Not exactly what I was expecting. He said he didn’t have the films (computer files-I’m sure) of the MRI but he had the written report (I think I was their last patient and they were all waiting to go home)! He read though the report, which went cervical disk by disk…
It started out OK, then with each disk got worse until he hit 4/5, which shows severe degenerative disk disease and a herniation with severe narrowing of the area around the spinal cord, causing it to flatten. Bone spurs and of course, arthritis (they call it facet disease). Then 5/6 is moderate DDD, bone spurs and arthritis. Argh.
I’m going to have steroid shots in my neck! They use computed imaging to guide the needle, make sure it goes where it is supposed to go. This is from a treatment video:
“Epidural steroid injection can be very helpful to take away the inflammation and the swelling from around the disc and the nerve root, which doesn’t fix a disc herniation, by the way. It doesn’t make a herniated disc go away nor does it mask anything. What it does is it takes away the inflammation and that opens up a window of opportunity during which a person can stretch and strengthen and address the posture and the biomechanics in order to tweak the biomechanics so the same stresses aren’t still going through the disc and the nerve so that the symptoms don’t recur.
If the symptoms are persistent and are interfering with quality of life, in those rare instances where physical therapy, time, injections aren’t taking away the symptoms, it’s certainly appropriate to have a conversation with a spinal surgeon about the different surgical alternatives. Often discectomy is a relatively small surgery – it is still a surgery – in order to take away some of the disc and decompress the nerve root.”
Speaking of discectomy, I don’t want surgery. I don’t want to risk it. Not with Carcinoid Cancer and the possibility of Carcinoid Crisis during surgery. I’ve been lucky and have not had any issues with it during both my right-hemicolectomy and liver cytoreduction surgeries. My doctor said I was “steady Eddie”. I’m such a good patient! LOL.
Next week I go in for my 6 month blood work. Then I have the epidural injection scheduled for the 13th, triple-phase CT scan the 29th (to check-in on my liver tumors) and meet my new Onc. on Feb. 2nd.
I also received a call from Novartis, the maker of Sandostatin LAR that I’ve been on since my diagnosis. They have a patient co-pay benefit plan where you only pay $25 per shot and they pick up the rest. This is only for those with commercial insurance, like me. They called to tell me that starting Feb. 1st, the patient will be responsible for enrolling and submitting the claims for the benefit. I’m good with that! I’m just happy they have it. Saves me paying my out-of-pocket maximum! My first two shots of my insurance new year uses up my maximum so then I’m 100% covered the rest of the year. My insurance year is July-June sp I’m good until July 1st. That is why I’m doing the injection thing on my neck now. It won’t cost me a dime.
I also want to say “Happy New Year!” Wishing everyone a good 2016! Success comes in many forms (treatments, jobs, relationships, etc.). I wish you all SUCCESS in the New Year!