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Arthritis vs. Bone Mets

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  • asuhammer
    asuhammer Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2009

    Thanks LauraGTO for doing all the research.  I have the PET on Monday so by then or shortly thereafter all should be answered.  Thanks for your support.  I am amazed and heartened by the number of people who make themselves available and open to help.  My faith in humankind is constantly rekindled.  Thanks again.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited April 2009

    Good luck on Monday! Let us know.

    Sometimes TOO much info CAN be confusing... but I prefer to be confused rather than blind! lol lol lol

  • candie1971
    candie1971 Member Posts: 2,467
    edited April 2009

    Good luck Monday, asuhammer!

  • marshakb
    marshakb Member Posts: 796
    edited April 2009

    asuhammer, you better come back on here and let us know it went.  You KNOW we are mother hens and worry.  LOL  God is getting a workout this weekend with all the prayers going up for you!

  • asuhammer
    asuhammer Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2009

    Thanks everybody!  I'll let you know how it all goes.  I agree Laura GTO that it's better to be confused than blind.  Confusion like this could save a life.  As usual, you guys have been great.

  • hope_m
    hope_m Member Posts: 24
    edited April 2009

    This thread has been really helpful.  I have developed pain in my thoracic spine that shows up on regular X-ray as arthritis.  I can see the little spine-like protrusions from the vertebra in the X-ray.  Since I am 6 years out from my original dx, I am only seeing my onc every year and this pain is new since my visit with him in March.  

    I guess that my question is whether I should call him.  The pain is mostly burning, with muscle fatigue around that region of my back.  I am in chiropractic care, and my spine has felt slightly "crunchy" since tx with TAC, but I am NOT on AIs.  

    Any thoughts on the likelihood of burning pain being mets-related?

    Thank you!

    Hope M. 

  • saint
    saint Member Posts: 583
    edited April 2009

    Hugs Laura--I just took a pain pill so, I can't read all these posts & someone may have supplied this info already:

    Supposedly mets & arthritis are distinguishable on the scans to an educated eye--BUT they always cover their butts by saying "Possible" so if they are proven wrong they weren't really wrong!

    Bone mets DOES often demonstrate below the pelvis AND in joints--believe me I KNOW! BUT it usually does not show up past the elbows or knees...I have had spots show up in my feet on one scan & gone on the next! (that will instill confidence huh? LOL)

    Many oncs do not do bone bx due to the fact that it is a more difficult procedure than a soft tissue bx........I assume you could request one if you were concerned (my onc will do whatever I insist!)

    My onc nurse told me she has never known of anyone who died of bone mets & she has been doing this job for 14 years---so THAT is good news if bone mets is the only one ya got!!!!

    Hope--SOP---any pain that lasts 2 weeks deserves a call to your doc. Put your mind to rest! Better to find it is spurs or something "silly" & we can all celebrate! I will be consulting my onc, myself this week due to 2 weeks of pain (that I hope is an old injury & treatable!)  Hugs & prayers for good news on all our results!

    BE well & stay strong 

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited April 2009

    Saint - Thanks for the post! Your input is always appreciated. Good luck to you with - let us know what the Onc says.

    Hope - I HOPE it's nothing! It's better to just ask instead of worrying...we all need to try to eliminate stress. Let us know!

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited April 2009

    Saint, thanks for finally jumping in and clearing up that below the knees and in the joint theories. I prefer to believe someone who is going through it, rather than a doc trying to say you won't get it! I hope your new pain is just you getting old! LOL, I know that would sound rude anywhere else but here. hehehehehehe

    Hope, keep us posted here. Good luck to everyone else getting scanned...I go on the 29th for a CT scan of chest, abdomen and pelvis. 

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited April 2009

    Hi Barbe - Is your appt on the 29th routine? Or do you have a specific complaint?

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited April 2009

    Laura, it's specific as I had chest pains a year ago really bad. I have used blood pressure medication for 15 years and failed a stress test. We thought when my tumour turned up at 6 o'clock on my left side that maybe it accounted for the pain. After surgery I was upset to find that I still get the crushing pain and only a new drug that opens my arteries has been able to help, but that isn't working anymore. We want to see if anything else is going on before I go back to a cardiologist.

  • Mazy1959
    Mazy1959 Member Posts: 254
    edited April 2009

    Laura,

    They did a biopsy on my bone met. My onc says if possible they should always be biopsied so they can give you the proper treatment. Hugs, Mazy

  • Reen517
    Reen517 Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2009

    Hello everyone. I am new here and this particular post grabbed my attention. I was dx'd in 2001 with IBC. I have worked up until last year, when I was experiencing severe pain underneath my right side of ribs and lower back pain and upper left shoulder pain. I had MRI and bone scans. I too, was told that it was due to arthritis, but they added that they found lesions on my kidneys, lungs and ribs and possibly the extensive radiation and chemo treatments was causing the pain. I tried to continue working, but the pain just got too bad and Tylenol just wasn't cutting it, so my doc has me on pain meds. It helps the pain, but I am not able to drive or work due to the side affects.  I also have severe joint pain (I'm thinking from Femara:-(, so I am unable to do the things I used to love to do; like dancing, jogging and hiking. I appreciate all the info you all passed on. It makes me wonder if this pain is just due to arthritis or if it is possibly bone mets. Has anyone else had lesions on your organs?  Thanks again all and hang in there.   Hugs, Reen

  • asuhammer
    asuhammer Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2009
    Hello all.  I had the PET scan which lit up the sternoclavicular area where I have been having so much pain as well as an area in my pelvis.  The onc said that he was going to call it inflammation and never even mentioned that the radiologist wants an ultrasound of the pelvic area to rule out malignant tumor.  AACK!  The radiologist put "typical of inflammation, but the MRI shows abnormal activity in the same area".   I want a second opinion but I don't want to be hysterical either.  The other two radiologists (for the MRI and the bone scan) talked directly to my primary care and were, as she puts it, adamant that it was not inflammation (even though the bone scan noted it as a differential).  Wouldn't the antiinflammatories I was on for six weeks due to my sudden onset of right knee pain have helped by chest area if it were in fact inflammation?? (The right knee lit up like a xmas tree on the bone scan as well as not arthritic).  Am I being hysterical?  
  • asuhammer
    asuhammer Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2009

    To HopeM 

    I'd call him.  The big concern with me was the single vertebra that lit up and caused pain.  Better to be safe than sorry.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited April 2009

    Barbe - I'm glad you'll be getting some answers. Keep us posted.  

    Mazy - THANKS!  

    Reen - I've had lots show up. Supposed benign nodules on my lungs. Supposed Hemangiomas on my Liver and a supposed cyst on my Adrenal Gland. As for the bone pain shouldn't you be taking some Arthur-itis meds? And how do you distinguish joint pain from bone pain? Sorry you have so much pain!  

    asu - I would definitely think the anti-inflams would have helped the chest area if it was just inflammation. Several weeks ago I had horrible Sternum pain. Bone scan and x-ray was clean. I took Aleve for ten days as a test, and it worked. Doc thinks it's Costochondritis. And...if everyone can't agree on inflammation vs mets, etc., then I think a second opinion is not a bad idea. I hope you get some answers soon... it must be so frustrating! Hang in there. 

  • asuhammer
    asuhammer Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2009

    Thanks Laura,  I agree with you especially after your experience.  It also just seems like they screamed the house was on fire for weeks, adamant it was NOT inflammatory, and then off this test (which lit up!), I'm being told to sleep like a baby in the house that was supposedly on fire!  I really hope there is no fire, but at the same time...Thanks.

    Reen, I'm sorry that you seem to be getting the same nonchalant run around that I'm getting, and you have the IBC diagnosis!  You'd think they'd sit up and listen.  I hope they do something for the pain for you.  Take care. 

  • Alyson
    Alyson Member Posts: 3,737
    edited April 2009

    When you have a day that is filled with pain you think the worst. That is what my day has been like. the rheumatoid artritis in my knees has really flared and I am getting pain in my spine just below my neck, and my shoulder is so sore. Sorry about the moan but I know people here will understand. I am on femara which is probably adding to the problem. I don't see the RA specialist until the 20th of next month so will have to sort on painkillers.

    I often feel I have no right to complain as others have so many problems but I do wish the pain would go awa and it really worries me.

  • HensonChi
    HensonChi Member Posts: 68
    edited April 2009

    For the first 21/2 months of Femara I had terrible back pain.  It is finally subsiding and I am feeling almost normal again.  How long have you been on the femara?

  • mke
    mke Member Posts: 20
    edited April 2009

    I had an MRI yesterday morning to determine if I had arthritis or bone mets.  My onc called yesterday afternoon to say it is neither, what I have is a bone infarct.   It turns out that a bone infarct is an area of dead bone, caused by who knows what - quite a variety of things. Sometimes they heal, sometimes they don't and apparently there isn't much to be done about them.

    I was hoping for arthritis, but I think this is even better.  It doesn't bother me any so I guess  this is as good as it can be.  Of course now they don't like something about my liver so I can fret about that for a while.  The fun never stops does it?

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited April 2009

    mke - Great news about the bones. I'm sorry you have to go through more of the BS with your liver. Hang in there. Try not to worry too much. Just FYI - I had some Hemangiomas show up on my Liver...my Dr SWEARS (I made him swear to it) they're JUST Hemangiomas - perhaps that's what's on your liver too...NO... the fun never does stop! Be well.

  • GEECH
    GEECH Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2009

    LauraGto,

    I am wondering the same thing.  I was told I am full of arthritis which I knew. Neck,hands,knees,feet,spine. I always had so much pain in my right rib area and blamed it on rads. In my scans from Feb. I'm told it is mets in my rib.  What I don't understand when I put a Flector patch on the area I get relief and wonder would I if it was cancer and not arthritis.  I also had mets in several areas of spine and have to say seems to be getting worse.  Your right the fun never does stop. 

    Take care,

    Geech

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited April 2009

    Geech - I can understand your confusion. I hope your spine is not getting worse.

    -----------------------------------------

    I recently had a bone scan because of Sternum pain. The Sternum was A-OK... but Arthur-itis showed up in both knees... right knee worse. Honestly...I don't think it's Arthur-itis... BECAUSE... last year I broke a bone in my RIGHT foot... had to wear that gawd awful black boot for 8 weeks. That's when I noticed pain in BOTH knees. My foot Dr said that if you are overly active in the boot, it can cause knee probs. AND GUESS WHAT? I WAS overly active... not one to sit on the couch with my foot propped up! I was running around - wearing that damn boot - as if it were a regular shoe. So - I definately think that what showed up in my knees IS NOT Arthur-itis... it's trauma from wearing that damn boot! But once again... the doubt is there. And once again... the culprit: Arthur-itis!

    What I don't understand: a satellite can pin-point activity from space to earth, but diagnostic equipment of the human body is SO INEPT. Why? I would love it if someone could explain this to me! Am I crazy or what!? lol Food for thought...

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited April 2009

    barbe - Your test is on the 29th... let us know how it goes!

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited April 2009

    Thanks! I was just about to post to your comment, that the guy in the office beside me just asked why, if they can put a man on the moon that they can't invent a phone cord that doesn't twist up?

    hehehehehehehehe

    I won't get my results from my CT for ages. Takes so long here, but at least we don't pay for it.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited April 2009

    barbe - LOL LOL LOL I love your office guy!

  • Lifestooshort
    Lifestooshort Member Posts: 10
    edited April 2009

    I just read this thread and was wondering if it's okay if I jump in and ask a question?

    I was NEVER overweight (actually underweight) until I started anti-depressants about 8 years ago and then it just piled on and I never lost the chemo/thyroid weight.  About 2 weeks ago my low back started hurting pretty bad...only at night (towards morning) when I'm sleeping or during the day if I'm standing.  Sitting is okay.  Walking is somewhat okay.  I've been nursing it with Advil and just yesterday a back brace.  Never had pain in my back before this.  I feel stupid going in because he'll only tell me if I lose weight the back problem would go away.   Any thoughts?  Anyone carrying around extra pounds that it wasn't the weight but bone mets?

    TIA.

  • Analemma
    Analemma Member Posts: 139
    edited April 2009

    Laurie, I've been overweight to one degree or another for most of my adult life - at least since having kids.  I've never had back pain until I got spinal mets, even though I've actually been dx with arthritis in my lower back based on the various scans I've had.   You should get checked, just in case.  When my spine mets were dx just a month ago, they got right on to treatment because of the danger of spinal compression and irreparable nerve damage.  Don't wait.

  • Reen517
    Reen517 Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2009

    Lifestooshort: I have had the same problems you have described regarding the weight gain due to pain meds.  When I was first diagnosed,the treatments they gave me were so aggressive that I went from 155 lbs to 118 lbs in 2 months. My Onc was freaking out and told me I had to stop losing weight or he'd put me in the hospital. I stayed at 118 lbs until recently, when I had to take pain meds. Now I am back up to 155 again and it's really ticking me off.  I used to tell everyone that losing all that weight was the ONLY perk I got from chemo. LOL!  Anyway, I also have been experiencing lower back pain, upper left shoulder pain, pain right beneath my right ribs and all of my joints ache like crazy.  I have been told that the weight gain and the joint pain is most likely from Femara and the pain meds...................pain meds, because they slow down my metabolism. I've had a bone scan recently and they feel it is arthritis that is causing my joint pain. I used to be soooooooo active; dancing, jogging, walking,hiking...........and now, I'm lucky if I cant get my mail without feeling out of breath or my feet and knees aching badly. IBC sucks and I'm soooooo sick and tired of being sick and tired!!!  I'm very happy this site exists. It's really nice to be able to say exactly how I feel and not feel guilty for bringing my loved ones down.  Take care all and God bless! 

  • Lifestooshort
    Lifestooshort Member Posts: 10
    edited April 2009

    Analemma and Reen,

    Thank you so much for your input - truly appreciate it.  Last night was another bad night.  Guess I'll have to call the doc. 

    This sight is a Godsend.... there is no one else I could have asked to share their experiences and insight!

    Gentle Hugs and many prayers.

    Laurie