Monday, January 20, 2014

MRI: Preliminary Results

Christmas has come and gone; its’ usual festive chaos is still alive and well, at my mother’s home, despite this being the first Christmas without my father to lead the pack. My mother did a fine job of filling his shoes, and I am so very proud of her!

I have had my second MRI, and am awaiting a call from Dr. Kelly to hear my results; I have my MRI disc in my hot little hands, and have spent quite a bit of time, perusing all of the interesting images. Of course I do not have any idea what I am looking at, but I still find the images fascinating!

It wasn't long before the phone rang; oddly enough, the first thing that Dr. Kelly asked me was whether or not I knew that I had Pleural Effusion. It seems that the pleural effusion was more of a concern, than my spine! I told him that no, that I did not realize that I had PE, but that it was/is a side effect of Sprycel, and that I had had it before. He asked if I had pain, heaviness or trouble breathing; I said that I did not, and he was baffled. I find it a bit amusing how I have become accustomed to functioning on a lower intake of oxygen.

As usual, the pleural effusion DID become apparent when we began dancing, at the New Year’s dance event. This however, gave me the perfect excuse to go on a Sprycel vacation, which in turn allowed me to be pain free for the entire week! I was able to teach, dance and attend twelve hours of intensive training and private lessons, with virtually no pain. Sometimes a little PE is a GOOD thing!

Of course, this just reaffirmed my belief that my pain is from the Sprycel, not some other, underlying cause. No Sprycel=No Pain. Does it really take a rocket scientist to figure this one out?

Now, back to my MRI results; as I suspected, there is nothing on my MRI to that would cause the pain that I am experiencing. I have a slight bulge between two discs in my lower back, which I have been aware of for decades, and slight stenosis in my upper spine. Stenosis is basically a narrowing of the spine, which can cause nerves to be constricted, which can cause pain. The degree of stenosis, according to Dr. Kelly, is in the “normal” range, for someone “my age”! lol In other words, nothing to worry about and definitely not, the source of my pain.

Of course I got off of the phone in an “I told you so” mood, and quickly contacted my oncologist. His reply was, “I haven't seen peripheral neuropathy with Sprycel usage; can you see a local neurologist?”  Figures, right?

Of course this is just what I want to do while on vacation, for the holidays, but wanting to have answers and solutions for the pain was high on my priority list, so I disregarded my holiday cheer, and made a few phone calls.

My friend was able to call in a favor and got me into a neurologist, a few days later; once again, I was expecting negative results but anxious to have answers, I was grateful for the appointment.


A few more days and maybe I would have the confirmation that I was looking for; I truly do not know what the “best” conclusion will be; long term.

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Bricks for the Brave!!