I am posting this on behalf of my father
He has been battling back pain for about 18 months now, and cancer for the past 10 months. I am writing this because
after a year of hospitalizations, dozens of doctors, and more test than I have taken in my school days they can not
find the source of his pain. I will try to keep this short.
He started having pain roughly 18 months or so. It was more annoying than anything. It was usually around his lower back
at the belt line, and occasionally spread to his right hip. He was 50, and just assumed it was part of the aging process.
It wasn't anything a few Aleve wouldn't handle. They bought new beds, as theirs was quite old, but nothing seemed to help.
He went in for a routine colonoscopy last December, and that is where they found a tennis ball size tumor. He was in surgery
the next day. We all assumed his pain was caused by this mass. He was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. The mass was
removed, but he had a few scattered lymph nodes which were cancerous, as well as a spot on his liver.
For about the past year the cancer has gotten better. It is about 80% of what it was at the beginning, as is currently
stable. Not shrinking, but not spreading either. However, his back pain is indescribable. It has gotten progressively
worse throughout the year, to the point he can no longer leave the hospital. This is what we know:
1. It is not cancer related.
2. CT/MRI/Pet/Xray are all clear
3. It is not caused by his colon resection. A recent colonoscopy has shown it is perfectly healthy
4. It is not nerve related. They did an extensive nerve test (the name eludes me) and everything was normal.
5. Blood vessels in that area are all working as they should
6. It is degenerating over time and getting worse
7. We have had various nerve blocks/spinal injections/medications and nothing helps
8. He DOES have low magnesium, which we have brought up to the oncologist, which he says wouldn't cause all this
The doctors are dumbfounded. We have been from pain management doctors to neurologists, oncologists, GI's, etc. They
do not know the next step to take. My father is on 4-6mg of IV dilaudid every 2 hours, and that only keeps his pain around a 5.
He is also plagued horrible stomach cramps, which we think is caused by the stress of everything, poor diet, and a pharmacy
worth of medications.
He has been on chemo for a month or so, as he can not handle both of those at the same time. If we do not find help soon
his cancer may stop being so quiet. What are some things, more rare, which I can mention to the dr to possible check for?