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Thread: Metastatic Spine Mass

  1. #11
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    Thank you Kevin. If he does get sent to Walter Reed, I'm sure I will have a ton of questions.

    I hope I didn't come across too anti-military doctors. We've never had a single complaint about any of our care before this. I think part of the problem was that my husband presented with back pain... and that's such a common complaint. Granted, it's no excuse for the length of time it took to get a ct scan and mri, or how everything was handled after the mass was found... I'm not trying to make excuses for them. They messed up in a big way and that shouldn't happen. But, I think this was the exception and not the rule... and going forward, I don't think we will have any more issues.

  2. #12
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    Small update... Friday we saw the oncologist. She set up a biopsy for his spine on June 6th. If anything opens up sooner, they will call. She seems to be fairly certain that this is a metastasis and won't be completely curable. We were sent immediately to a radiation oncologist to get set up with him. He's going to do 10 treatments, daily Monday through Friday, for two weeks. He decided that as long as my husband has no tingling or numbness, he can start radiation after the biopsy. He said starting before the biopsy could hurt the chances of figuring out what type of cancer this is... Because it's pressing on his spinal cord, he said it's extremely dangerous. Any tingling, numbness, trouble urinating, etc and we are to head straight to the hospital. He said waiting could paralyze my husband from the T4 vertebrae down. He also says radiation will help with my husband's pain... and I can't wait for that! He seems to hurt more every day. He's on Tylenol with Codeine now along with the stuff they gave him before... but he's miserable.

    Tomorrow he's going for an abdominal and pelvic ct scan... If they can find something on the ct scan, I don't know how that will effect the spine biopsy and other appointments... Oh, the oncologist also put my husband off work... so he's going to be on what they call convalescent leave for now. She wasn't very optimistic about him ever returning to work... but he has enough time in to retire anyway, so even though he loves being in the Army, it wouldn't be the end of the world if this ends with him retiring. Everything is so overwhelming, but we're ready to go at it head on! We appreciate any prayers. Thank you!
    Last edited by Nickers; 05-31-2016 at 08:46 AM.

  3. #13
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
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    Nickers,

    Sounds like things are moving along quickly to determine exactly what is happening with your dear husband. Regardless of the scan results, my guess is it will not change the radiation treatment for the spine mass. This needs to be addressed ASAP to provide your husband with relief.

    At this time, the biopsy is crucial in determining the type of cancer, if it is in fact cancer, they are dealing with. Once they have this information, they can advise on a treatment plan. Each cancer is treated very differently so cancer type is important. However, even with this said, it is not cancer until a pathology reports proves otherwise.

    Fingers are crossed you will have not reason to be here, on a cancer forum, but if that is what ends up being the diagnosis, certainly we will be here for you to help guide you.

    Keep us posted when you can.

    Lisa

  4. #14
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    Good to know things are moving along more quickly now. Thanks for updating us. Is there any chance that your husband is willing to be transferred now?

    Also, there is absolutely nothing in what you've described that suggests a brain tumor to me, but simply because the spine is part of the central nervous system I do wonder; have they done a brain scan?

  5. #15
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    Thank you Lisa and Sib!

    He is still planning to have treatment locally for now. The radiation oncologist said after the biopsy results are in that they will call us for my husband to come in and... I can't remember if there's a name for this... but they'll use a ct scan to mark him for the radiation treatments and then he will start treatments the following day. They didn't schedule an appointment yet because his biopsy is scheduled for the 6th, but the hospital will call us if something opens up sooner... so, at the latest he'll do the marking his back thing on the 8th and start radiation on the 9th.

    The medical oncologist did say he will have a brain scan and PET scan eventually. Tri-care wanted him to have the abdominal and pelvic ct scan (that he had this morning) before they'll approve a PET scan. The oncologist said normally Tri-care won't approve a PET scan until after a primary cancer diagnosis. He doesn't see the medical oncologist again until the 13th... unless her office calls before then.

    I'm so glad I found these forums and for all of the information that is available here.

  6. #16
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
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    While it does seem like things are moving slowly, there is no fast way through the diagnostic process but things will be done at the precise way they must.

    Of course we will remain vigilant and watch for your updates.

    Lisa

  7. #17
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    He is starting radiation this afternoon. We received the pathology report this morning... It hasn't really been explained to us yet other than it's some kind of GI cancer. At least we are moving in the right direction and I'm praying that the radiation helps with the pain.

    Poorly differentiated metastatic mucinous adenocarcinoma, favor upper GI primary. -4/TR
    Note: The tumor cells are strongly CK7 positive and weekly CK20 and CDX2 positive. TTF-1 is negative. This immunoprofile favors upper GI primary (GE junction or stomach, pancreatobilliary origin is also possible).

  8. #18
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    That is the biopsy results... It's a poorly differentiated metastatic musinous adenocarcinoma... i copied it off the biopsy results. The second paragraph of my post above is the complete biopsy report for final diagnosis.

  9. #19
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    Oh. I'm sorry to hear that this is cancer. It sounds like they haven't found the primary cause yet... and they did a PET scan?

    I hope the radiation will help with the pain quickly.

    It may be time now to consider a move to a major hospital such as Upstate, Strong or Walter Reed.

  10. #20
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    They haven't done a PET scan yet... His next appointment with medical oncology is Monday. He's having radiation today, tomorrow, and Saturday and then I don't know the appointments after that. Is anyone familiar with Roswell Park in Buffalo NY? That is not too far from our hometown and we own a house there and have family there so we'd have a place to stay. How do we go about switching? Do we ask his medical oncologist to send us somewhere else or do it on our own?

 

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