28 January 2009

If you give a mouse a cookie...

We visited with the oncologist today. And after one test led to another and that test led to two more and those two led to two others...well, two more today: upper endoscopy from which they took a biopsy and then a bone marrow biopsy. Ford was a trooper. It has been a grueling day. The down side is that the two tests today won't have results back until next week. And, of course, now these are the two that are needed for a conclusive diagnosis. And we wait...

Bits & Pieces

Ford has been doing some research and found info on what the doctor first told him about the blood tests that came up unusual.

The report showed blasts and Rouleaux formations.

Evidently these two together is what indicated either Multiple Myeloma or MGUS.

Also, we received a call from the doctor early Tuesday morning. Ford had another CT yesterday AM and is having another test this AM. Then it is off to the oncologist at 2 pm to see if we can get a definitive diagnosis and a course of treatment.

Hopefully we will be able to share some answers this PM.

26 January 2009

Missed by a Mile

We were about a mile away from home when the doctor called (the home phone).

He left a message with his cell phone number and asked us to call him when we got the message.

We did. Now we wait. Again. Still.

23 January 2009

No News is Good News?

No call from the doctor either this morning or this evening. Although a little disappointed that we didn't here back the results of the CT scan, I'm thinking that at this point that probably means that there was nothing abnormal that necessitated a call or required more tests at this point. We can only hope. And pray.

22 January 2009

Falling for the Nurse

Today we arrived at Central Utah Clinic Imaging Department just a little before our scheduled time. Before we even had a chance to warm the seats in the waiting area, Ford was called back for his CT scan. I have usually gone with him, at his request, until they take him in for the whatever they may be doing. This time I didn't. I maybe should have.

Along about 3:30 pm (part way through Jon & Kate Plus Eight), Ford came out into the waiting area. To put it mildly, he looked terrible. He was pale,
disheveled, and disoriented. I stood up and he motioned me to sit back down. He made his way over to me and sat down.

"I passed out," he said. "Who passes out putting an IV in?" he queried.

"Evidently you do," was my answer as I patted him. "What happened?"

"The nurse was inserting the IV when I fell into her. She pushed me back on the exam table, then I heard running and scrambling."

Everything after that was pretty uneventful. The dye didn't make him sick or hallucinate as it has done once before. It was pretty quick and simple.

Now Ford is resting comfortably at home under piles of blankets with a heating pack on his arm in order to hopefully fend off the usual blood clot at the site of the IV.

With lots of water and supper down him, he is feeling okay.

We are hoping that we get a call from the doctor tomorrow morning. Otherwise, of course, we wait.

21 January 2009

What's Happening

Tuesday, 13 January 2009, Ford had an annual physical exam. When the doctor asked if there were any specific concerns, Ford explained that he had been losing weight at the rate of about one pound per month. Last year he had begun walking Jake, the Alaskan Malamute that we had inherited. He initially thought that his weight loss was due to the walking. However, Jake passed away in the Spring of 2008, Ford stopped walking, but he continued to lose weight. He also has been plagued by fatigue.

So the doctor told us that he would run some tests to try and determine what might be going on. He mentioned things like thyroid, gluten intolerance, enlarged prostate, inflammatory bowel disorder, and even TB. He would be in contact with us as soon as the test results came in. If we didn't hear from him by the following Tuesday, we should call.

On Thursday night about 11 pm, I thought to check the messages on the phone. There was one message marked urgent from our doctor. He left his cell phone number and told us to call him back that night. It was way too late so I told Ford about it the next morning and Ford called the number and left his office phone number.

About 4:30 pm, the doctor made contact with Ford. He indicated that there were two significant abnormalities with the blood test results. He believed they indicated one or the other of two things: possible Multiple
Myeloma or MGUS (which is an acronym for Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance). Bone Cancer???? Ford? You're kidding!!!!!!!
We checked out both diseases on
Wikipedia. Words like incurable, hypercalcemia, renal failure, parapeligia all jumped out at me. A little later in the evening the doctor gave us another website: www.uptodate.com that gave more information. He also explained that the next step was to have a bone xray done to see how severe and widespread the lesions and pit marks were in Ford's long bones. Also, a 24-hour urine test looking for something called an M-protein and measure calcium followed up by an additional blood test to measure the creatin. The xray was scheduled for Tuesday, 20 January 2009.

Yesterday we showed up at Imaging at 8 am. We left a little after 10 am. We went by the Lab to pick up the containers need for the urine test. The Lab crew were kind, helpful, and knowledgeable. I mention this only because when we returned to the Lab this morning, there was a different set of people on staff. They did not inspire confidence in me. I just hope they don't mess up the tests. They were more on (hey, there is what Kara would call a little Ford-ism) the dumb-as-a-doorknob type, condescending, and basically incompetent. (If you would like more details, I will gladly rant on to you personally. It at least takes my mind off what is going on.)

Around 10:30 am today, the phone rang and it was our doctor. He was kind enough to tell me that, while he should really talk to Ford first, as long as he had me on the phone, he would tell me that the
xrays showed no lesions on the bones. Great news! We are off to a better start than I had imagined. This means we may be dealing with MGUS instead of myeloma. The other tests would be the telling factor. The not-so-great-news was that even though the radiologist was not specifically looking for things dealing with the lungs, he picked up on some abnormalities. There were some shadows in the lung area, possibly pneumonia, possibly residual from something old, or possibly cancer. So...tomorrow Ford is scheduled to go back for a CT Scan of his lungs. We should know within 24 hours what those results are. Part of the urine test results may be back by then also. The main results on the M-protein will be another few days, maybe a week. So we wait.

Thank you to everyone for your love and support. For those that have offered prayers, we are so grateful. Thank you also to those that have put our names on prayer lists and Temple prayer rolls. We welcome those prayers also. We will try to keep you updated as much as possible.