Monday, April 16, 2012

Marathon Post

So I'm talking to my therapist, who asks if I am blogging.
"No," I say.  "Every time I open up to my blog I just think, Ugh. I don't even have the energy to deal with this life." Because it's so much, isn't it? Even if you don't have cancer, even if you don't have chronic pain, life is SO MUCH to deal with.  Just the every day of it is enough to wear me out sometimes.

Also, of course, are the drugs.  Woohoo I get loopy.  No memory of what I was supposed to be doing. I forget what time my appointments are.  And I think I spend way too much time sleeping, but it's hard to control on these meds.

Lots of people have been asking: A. what's the deal with the diagnosis, B. how's your pain and C. what's going on with you?

The diagnosis is easy to answer. Arthritis throughout my back, and degenerative disc disease.  Spinal stenosis in two vertebrae, one cervical and one lumbar.

The good news is that through the magic of Hollywood and Bobby's very special magic finger skills, we have actual pics from the scans.  Pretty friggin cool if you ask me.

So this is me... my spine.  As if I am sitting in a chair and you are standing, looking down my spine. The bright white circle (and all of this is from memory, so please note that it's probably all wrong lol) (also please correct me in the comments if you know what I said wrong) anyway the bright white circle in the center is my spinal cord. I guess those little dots are like nerve fibers.  But in this pic you can see how it should be, in a circular shape.  This part of my spine has no damage, its protected in it's round shape and isn't being touched.

These next two photos show other parts of my spine- these are both lumbar- where the disc and/or the vertebra bone has begun to close in on the nerves, forcing it into a triangle shape instead of the oval its supposed to be.

Is that as crazy to y'all as it is to me?  I mean it's actually there in black and white. There is actually something wrong with me and we've found out what it is.  Somebody write this on a calendar somewhere.  :)  In all seriousness, though, Dr. Callewort was amazing.  He took so much time to talk to me and explain everything.  He asked lots of questions and let me ask lots of questions.  His explanations were clear and he was so reassuring as to why I'm in so much pain.  It was very comforting to hear.  He also did a little test on me because B kept telling him over and over that I have a high tolerance for pain.  Turns out, I actually do have a high tolerance. lol  The good doctor said I only feel about 2/3 the pain of the average human.  I always knew I was tough. hahahaha

Anyway, here's another view of what's going on, this time from the side.

So the line of two dark columns in the middle- the one on the left are vertebrae and the one on the right is muscle if memory serves me right.  Notice the layer of bone and disc tissue, and the width of the disc tissue. Also note the 3rd disc from the bottom, how it is jagged and very thin in some areas, even with swelling in areas, as seen in the top pic of these two.

So there's that.

B. The pain
also released in Europe under the title Pain, Pain Go Away, Come again another Day

People keep asking how the pain level is, and I do have to say I'm better.  But, as always in health, it's a bit more complicated than that.

You know how I know I'm a nerd?  I made a line graph to explain my pain levels.
There's just something so gratifying about a graph that explains my pain.  Even if I did put too many blue dots in. lol

C. What's Going on with Me

Jeesh, that's a whole other blog post.

Praying for us all,


joanlvh said...

i personally like your little graph, very cute. And the best thing is to see that the pain level is decreasing

Is all the arthritis, bad discs ect related to the cancer?

lots of prayers and good thoughts to you.

jms said...

I have really missed your blog - glad you are back!

Grace P. said...

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Rich Possert Jr. said...

I pray for you and Bobby regularly; you guys continue to be a source of strength for me and I'm sure many others. Keep fighting chica - I know a few things about strong women; and I can tell, even at your weakest, you are a strong one!


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