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Voice Post: Cauda Equina Syndrome - The Past Three Weeks

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May. 6th, 2007 | 12:34 am

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“Well, it’s certainly been a roller coaster over the last three weeks. Amongst some of the exciting stuff that has happened, I have also had a significant challenge, actually a series of challenges. Starting about three weeks ago, I started having some new symptoms in my pelvis, especially around my sacrum area. I felt a new pressure there – it’s like a pressure inside the sacrum, pushing on things, and obstructing my bladder and bowels a little bit and causing nerve pain and numbness.

I reported that to my nurse and it turned out my doctor was out of town so they had ordered an MRI and they did fine with that, but it turns out that the MRI was only half the picture. It was only taking pictures of the bone and not the soft tissue around the bone.
They kind of dropped the ball on it from there – they didn’t even get the report of my MRI back to the right hospital and to my oncologist until last Monday when I saw him.

Between now and then, things got a lot worse even though I was calling them and complaining almost every day and even saw my oncologist when he got back into town.

So I’m dealing with frustration, actually the first real frustration in terms of not paying attention to the symptoms I am reporting and the potential development of something that may not be reversible.

Needless to say, last Monday, after having a great weekend actually at Harbin Hot Springs with Beth, I had an incident there where I couldn’t control my bladder so I called my oncologist and went in on Monday, and explained my symptoms again.

He said, well, it sounds like you are having “Cauda Equina Syndrome”.

“Cauda Equina” is Latin for “Horse’s Tail” and that’s the extent of the spinal cord. After it leaves the spinal column, it spreads out into lots of little fibers in the pelvis and that’s called the “cauda equina” or horse’s tail. It looks like a horse’s tail.

Something was putting pressure on that so he decided I should go to the emergency room on Monday and get some tests because it could lead to all kinds of permanent damage.

I went to the emergency room on Friday; thankfully, Billy Bear was in town and he’s been spending some time with me. He took me until Beth could get there. And my family, my dad and step-mom and my mom is heading back into town.

Anyway, they put me on steroids, did the other MRI that was necessary and determined it was soft tissue metastasis putting pressure on the nerves. That’s a good sign because it’s not bone and has a much less of a chance to lead towards permanent damage, as far as I understand.

Steroids started to help a little bit and they started me on a 10-day course of radiation treatment. I did my fourth one yesterday Friday and I will start again next Monday - it’s about 11 am every day. It’s actually starting to relieve some of the symptoms and it’s not very difficult for me. It only takes about twenty minutes. When I do it, I try to envision a rainbow, energy, divine light going in through my body and scraping out all the bad stuff and trying to protect the good stuff because radiation can be very strong. Any bone that it touches that produces blood will no longer produce blood so obviously there’s concern about how much bone is exposed. They’re limiting it and it’s very high tech, 3-dimensional radiation that they’re limiting primarily to my pelvis, a little bit of my femur and the thoracic 12 which showed the potential for future metastasis on the spinal cord which is something you don’t want to happen because it could mean overnight paralysis of lower extremities.”

Transcribed by: cauch

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Comments {1}


from: lanihorn
date: May. 6th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)

The word Faith means when someone sees
A dew-drop or a floating leaf, and knows
That they are, because they have to be.
And even if you dreamed, or closed your eyes
And wished, the world would still be what it was,
And the leaf would still be carried down the river.

It means that when someone's foot is hurt
By a sharp rock, he also knows that rocks
Are here so they can hurt our feet.
Look, see the long shadow cast by the tree;
And flowers and people throw shadows on the earth;
What has no shadow has no strength to live.


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