I Don’t Want To Join The Cane Gang!

When Dr. B. did a biopsy on my iliac crest bone, he also removed about 20% of my cancer in that area.

I am now hurting and limping badly.

I live and work in a small town where everyone knows your name (Cheers!).  Every day someone would ask me why I was limping, some I would tell my story to, others I would say I was getting old.  You get tired of explaining.  Or after telling them what’s going on they cheerfully say “you can beat this” and go on their merry way, not knowing how to react with the news.

I did the lean on walls walk, hung onto chairs and furniture.  Always got a cart at stores and tried my best to get a parking spot close to the entrance.  I now know how my Dad felt when he had to use a cane! We are such stubborn creatures!

I started using a hiking stick my brother gave me it didn’t look like a cane (so I told myself).  Then my Dad mailed me his first “walking stick” (still denial) that I used. I still would not use it around my grandkids.

In the meantime, Dr. D. suggested (again) that I have radiation done to help with my walking.  I did not want to do radiation because radiation can cause cancer ha! At this point I was ready to try it.  I couldn’t walk very well, I was not sleeping at night because my leg was throbbing.

I want you to know what radiotherapy does (this is from the cancer research page).

Radiotherapy is a treatment to relieve bone pain caused by cancer that has spread into the bone. The areas of cancer cells in the bone are called secondary bone cancer, bone metastasis, or bony secondaries. 

Radiotherapy is often used to control pain due to bone secondaries from prostate cancer, breast cancer, bowel cancer and lung cancer. It may be combined with other types of treatment, depending on the type of cancer you have.

Secondary bone cancer weakens the bones by damaging healthy bone cells. Radiotherapy can help to make bones stronger and less likely to break. It can also treat bones that have fractured. 

Radiotherapy for cancer that has spread to bones can also help to prevent new painful areas developing. Having this treatment may slow down the cancer and give you a better quality of life for a longer time. But it won’t cure your cancer.

On January 28th I started radiation treatments at Burbank Hospital.  I would go Monday-Friday for 16 treatments.  My leg was killing me by this time and I needed my “walking stick” or when my good friend Linda came to my appointments,  she insisted I use a wheelchair, if you know Linda you do not argue with her!

After my tenth treatment, I started feeling nauseous. Ugh!  I hate that feeling!  I was still trying to work full time and it was a struggle.  I didn’t have to work full time, I have plenty of sick time but I’m stubborn.

At treatment number 12, I quit radiation.  I told my radiologist that I was starting to feel nauseous and shitty, she explained to me it was radiating a piece of my stomach.  My stomach!!! I do not have cancer in my stomach and would prefer not to.

My last day I did not see my regular doctor (he was on vacation) instead I saw my original doctor from 2011. Reading my report, I could see and feel his concern and sadness.  I told him I was done with radiation and asked him if skipping the last 4 treatments would make a difference?  He said no, thank you for your honestly Dr. P!

After leaving Dr. P, I talked to a few of the nurses.  Nurses are awesome! They are not only compassionate, they are very knowledgeable.  They are my go to people.  I told them the concerns I had that my leg still wasn’t getting better.  It was explained to me that it doesn’t happen overnight and could take a few weeks.  They insisted I get a cane (a real one) to help my leg heal.

That was it, no celebrations just ginger ale and a comfortable couch!

Lying on the couch, I searched the internet for canes.  I found a cool site with different styles.  I ended up buying four.  Four?!  Yup, one for my car, one for Mike’s car, one for the motorcycle and one for work!  I had no reason to not use the cane, one was always available.

It was such a strange feeling using a cane, especially since I was healthy and athletic six months ago. It was hard seeing reactions from people, but you suck it up, smile and hobble along!

The reaction from my son Vinnie I will never forget.  Vinnie and his wife Kylie live near Boston, with two beautiful boys, my grandsons!.  I went out to visit, he met me at my car and I had my cane, I guess I forgot to tell him I had one.  He was a bit stunned, and wanted to know why?  When he would call me during the week, I would tell him I was doing well and then I show up at his house with a cane!?  We had a nice long talk that night and it was very humbling to see his love and concern for me.  I am very blessed.

It took almost a month for my leg to heal and to put away my canes hopefully for a long time.  I am now walking (slowly) a few miles and can ride my bicycle.  It still hurts if I overdue it, which I do a lot.  I’m the type of person who will walk one mile and think to myself hmmm…. that wasn’t bad let’s go a little farther and usually regret it later.

It’s who I am and I’m not going to change.  Self- pity is for wimps.

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