Before I get into the health news, I want to share (brag) to you all that I was asked to speak at Beverly Hospital on June 1st. woo! This would terrify most of you, but it makes me feel special. I get to talk to some people and explain why I think it would be great for Beverly Hospital to add a radiation treatment center to complement the infusion (chemo) room. I'm happy to do it!
On to the news. I met with my PCP today and asked him to help me determine the cause of my joint pain. He said that at this point it looks like it could be a number of things:
1- osteo-arthritis. The deterioration seen in the bone scan and on the x-rays are indicative of this type of arthritis, however, osteo-arthritis usually affects one part of the body more than another and my pain is VERY symetrical.
2- early onset of rheumatoid arthritis. This is a more serious case of arthritis and tends to wear down joints more evenly. X-rays tend to lag behind arthritis symptoms for almost a year, so the fact that my ankles in particular looked good does not mean that there isn't arthritis there.
3- some other type of arthritis.
To rule these 3 possibilities out (or in) I am seeing a specialist next month, having my sedimentation rate checked (this checks for inflamation), and having a specific blood test that 75% of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients test positive for. (Therefore, if it comes back negative there is still the possibility that I am in the 25% that have RA and test negative.)
Other possibilities for the joint pain include:
1- Fibromyalgia. My mom has been diagnosed with this. Little is known about the dissease and it is difficult to diagnose, but it causes a great deal of pain. Exercise, however, tends to ease the symptoms and that does not seem to be the case with me.
2- A thyroid problem. My mom also has this (I can't remember if it's underactive or overactive.)
3- Lyme dissease.
4- Some mystery illness that will get me 15min. of fame on TLC someday. ;)
To rule these 4 possibilities out (or in) I am being tested for lyme dissease and my thyroid function is being checked. I've been tested for both before with the thyroid test coming back normal and the lyme test coming back inconclusive or normal. I have learned however, (through the before-mentioned TLC) that there are so many types of Lyme dissease that you could have it for years and test negative, etc. and still have it. Sound fun? oh yeah!!
the best news in all of this? When the nurse took my blood, she only had to stick me once. yay!!!!! oh, and my PCP did put me on an anti-inflamatory to help ease the symptoms.
Of course, there is the chance that all of this nastiness is just due to lupron, but like I said, I'm giving it a month. Thanks for reading!