Bad to the Bone

I had my PET scan on Friday, and I’m anxiously awaiting the results.

My worst fear is that my scan will light up like a Christmas tree.  (QVC is having “Christmas in July,” so please excuse the reference.)  My cancer has already metastasized to my spine, thus the horse is out of the barn; it’s very possible that it will start appearing in other bones.  My primary concerns are the two things which have been a source of pain and sleeplessness for the past two nights: my ribs and collarbone.

I know I have three fractured ribs.  While in the hospital in May, the scans showed one fractured rib, and we assumed this was from coughing.  But the scan I had at the end of June showed three.  And the pain doesn’t line up with the ‘coughing’ explanation.  My rib(s) didn’t bother me much for the entire month of June.  Now they are worsening each week.

The newcomer is pain in my collarbone.  This started on Wednesday, and I think it is probably a side effect of the new injection, Aranesp.  It can cause bone pain because it stimulates the process in which red blood cells are made.  I’m experiencing a sudden onset of stabbing pain followed by a couple of hours of aching.  I’ve never broken my collarbone, but I imagine this is how it feels.

Now, pain and I aren’t strangers.  But this sort of pain is quite acute, and Percoset (albeit a low dose) barely touches it.  If I complain to an on-call doctor he will just send me to the ER.  No thanks.  So I’ll stick it out until Monday when I speak with my doctor.  I don’t know what else they can give me, but I’m going to ask.  My real hope is that by then the collarbone pain will have subsided; that should make it easier to find a position in which I can sleep comfortably.

For now I’ll keep up the painkillers I have and try to distract myself with “Christmas in July.”  Seth has been visiting often, and Nurse Blossom keeps me company during the night shift.  I’ve complained to friends via text messages, my mom via phone, and now the public at large via this post!  If whining can make one feel better, I should be fixed up in no time!

4 responses to “Bad to the Bone

  • Craig

    “Pain, pain, go away. Do not come back even another day.”

    I wish I could take some of your pain away, nursery rhyme magic or otherwise. And I wish you good luck with scan results.

    Best hopes,


  • Sjoukje

    Whine all you like hun! 😉 I hope your scan won’t light up like a Christmas tree!

    Thinking of you!

  • Patrick

    Still trying to feel comfortable in my own skin with the new label lung cancer survivor I wish you the best of possible test results, less pain and for what it is worth you have been a healthy dose of inspiration to one wanderer out there. I’ve also taken the liberty of listing your blog in my sidebar. Thank you for making the time to share.

  • Mary Ruggiero

    Oh Jess, I am so sorry. I can’t imagine what you are going through. I am sending you lots of healing thoughts and love. Your ability to verbalized your difficult experience with us is amazing and courageous.

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