21 January 2009
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.) lol
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.