Thursday, June 4, 2009

Radiation damage appears years later....

I've mentioned in earlier posts that I have been having terrific pain in my the same point where I had radiation in 1998 for the bone metastases. Needless to say, I've been a tad worried.

I had a PET scan in late November, 2008, which didn't show anything new. Over the winter, I haven't been as active as I usually am....instead, I've been sitting in a chair uploading books on Amazon....couch potato city.

The pain didn't seem to be any worse at one point of the day than at others....I was struggling to try to figure out if it were in the bone or in the muscle. When I ran my fingers deep along the area, I could feel the striations from the damage caused by the radiation 10 years ago.

I spoke with my oncologist about it and he didn't seem to think it was a problem. At that point, it wasn't a constant. Then it got worse. I went to my regular doctor (my primary care physician), and he recommended therapy and doing stretching exercises. There was no way I was going to do therapy again as I had done physical therapy for it soon after I had the radiation, and frankly, I couldn't afford the time or the money as we have had several large ticket unexpected expenses.

I went back to my oncologist a couple of weeks ago and told him that I was having this pain almost constantly. I did notice that it got better with heavy lifting and hard work which I have begun to do again with my working in the garden.

He explained that this was probably the radiation as it sounded very much like muscle issue and that because the PET scan came back with no change, he wasn't worried. I was completely flummoxed and asked him how that could be. The radiation was 10 years ago. Why would it show up now?

He answered that radiation damage is a very odd thing. He's had Colon cancer patients have flare ups years after having had the radiation treatment. It would then go away and periodically show up again.

That made me feel a lot better. Sometimes you wonder why the whole thing isn't explained when you first raise the question. The best idea is to question until you get an answer you can live with I guess.

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