A quick update on my incidental findings post the other day. The contrast MRI showed that the areas are indeed cysts and it is likely that they have been there all my life. They have nothing to do with the symptoms. Mostly I’m told that I need to exercise (which I do) and treat the symptoms (back pain). The good news is that it is not cancer, but also it is not something that needs me to see a neurosurgeon. The next treatment, if I feel the need for something more is an epidural steroid injection. This cannot be done until my foot heals – so no decisions for me to make until after I’m back on my feet again.
The sense of relief hasn’t waved over me yet. I was worried. I was worried about it being cancer, but I was also worried about it not being cancer. I was seeing outcomes that looked like a lifetime of pain. It didn’t sound good either way. So I’m relieved that it is neither at this point. I just wish these scares would stop. I really could use a period of time where I had no new worrisome symptoms.
Last Tuesday I had a minor toe surgery. I had put it off a couple of times. My podiatrist’s medical assistant had scared me a bit about the recovery. The doctor was a lot more causal about it. I didn’t like the inconsistency. But, alas, the pain in my foot got so bad that I had to do something. I could not put it off any longer. So, it turns out that I didn’t have as much damage to the cartilage in my toe as we feared. I did have something solid floating in the joint, which was unexpected and didn’t show on scans. This is likely what was causing most of the pain and swelling. So, it was been removed. The good news about that is that it is something that is likely not going to return. It means the surgery may actually fix the toe for the foreseeable future (rather than 7-10 years). After 20 years of pain in that toe, I have some hope that it will finally be relieved.
For the next week I’ll mostly be sitting on the couch or in front of my computer. Elevating the foot, teaching, or working on my dissertation. Exercise is on hold until the foot is better. Stitches come out in two weeks and we start with getting the joint moving again. I’m hoping to be hiking again within a month. Things are looking good again. And now, I feel the need for a nap. The stress of the last month is catching up to me. The back pain, the toe surgery, and my father’s passing has been a lot all at once. I could sleep for a week.
Feature Image by krozak@ CC 2.0 license.