Wednesday, October 25, 2017

PCR Results, Thoracentesis and an MRI

It has been a busy few months including a trip down south to visit kids and grand-kids, and dear friends and family. Prior to my trip I had a thoracentesis followed by a CT scan which indicated that my lung is currently not trapped; which is a good thing.
Belated Birthday Lunch!

Early Birthday Lunch!

The fact that the pleural effusion in the left lung, just will not "go away" and "stay away" I will most likely be giving Bosulif a go, real soon; it is so hard to abandon something that is working so well to control my leukemia, with minimal side effects, for the unknown.
So that is the update on THAT!

Next up is my right shoulder; my rotator cuff was injured two plus years ago, by a dancer. Last year I tried physical therapy and this year, while lugging my suitcase down a cobbled street in Paris, I believe that I "injured" my bicep, yanking my suitcase out of a cobbled pothole.  I heard the "pop", but it seemed fine the next day, and throughout the rest of the trip.

Once home, my right arm started to give me fits of pain and continually kept me up all night aching; I finally relented and had an MRI. What a strange machine; so hard to believe that all of that noise can create such amazing images. Thankfully ear plugs and headphones with music, made the time pass quickly.

The results, as expected, were not good and after seeing an orthopedic surgeon, surgery is scheduled for Oct. 27th. Due to my persistent pleural effusion, and the leukemia, I will be forgoing the typical "nerve block" and spending the night in the hospital, just so they can control the pain, and keep an eye on my vitals.

I do not know how they will control the pain, as I am not good with medications, and since Hydrocodone/Vicodin, seems to be the drug of choice, and I cannot stand it (it keeps me awake for hours, does nothing for the pain and is agitating to me), I am hoping that the ice machine will not only keep the swelling down, but will also help with the pain.

Needless to say, I am dreading this surgery; and while I have high hopes that it will be successful, I also have a fear that it will not. I truly believe that my muscles and tendons have been compromised by two rounds of the antibiotic Cipro, taken many years ago, which may interfere with the success of the surgery.

Of course we cannot know this until my surgeon actually opens up my shoulder and takes a look inside. I will remain hopeful and optimistic and pray that it is better, than it is now. I would really LOVE to have full range of motion and use of my right arm again!

So, next on the agenda is getting through pre-op, and trying to figure out how to live as a one armed bandit. I did ask about using my hand and wrist to knit, and/or crochet, and I believe that it will be a good way to keep the circulation flowing and the wrist from locking up, not to mention a way to keep my sanity!

Wish me LUCK!

PS: My PCR results came back at .06%!!!! Holding strong on another medication reduction!


  1. I'm sorry to hear that you are having to go through surgery tomorrow. You are in my prayers that everything will go really well. I'm not real versed on how things are going with your leukemia but from what you wrote, above about the .06%, I believe you are holding your own which is wonderful. Jim and I will be leaving this Sunday to go to Arizona for five month but I do hope that when we return we will be seeing you on the dance floor with Joe. I send my love, Patti

  2. Thank you Patti! I AM holding my own! We will be in Az. in Dec., and March; San Tan Valley, how about you?
    You guys take care and enjoy!
    Love and hugs,

  3. Hi, Michele, I'm a new official follower, although I've benefited from your blog for quite some time. We have some things in common - CML, Sprycel, pleural effusions, fatigue - a long journey of leukemia "education"! I'm writing now because I, too, am at a crossroads about switching to bosutinib, after two pleural effusions (one at 70 mg, one at 50 mg). Next week is my showdown with the onc, where I'm going to push for coming back from 12 weeks off Sprycel (PE gone) to 20 mg. He wants bosutinib instead, fearful that 20 mg is too low and can bring on drug resistance. Anyway, I've been waiting and waiting to see how you are and what you are doing about this in your own life, but every day I check this site and it still says Oct. 25th. I'm worried about you! I'm hoping you will see this here.

    1. Hi Kat!!!
      Thank you so much for being an "official follower"! I am BACK! and will be catching up on my journey, but a quick "peek" to you I have switched to Bosulif!

  4. Hi, Michele, I'm a new (official) follower, although I have benefited from your blog for quite some time. I have had CML since 2009, currently on Sprycel, had pleural effusions, fatigue, etc. - the whole CML "education"! I, too, am at the crossroads where you are: my onc wants me to switch to Bosutinib, as he is wary of reducing my dose to 20 mg. I had one PE at 70 mg, one at 50 mg. I've been off Sprycel for 12 weeks and next week is my showdown with the onc. I don't want to switch; I want to try 20 mg and see if I can regain my <0.01% IS status without triggering another pleural effusion. Anyway, I've been waiting and waiting to see how you are and what you are doing about this yourself, but every time I check, your last blog is Oct. 25th. I'm worried about you! Hope you see this.


Bricks for the Brave!!