Cancer log 211: Lower back pain

Cancer log 211: Appointment with oncologist this morning; MRI came back clear re: potential oddness found on breast mammogram, so that’s very good and will be a relief once I have a moment to process it.

I did mention to her at the end of the appointment that I’d been having a lot of lower back pain lately. It goes away when I rest — it’s clearly tied to walking around. I admit, I was expecting her to just say something about my needing to buy shoes with better arch support or something. But instead, she said that she wanted to schedule me for a bone scan, and if that found nothing, follow-up MRI. Gah.

On the one hand, yes, I appreciate that she is an excellent doctor and is so on top of this. I appreciate that my insurance covers these procedures. I appreciate that as a cancer patient, I’m now getting a much higher level of surveillance, so that if anything is ever wrong with me, it’s likely to be caught quickly, so we can deal with it early. All of this is good news for my overall longevity.

(Also, I do wonder if having a black woman for an oncologist means that my reporting of pain is taken more seriously than it might be otherwise in the general medical establishment.)

On the other hand, the nurse told me to allow four hours for the bone scan alone (I come in, they give me a shot (tiny amounts of radioactive materials, aka ‘tracers’), I go away for 2-3 hours, then come back for the 30-minute scan). And then the MRI will be another 30 minutes. Plus waiting & travel time for both of them. And it took 15 minutes just to schedule them, and once I finish this entry, I have to get on the phone and reschedule a dental appointment I just made yesterday.

And it’s all TIME. I called Kevin to tell him all this on my way driving into work, and got teary because I am just SO TIRED of all this medical nonsense. I would like to just be healthy and stop thinking about it. And have my family be healthy and stop thinking about that too. (Anand’s IEP meeting was yesterday, and he’s doing better, which is good, but still needs supports in various ways. We’re glad that the public school is funded to provide those supports, but it’s also all stressful for us and for him. Poor munchkin. Poor us.)

Also, I am feeling desperately short of time, and behind on EVERYTHING, and I want to catch up on my work so I can start exercising again — a good part of my mind is convinced that the real reason my back is hurting is because I haven’t exercised properly since September when I got so stupidly busy. If I start lifting again and doing yoga and cardio, I suspect that will fix my back within a month.

But my doc wants to rule out the possibility of something like a herniated or slipped disc, and I’m 48 and this body really is starting to fall apart a little, so I guess that’s smart, and I do appreciate her care for me. I asked her if these procedures were really necessary, and she said quite firmly that she thought it was the best approach. So I will be a good, compliant patient and somehow make the time.



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