Status quo & pain management

“We do not need to change treatment plans at this time.” Music from oncologist Dr. Andorsky’s mouth to my ears this morning! What does this mean? My CT scan showed no progression of cancer, things are stable.

So, we carry on!

The one thing that did show up on my CT scan was the hot mess that my L4 vertebrae is, including a new compression fracture. I’ve not been feeling well since my fall in April and my oncologist was a bit worried this might have been due to progression. It appears that the pain is all related to my fall.

This of course is fantastic news and quite a relief. Is a CT scan absolutely definitive? No, it is not. It is a bit of an art to monitor terminal cancer. This being said, we have as much data as possible and so I’m confident we are on the right path.

My oncologist was very happy with how things are going and I think he was a bit relieved to see me in better spirits.

The reason for my better spirits – besides a stable scan – is that I’ve been able to keep my pain under control and I feel like I’m getting stronger. I can walk unassisted (no cane). I can walk more confidently both up and down stairs. I have not resumed longer walks or walks outside. I’m staying on the treadmill and trying to increase my length and endurance.

We have a plan to hopefully eliminate the pain!

On Thursday, June 1, I am scheduled to undergo an outpatient procedure to fix the compression fracture on my L4 (a kyphoplasty). Basically, they will go in, guided by imaging, and place a little balloon where the fracture is, lift up the vertebrae and inject some cement so that the vertebrae is not compressed.

The pain I currently have is mostly nerve-related pain in my leg. It’s decreased with my medication, but is definitely still there. I am very optimistic that this procedure will help and I’ll be back walking on the trails by mid-June! Cross your fingers with me!

And also please celebrate with me. Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer is stressful and my family and I live in 3 month increments. This provides just a tiny bit of breathing room and will make for a fantastic summer.

I always have a plan for when I get my CT scan results. Today’s treat was a fancy iced coffee.


  1. Leysia says:

    Here’s to a joyful and painfree summer, dear Donna.


  2. Kim Schraufnagel says:

    Glad to hear things are working and stable. Good luck with you vertebrae procedure.


  3. Deirdre Mangine says:

    I was so happy to read your blog and hear such great news. Looking forward to celebrating with you in Texas!!


    1. charlevo says:

      Ditto! Let’s cross our fingers for some decent weather and beach time! Lots to celebrate!


  4. Mary says:

    That is good news! I hope you can get out and enjoy a summer walk! 👍❤️


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