Kate asked me to provide an update here, and I am pleased to oblige.
Yesterday (Monday) seems a long way away right now. We spent most of today at the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook. We went there for an appointment Kate had to get a shot (xgeva), a bone hardener, which she gets once a month now. We also went to get new pain killers and to bully our way into Clinic "A" and get the results of the MRI that Kate had last week.
That last part wasn't part of the plan until yesterday, when Kate experienced searing pain in her lower back. This is something that the pain meds are supposed to prevent. However, it is something that has been happening more frequently in recent days.
In our mission, we were successful. We saw one of Kate's doctors in the clinic. Kate described her symptoms, and then the doctor said something like, "What you've just described is exactly what is laid out in your MRI results."
The MRI results showed that the tumor in the vertebrae is pressing up against her spinal cord. So the extreme pain has a specific cause.
And it has a recommended medical response. Radiation.
So off we went to the radiation clinic this afternoon, where Kate had a CT scan and a radiation treatment, the first of five, which will continue daily through Saturday.
The good news is that the outcome of the radiation treatments is said to be a reduction in pain. The growth of the tumor should be stopped.
In the longer term, there is also a surgical option, should the pain return: they could put steel rods next to her spine to support it. But that's outside the scope of what's on deck right now.
In recent days, Kate has been stopped still by pain: from hickups, from huggy children, from speed bumps. Yesterday was a low point. A high point in pain. Not just another manic Monday.
Today has been long, tiring, hard, but it has resolved well. Kate is very happy to have a solution to this particular problem. It's another bend in the road, but we're still keeping it (as Lawrence would say) between the ditches.