Monday, 31 August 2009

The 'thigh's' the limit !!

The letter was waiting for me on the door mat when we returned home. From the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital. I had an appointment with Mr Grimer, a bone cancer consultant, on Thursday afternoon. That's soon. Very soon.

The weekend and early part of the following week I spent resting as much as possible - I had no choice. I felt so unwell. Terribly tired and with awful pains in my legs and feet. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that I had built myself up and kept going for the big launch last week - and then Ive come down with a big bump. Resting definitely helped. Plus sleeping as much as possible although not always at night. Ive given up trying to get back into a routine of sleeping through the night and just sleep whenever I can. And not worrying about it.

Thursday afternoon Martin and I arrived at the ROH, a new hospital for us, on time for our appointment at 2.30pm. To find the clinic was already running 2 hours late. Its not really a problem - you just have to accept it, relax and wait. In a way I find it comforting, it means the consultant is doing a thorough job with all his patients and not rushing through them with his eye on the time.

We finally were called in to see Mr Grimer and his specialist nurse at 4.45pm. He was really nice and friendly with a lovely smile which put me at ease straight away. We chatted a bit about my treatment over the past couple of years, my new found 'fame' (Martin had found another article about me in a local free paper in the waiting room) and then he put the recent x-rays of my legs up and things got serious.

In my right femur the tumour is in the bone marrow right in the middle, and it only extends a little bit into the bone so far. So that's ok for the moment.

But in my left femur the tumour extends right into the bone on all sides, in fact in one place there is only a thin piece of bone left. He looked me in the eye and said 'I'm really worried about this'. Now when a consultant says he is worried then you worry too. A lot.

The bone needs supporting - and now. Basically it could break at any moment and that could cause me real problems. A broken femur is pretty serious at the best of times but when its weakened by cancer there is a very real risk it wont heal again. I could end up in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. So it needs two rods inserting, one on each side, and then pinning at the top and bottom. He asked his nurse to find out if I could have an MRI scan now - this minute - and if not as urgently as possible. They need a scan to see the whole of the bone all the way round to find out where to pin it.

I'm waiting for a last minute cancellation MRI this week and then the operation will be carried out at Selly Oak Hospital, where I used to work, because they have the specialist kit and surgeons there. And that could be any day after the scan.

This may all sound very depressing but actually it isn't. Mr Grimer spoke of follow up treatment like radio therapy and then an infusion of Zometa, a bone strengthener, regularly afterwards. And keeping a close eye on my right femur.

Like Dr P. he is still treating me with the aim of fighting my cancer - he isn't giving up on me. So Mr G. joins Team Jane and a very welcome addition he is.

I left his clinic quite happy (well as happy as I can be!) and positive still - but with his words of warning ringing in my ears. NO weight bearing on my left leg. AT ALL. I have some elbow crutches to hobble around the house with but if I go out its in a wheelchair only. Basically to rest as much as possible. Which I am doing - it will only be for a week or two and then Ill be back on my feet again. With my bionic leg !

The next day, Friday, I went to my local Hospice for the day. Ive been putting this off for a while now but thought now was the right time to gently introduce myself to it. I had a really nice day - not at all what I was expecting. Each Friday I'll be going there, to the Day Unit. It will be a day when Martin wont need to worry about me at home on my own - and when the staff can make sure I'm resting.

They have computers with internet connections there so next Friday Ive decided I shall be blogging live, from St. Mary's Hospice in Selly Oak !!


Anonymous said...

Jane what an inspiration you must be to all around you, I can believe that Friday will be" Janes Tonic Day" for all who will spend the day with you, so thankful that you have another trusty member fighting on your team,bless you my dear in all you do.

LYN said...


Jackie said...

Well done Jane for dispelling the myths surrounding hospices they really are nice places! I attend a macmillan centre with a well being group and it's been a godsend to me every wednesday for the past year! We don't have internet there but we have lots of laughter and much leg pulling ( sorry to mention legs) hope the mri goes well and Mrs Jane Bionic woman gets underway soon! x

ADB said...

Keep going, Jane, you're doing fantastic. Not good news on the bone front, but something can be done about it. Excellent!

Daria said...

Jane, I'm so sorry about the bone tumors ... I hope treatment can give you some relief.

I really think that going to the hospice on Fridays is a great idea ... something I will consider for the future.

You are very inspiring.

Sybil said...

Dear Friend, you are such a great person and as tinkerbell says such an insperation. Now Mary and I will be away in Canada from Friday till the 15th. but wherever I am you will be with me in prayer as I am sure you know by this time and I hope to hear from a new bionic Jane when I get home
Take care love,
LOve always Sybil xx

dmw said...

Hi, Jane. Hope you're doing well. I stumbled upon your blog today searching the internets for something, anything that covers mets to the femur. My father also has RCC and his femur broke three weeks ago -- two weeks short of his scheduled surgery to strengthen the leg with rods.
Best of luck to you in your recovery from the surgery!

mortonlake said...

good for you hun.just remember to rest.whenever and mort xx