Friday, 30 March 2012

Dear Doctor...

I write a calm, collected letter to my family doctor saying that I appreciate the efforts being made, but that there has to be something else we can do to get a clue as to what is going on.  A blood test?  A bone scan?  Do I need to go to the states to get a private MRI?  Only one friend knows about this.  So I have small-c read the letter, to make sure I’m not being offensive.

I drop the letter off on Friday as part of errands.  I hand it over with trepidation, as the last thing I want to do is to offend the person who is my primary care physician.

When I get home, there is a message from the doctor’s office.  They have an appointment for me for the MRI.  Of course, due to privacy issues, they can’t even leave the time with me, but at least I know that it has been booked.  So now we wait.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Xray - periosteal reaction

Now – the internet is a wonderful place.  The web has LOADS of interesting information.  The websites I read told me that SVT or phlebitis could take 3-4 weeks to fix.  I should have felt reassured that my leg would fix in time.

But I wasn’t reassured. My leg was getting worse pain wise, though the swelling was reduced.

I had another appointment, with my own doctor this time.  I was sent for an Xray.

I spoke to my doctor the following day, the Wednesday.  She said that there showed a subtle periosteal reaction on my bone.  Basically, there was bone growth. Not much, but some.  My doctor said she was going to requisition an MRI to get more information.

Now.  In my province, MRI times are 2-3 months.  2-3 months.  I am calm about that.  Until I think about how much pain I’m in on a daily basis.  And how long 3 months seems from now.  Can I really be in this much pain until mid June??

Friday, 16 March 2012


I had “pitting edema” meaning you could push into the swollen parts of my leg with your fingers, and make fingerprints that stayed for a while.  Sexy, I know.

DP had spent some quality time on the internet, and had decided that I needed to call the doctor.  As I bully him to see the doctor from time to time, I agreed.  I knew he was right.  There was something definitely wrong with my leg.

My doctor’s office took this all very seriously.  I called in the morning.  They saw me at 1230. My own doctor was away, so I saw another member of the practice. .I was booked in for an ultrasound at GRH at 230.  I was directed to go straight to the hospital, and not to leave the hospital until I had been cleared to leave by the ultrasound tech.

The doctor suspected DTV.  Meaning if the suspected clot dislodged, I could have a stroke.  Fun.  I couldn’t go straight to the hospital, as I had the kids with me.  But I dropped them off at home with DP, and headed to the hospital.  I even paid for parking.  Obviously, that was me taking the threat of a stroke very seriously.

There was no DVT.  Great news.  So likely SVT or phlebitis.  Wrap it.  Ice it.  Elevate it.  Take ibuprofen.  Take it easy.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

The beginning

(This post was written in April 2012, backdated to provide history)

The beginning.

In all the cancer/illness blogs I read, there is a “how this whole thing started” post. This is mine.

I’m an active person, and I’m prone to overdoing it.  For sure.  I jog, I play hockey, I chase the kids around the park, I’m active.  My waist line doesn’t reflect my level of activity.  Rather, it reflects my enjoyment of red wine and gin.  And Doritos.

In January, I started noticing pain when I jogged or when I played hockey.  So I stopped jogging for a week or so, to give it a rest.  I didn’t stop playing hockey.  Because hockey hurts  less than jogging, and is WAY more fun.

I tried jogging again.  The pain hadn’t gotten any better.  If anything, it was worse.  I figured it was my weight.  Or that I was out of shape.  Rest it – and walk instead of jogging.  Perfect.  February came and went, with me doing the most I could.

In March, the pain in my leg continued to grow. Except now it was all the time.  It even woke me up at night. There seemed to be swollen spot on the side of my shin bone. I started taking ibuprofen before bed so I could make it through the night.

By March break, my leg had swollen up quite large, and was “giving out” during activities.  I stopped activities.

An Apology

(This post really was written April 25, 2012.  But I wanted it to be the first one.  So I backdated it.)

I'm sorry to be telling you this.   There is no easy way.

I probably have cancer.

A big old apology to those of you who are finding out about my situation this way.

I know, I know, the internet is a non-personal place.  It is unkind of me to not take the time to tell everyone in person.

I have told some people in person.  This doesn’t mean that “I like them better” or that “they are better friends”.  Some family has found out in person, others got an email telling them to come here to get more information.

But here is the thing.  Telling people you are sick SUCKS.  I am telling people some of the worst, most private news ever.  And I cannot control (or even begin to predict) their reactions.  And, sadly, some of the questions that are raised during “the telling” are hard question.  Really. hard. questions.  Many of which I just don’t have answers too, despite being asked them endless amounts of times.  Many of which my doctors cannot answer.

So here is the scoop:

 I will likely be officially diagnosed with some kind of bone cancer in the next week or two.  I expect the next year to be hard, but that I will recover fully.

And while I understand that many of you would have preferred a phone call, or a visit, please know that it is too hard to say the words  Too hard to see faces fall.  Too hard to see the tears.

So this is it.  And I’m fighting now.  I will be fighting harder than I have ever fought before. Which means, I get to put me and my family first.  All the time. 

And as DP has always said when I tell him how worried I am that people will be upset at me for telling them this way, or telling them later, or not being honest with them during the uncertain time before diagnosis….

“How mad are they going to get at the chick with cancer?”