thinking about it makes my mouth tighten.

    Must go and get the washing out.

  • GracieM2007
    GracieM2007 Member Posts: 1,255
    edited October 2009
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    Just got home.  I'm still NED!  Thank you all for such great support through this.  You cannot imagine (well most likely you can ;)  ), how much it meant to me.  You are all awesome.  I'll just hang out with you all for a while, if you'll have me :)  Did have a small uptake in my colon, but I also have colitis, so the doc is thinking it might be inflammation, but hes' sending my PET to my gastro.  Also, have osteopenia, so have to start taking Fosamax.

     Blessings,

    Gracie 

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 344
    edited October 2009
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    Elizabeth, yep, I'm hoping that the Aromasin kicks butt.  Stupid me...I use the mail order service which supplies me 90 days worth of meds.  I didn't think to ask the onc Friday when I saw her for a one month supply so that I could take it to the local pharmacy.  I finally had them call it in today and the pharmacy called me and said they wouldn't have it until tomorrow...soooooooooo, tomorrow I'll start on it and hope that I don't have horrible side effects.  Arimidex treated me kindly.

    hrf, they're really thinking Zometa may help keeps mets away.  I'm glad it went fine for you.  I probably should talk to my onc about getting it.

    JO, great to hear that your joints are feel better.  Chronic pain is the pitts.  Now just get rid of the cold.

    Anna, thanks.  As I've posted before...I just needed to know what was what so we could start a new tx if the biopsy came back bad.  It really wasn't a surprise.  Well, for my onc it was and the rest of the friends and family. 

    Tender, thanks.  I shall (haha) remain calm until the next CT scan...(another BIG HAHAHA!).

    Barbe, not much longer before the 3rd. 

    Candie, glad you are "ok."  We are anxious to hear what you are going to do.  (Is that called nosy?).

    Jader, thank you, my dear.  I think the kids are getting used to it.  I tell them I am not dying!

    BinVA, watcha mean you're not around much these days?  I haven't been around as much as usual either.  Thanks for your kind words.

    Alyson, I'm sorry but you have me laughing.  Sound like something I'd do!

    Gracie, great news.  You can deal with the osteopenia.  Are you taking Vitamin D?  That's the first think my onc wanted to check. 

    Ladies take care.  And don't go tripping over stuff.  The pain will only get worse!

    Shirley

  • bottkota
    bottkota Member Posts: 22
    edited October 2009
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    I was told to post this on this thread.  Anyone have some advice for me?

    I just got word this morning that my biopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.  I wasn't able to talk to the scheudling nurse until 5:30 tonight as my kids and I were on a field trip.  She told me that the radiologist is going to try and biopsy the spot on my sternum if that doesn't work they are going to try and biospy my lung or liver.  WHAT???????  I am totally in shock, nothing "lit"up on my PET scan.  Isn't a PET scan on the best scans to have done for figuring out mets?  Why on earth would they biospy my organs if they don't have any "spots".  I have been staring at my PET scan for a 1/2 hour now and I still don't see any "lesions" on the lung or liver.  Wouldn't they also lit up if there was cancer there even small lesions?  The doctor office is closed until tomorrow morning so now I am sitting here totally freaking out.  Can anyone give me any advice, does anyone understand this??????  Could the CAT scan I had done on Friday (after the PET scan on Wednesday) show something that the PET scan missed???????  HELP!!!!!  Need some advice, good thoughts anything right now. 

  • Sig
    Sig Member Posts: 11
    edited October 2009
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    Hi all, wonder if arthristic would be seen on an MRI without contrast. I have been having pain in my lower back, coccyx, left butt, left hip going down to the back of my left leg till about 4 inches above the knee. Called my Medical onc she said to go see my GP, my GP sent me for a lower back, hips and coccyx MRI (because she thought it was sciatica cause by disc in my lower back) but when I got there it was an MRI without contrast. Got the results (via phone) and everything is normal. Nothing wrong with my hips, coccyx or lower back. So do you think if my pain would be related to arthritis or cancer this would show up on the MRI  without contrast?

    I am still having this pain for nearly two months now, so trying to figure out what the cause.

    thanks.

    Sig

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 344
    edited October 2009
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    Oh, bottkota, I know you must be scared to death!

    I just went back and read what you had to say about the beginning of all of this.  Just because your tumor marker was up does not mean it's cancer.

    I'll try to tell you what I went through JUST RECENTLY.  I complained about my lymphedema arm...she got concerned because I had a large tumor and had nodes involved when diagnosed.  I had a mast and doese dense chemo.  I found my lump (wasn't caught on mammo) in Dec. '04.  It's almost been 5 years for me too, but I was strongly ER and PR+.

    I had a CT scan and right after that a bone scan and then saw my onc the same day.  She wasn't looking for any bone mets.  Oh, she also did a parathyroid test because my calcium was a little elevated.  That went down to normal the next time.  And, one tumor marker was normal and the other one was only a couple of points high.  Anyway, the bone scan said..concerning for mets on T12....the CT scan said very suspicious for mets on L1.  She said it was unusual to have on one spot and no pain and it be cancer.  I suppose between the T12 and L1 they are so close..whatever.  She said I could wait for three months and do another CT scan.  She didn't want to do a PET scan because she said EVERYTHING lights up...arthritis.  So, after reading over my scan reports I decided I wanted a biopsy.  We did that and three days later I saw her (had to get the path report first) and there were cancer cells.  She was surpised.  I wasn't.  She said, "You knew.'  I said, "Yes."  She said, "Sometimes we have a sixth sense."

    In the beginning of this journey my CT scan showed a spot on my liver and my adrenal gland.  At that time my onc (he has moved..have another onc now) wanted me to have a PET for that.  It was normal.  And, the CT scans I just had shows those spots are still there, unchanged...nothing wrong.

    As far as you having a lung biopsy I would definitely ask WHY before you had to go through that. Perphas you need to ask if something showed up on the CT scan.  My CT scan showed something..the PET/CT scan said no.  Call and ask first thing tomorrow. 

    Do you have any Ativan OR anything that you can take to calm your nerves.  If so, take it!  I know that scary feeling.  In my case I couldnt' wait for three months to know although my onc really didn't think it was mets.  I had to know so I could get started on something.

    Good luck and please let us know what you find out.  I'll be praying for you. 

    Shirley

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 344
    edited October 2009
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    Hey, Sig.  I really have no idea about with or without contrast.  If you are in that much pain you need to call your onc back and tell her want to get to the bottom of this.  Ask for a full body bone scan.  They will inject you and then you will wait a couple of hours before they do the scan.  It does sound like a pinched nerve, but I would want to know.  I believe bone scans can pick up arthritis.  Also, ask why no contrast.  As if a CT scan would be better..or a PET/CT scan? 

    I hate when we're just put off.  The pain is coming from somewhere and it may be a disc, but you need to know so you can get some relief.

    Someone else will come along and know more than me. Wink

  • hrf
    hrf Member Posts: 706
    edited October 2009
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    Shirley, you sound like you've got a great fighting spirit. That's wonderful. I had mentioned a drug called "denosumab" to you that was supposed to be even better than Zometa. Apparently the FDA is not yet approving it - they want more research done. My friend, a rheumatologist, is high on denosumab but he just got back from a meeting in Philadelphia and said it won't be available as soon as he had hoped. I hope the Aromasin kicks butt too.

    Gracie, glad to hear of the NED. I've had osteopenia for years ... many, many women do - even the ones without bc.

    bottkota, hope eveything goes well for you.

  • ktym
    ktym Member Posts: 673
    edited October 2009
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     gracie: so happy for you

    bottkota: thinking of you,will you have time to call and ask some questions in the AM?  Hope things go well for you

    Shirley: PMing you 

  • carol1949
    carol1949 Member Posts: 48
    edited October 2009
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    I think Pet scan andor bone scan with contrast is probably the most reliable test of mets to bone.

    Femara and/or other drugs of that type casue severe pain in some people as well.  I took myself off from the Femara after 3 months and felt better almost immediately.  There are other ways to combat estrogen in the body.

    Just a word of encouragement that i fail to see in this thread, is ladies, I know we all tend to worry from time to time, but please take the time to research  some holistic approaches to health in general and claim that you are healed,  If you are a Christian, put yout trust in God, If you are not, try to find whatever is your source of strength and healing.

    Let's all lift each other up and send all good energy to each other.

    Prayers, Peace and Healing to all  You all deserve to be healed!

  • TenderIsOurMight
    TenderIsOurMight Member Posts: 55
    edited October 2009
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    Sig, the contrast drug used in a MRI helps show distinction between tissue and is usually used to exclude tumors in a patient with a history of cancer. Sorry too the radiologist didn't quite catch this history. Good news is nothing at all was seen. Best to bring up this question with your doctor.

    I can't imagine suggesting a lung or liver biopsy without telling a patient ahead of time there was a problem (not suggesting there is a problem either bottkota). I'm wondering if the nurse was confusing patients or such? Gosh, you need this clarified asap. I know I often forget to ask questions when a doctor or nurse calls and I hope your not upset with yourself. I often go a little numb, and don't ask what i realize I ought to have until afterwards. Try not to loose sleep tonight.

    Good thoughts coming to you all, through tough times. Health care providers owe it to the patient to move in a deliberate manner to help ensure questions are answered, communications are transparent, timely and clear in reason, so anxiety is minimized and the right tests are ordered both the first time and on the right patient. jmho as I've been there sometimes too. Maybe a Q & A nurse at our doctor's office would help: a go to person.

    Shirley-glad to see you post. Thinking much good thoughts your way too.

    Best to you all.

    Tender

  • bottkota
    bottkota Member Posts: 22
    edited October 2009
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    thank you all for those words.  I am trying to stay calm, but to no avail.  I talked with a good friend of mine tonight who said that it could be a mix up of patients.  I will be calling the oncologist office first thing tomorrow morning to get this all cleared up.  I have a great faith in Christ and I am trying to leave this at the foot of the cross but that is very hard right now.  I have 4 beautiful children I want to finish raising, I am only 34, I will be 35 on Thursday.  I just don't want to do this anymore.  can't we just skip the biopsy and move on to chemo and kick this cancer where it hurts??????  thank you again Shirley, your words were comforting.  I just hit my 4 1/2 year mark and thought I was free and clear.....guess not so.  I was ER/PR & HER2 negative.....not good but I thought I had beat.  I am certainly not going to lay down and die but don't know how I will sleep tonight.  Heavy on my mind.  wish i had something to take to relax me but no such luck.  maybe some good praying will help.  thank you again.

    cathi

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 344
    edited October 2009
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    Cathi, tomorrow you get a prescription for Ativan or something.  There is no reason for you to suffer with anxiety.  Tender is right.  Get the facts. 

    No, you can't just skip to chemo.  You want to make sure it's mets.  You may be very lucky and it not be mets.  And, if I'm not wrong, they want to see the pathology first if it has come back.  I'm having these positive notes that it isn't mets.  Wink

    It is extremely hard to hand this over to God.  We are only human.  That's the time we need our friends and family praying FOR us. 

    Hang in there.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 344
    edited October 2009
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    hrf, I'm going to have to look up that drug just for the heck of it.  Too bad it won't be on the market soon.  SHOOT!

  • ktym
    ktym Member Posts: 673
    edited October 2009
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    Shirley, thanks for your help, very much appreciated

  • bottkota
    bottkota Member Posts: 22
    edited October 2009
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    Biopsy is on as scheduled.  Called and talk to my oncologist's nurse.  There are abnormalities on my liver.  They are sutle, which means they didn't glow as brightly as the area on my sternum and lymph nodes.  The radiologist is looking over notes, scans and other things to find the best possible place to biopsy, hence the reason they are looking at my lung and liver.  They are looking for the safest place on me to biopsy.  While I am angry that my oncologist didn't tell us about the liver abnormalities, he is obviously is not concerned.  I am praying that they will be able to easily get the area in my sternum without punchuring my lung or have a major artery in that general area.  I don't want to spend a night away from my family tonight.  I will get the call from the nurse as soon as the path report is in.  I already have my surgery scheduled for next week to get my portacath put back in so that chemo can begin soon.  For now, that is all I know.  I didn't get much sleep last night as I was scared out of my mind.  Still scared out of mind that my cancer could possibly be in my liver also besides my bones.  Please pray that the biopsy goes well and they will be able to reach the spot on my sternum and take the tissue from there.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 344
    edited October 2009
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    bottkota, I am very sorry to hear what you are STILL going through.  All I can say is when I was first diagnosed with BC my CT scan showed something on my liver and adrenal gland.  Those tests were scheduled by my surgeon before meeting my onc.  When my onc told us that these spots were there he said he would not have picked them up...that the rad onc did.  Thus, I had a PET/CT scan which showed no cancer.  Those spots are still in my body today.  My last CT scan said they had not changed in size.  I think the report said they may be a hemangioma.

    I hope you do not mind me posting this, but I thought maybe it will give you hope that they are wrong.  I know how very scared I was when I was first diagnosed and was told I needed a PET/CT scan.  There's more info on this site...very interesting...about hemangioma.

    Liver hemangioma - MayoClinic.com

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/liver-hemangioma/DS01125

    Definition

    Liver hemangioma (he-man-jee-O-muh) is a noncancerous (benign) mass that occurs in the liver. A liver hemangioma is made up of a tangle of poorly formed blood vessels. Liver hemangioma is sometimes called hepatic hemangioma or cavernous hemangioma.

    Most cases of liver hemangioma are discovered during a test or procedure for some other condition. Most people who have a liver hemangioma never experience signs and symptoms and never need treatment.

    While it may be unsettling to know you have a mass in your liver, even if it's a benign mass, there's no evidence that an untreated liver hemangioma can lead to liver cancer.

    And an picture of the hemangioma.

    Illustration showing liver hemangioma

  • ktym
    ktym Member Posts: 673
    edited October 2009
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    bottkota: hope things went well today

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 344
    edited October 2009
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    kmmd, you're welcome.  Wink

  • bottkota
    bottkota Member Posts: 22
    edited October 2009
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    Sorry I haven't written yet.  today was a day of rest and a few tears shed.  The biopsy went well yesterday and the radiologist was not concerned about the lesion on my liver (he said there was only 1 leasion and it was very small) so after looking over all my scans and notes he thought it would be best to get tissue from my sternum.  So that was a HUGE answer to prayer for my husband and I.  They got a piece of tissue from under the sternum and some of the bone shavings and sent them off to path.  24-48 hours we should know.  Am hoping for results tomorrow.  While I am praying that it is benign, I am preparing for "battle" again.  I am totally and completely at peace with this.  Still upset that my oncologist didn't let us know about the liver abnormalities.  Not sure if I should seek a second opinion if my cancer has come back.  Still seeking answers.  But for now, I am recovering, the biopsy is over and they didn't biopsy anything else but my sternum!  Praise the Lord!!  I will keep you all posted.  Thanks for the info Shirley.  I will be reading up on that.  It is helpful to know that the "lesions" could be something other than cancer.  :)

  • ktym
    ktym Member Posts: 673
    edited October 2009
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    bottkota, happy things went well, hoping it all comes back benign

  • candie1971
    candie1971 Member Posts: 2,467
    edited October 2009
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    Just to let you all know that I am praying for those who are waiting for results...praying they are all B9. I am praying for those waiting to see Doctors. I am praying for those who are wiaitng for treatments to begin. The waiting is horrible I know. B9 B9 B9 ...not too much to ask for. I am praying for all my bc sisters.

    love, hugs and prayers

  • Sig
    Sig Member Posts: 11
    edited October 2009
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    Thanks Shirley and Tender for your help. Spoke to my rad oncologist and was not too happy that the MRI was done without contrast, So he is sending me for a bone scan (schedule next thursday) and said that he will do whatever test needed to find out the cause of my pain.

    Sig