Living

Cancer can be a back breaker

As you perhaps recall, a broken rib led to my discovery of cancer. As the doctors explained it to me, my cancerous lymph nodes weakened one of my ribs, ultimately leading to a hairline fracture.

If not for that pain, I still might not realize I have lymphoma.

And now that explains why my back has hurt since, oh, last July.

I have dealt with back pain for a long time, dating back to junior high when doctors discovered a mild case of scoliosis, which was straightened out. I occasionally throw out my lower back, probably because I have too much stomach in the front. But the pain I felt between around July 2008 and just after my first chemo treatment in mid-December was much different.

I received a CT scan in February after my third chemo treatment, and a member of my medical team at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center was going over the results and casually mentioned that my fractured vertebrae was healing nicely, which was a good sign.

Say what?

I'm not sure if this was mentioned to me before. It might not have even been noticed on prior CT scans. I don't know. It's entirely likely I wasn't paying attention.

But apparently, I've been walking around for nine months with a broken back. That explains a lot. And I guess it's a good sign that it's now healing nicely.

Of course, ever since I found out, my back has been hurting. Psychosomatic? Likely.

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