The day before my 37th birthday I was sitting at the kitchen table of my parents’ house enjoying some crazy good lemon bars my brother’s girlfriend made. And then it happened. A pinch in my lower back of epic proportion. I winced in pain and hobbled over to my Dad’s snazzy zero gravity recliner. Three days later and I was still in pain so I went to see my Chiropractor. I’ve had neck and back pain since having a baby four years ago but this pinching happening in my lower right back is nothing I’ve ever felt before. I told him the pain was a 9.5 out of 10 and I needed an adjustment STAT. I was back in his office two days later with hardly any relief. Doc told me it was time to “stop managing the crises” and to see what’s happening in my lower lumbar. He ordered a MRI and now I am suffering from scanxiety.
In the last several years I have had many types of scans: X-Ray, bone density, MRI, PET, and CT. It’s a love-hate relationship with this sort of technology. These scans call either give tell me that I’m cancer free or that my cancer has metastasized. My Chiropractor feels that this is not bone mets because mets does not “usually present itself” like the pain I’m experiencing. Phew.
Ah, but of course it’s never that simple. I posted my concerns in a breast cancer Facebook group I belong too. There’s about eight of us, all diagnosed right around the same time with various cancer profiles. Most of us are NED (no evidence of disease) with the exception of one. One gal, who’s husband is also a Chiropractor, seconded my own doctor’s opinion. However, the other gal – the one with metastatic disease in the spine – wanted me to know that the first sign her cancer had returned was back pain. It was missed in blood work and a MRI so she encouraged me to push for a PET scan as well. Great. This only increases my scanxiety!
I’m sitting here, typing this out with an ice pack resting on my lower back. The pain has improved – I’m probably a 6.5 out of 10 right now – and I managed to do a ton of manual labor around the house today but I might have to hurt someone if they ask me to get up off this couch!
I’m calling to schedule my MRI appointment later this morning and I hope to get some definitive answers by early next week. I’m actually hoping for a slipped disc. How sad is that?
Have any of you had a slipped disc? I’d love to hear what the symptoms were so that I can compare mine. Because, this ain’t cancer, right?