Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jim's Status Past to Present

Last March we went on a road trip to Kansas City and after we got there Jim started feeling pain in his leg/hip area. We figured he sat wrong or something. He just kind of dealt with it for a couple months.

Jim went to his chiropractor several times over the next few months and there was little if any relief. He asked the doc to order an x-ray just to see if there was anything "wrong in there", and the results showed nothing. That was in June. The chiro gave Jim some exercises to do and he did them, religiously, every day.

In August, Jim went to his family doctor for a physical and talked to him about the discomfort he was experiencing and the doc guessed that it was I.T. Band syndrome since alot of his pain was down the outside of the leg. Routine blood work was done and there was no problems indicated.

Jim called the family doctor in late October and asked to be sent to physical therapy. He went 6 times and followed through with everything the therapist recommended with no relief. The therapist expressed concern that he had made no progress and said she would contact the family doctor with a suggestion that they do an MRI.

The family doctor referred Jim to an orthopedic surgeon for evaluation. Jim saw him on 11/19. The ortho ordered an MRI with the expectation that they would find something torn in his hip.

The MRI was done 12/1 (the day after we returned from Cozumel). On 12/2 Jim was called into the family doctor's office and we were told that a mass had been found. A biopsy was the next step.

A needle biopsy was done Friday 12/4 at St Lukes Hospital. Other then the fact that Jim's hip was extra sore for a few days, it went smoothly.

On Wednesday 12/9 Jim got a call from the family doctor saying that the biopsy had shown cancer. Jim has Diffuse B Cell (non Hodgkins) Lymphoma, stage IV. The doc wanted to get Jim set up with a oncologist right away. He hung up with Jim and then called back 10 minutes later saying that if he could get to Dr Nabi's office by 12:30 that they could get him in. (There was blizzard conditions going on and the office was closing was half the city.) Jim & I rushed out of work and were there with minutes to spare. Dr Nabi was wonderful. She very slowly explained the cancer that Jim has and what to expect in the near future. She also wrote out notes as she explained and then gave us the notes to take home after the appointment. There were three more tests that she wanted done ASAP. A heart scan, a PET/CT scan and another biopsy on the other hip. The one thing she insisted we remember from our visit was that Jim's cancer was CURABLE! He is going to have to work hard to beat it, but it can be beat!

On Friday 12/11 Jim had the heart scan at St Luke's Hospital. It consisted of them taking some blood through an IV, mixing it with some radioactive stuff and then putting it back into his blood. He then was put on a table and had several scans done of his heart from different directions. This test would provide a baseline which they could later use for comparison with future scans to see if there was any changes happening to this heart.

The next test is tomorrow, Monday 12/14 at 12:30. This is the PET/CT scan. Today Jim had to make some modifications to his diet in preparation. For 24 hours prior he was to have no sugar or caffeine. And his meal tonight had to be meat, eggs and/or selected vegetables. High protein, low carb, low sugar. So I chose to make him bacon and eggs. Real bacon, not turkey! He really enjoyed that! He has to have a repeat of this meal tomorrow morning. Normally we just eat something at our desk at work, but tomorrow, if he doesn't eat at home he won't get to eat till after the procedure - which means no food till 4:00 tomorrow afternoon! So we will have breakfast at home prior to going to work. Eggs and bacon, here we come!

Scheduled appointments:
PET/CT scan on Monday, 12/14 at 12:30 p.m. at St Luke's Hospital
Biopsy on Wednesday, 12/16 at 8:30 a.m. at Oncology Associates

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