Last week, we received Travis’ quarterly MRI results which showed “No Sign of Disease.” Yeah! That is the awesome piece of news that we hope to hear each time and we thank God for blessing us, and especially Travis, once again.
However, an unexpected piece of news that we also received was that the MRI revealed Travis has a compression fracture of the T8 vertebrae. We really had no idea what that meant and didn’t want to jump to any conclusions until we had a chance to meet with the Orthopedist on Monday this week. Travis had not been complaining of any unusual pain and seemed to be going about increasing his exercise as he continues getting stronger. Once in a while he would complain of fatigue or an occasional ache or pain here and there but nothing that would indicate pain associated with a fracture.
At the appointment with the Orthopedist, they performed an additional X-Ray and examined Travis’ spine checking for any areas of pain. They reviewed his MRI results from May which did not show any evidence of the compression fracture. We went through Travis’ exercise and activities trying to identify anything that could have caused the injury from impact but nothing stood out as one single event. We discussed how the various cancer treatments can affect the bones, with the Steroid use and Radiation having potentially the most negative side effects. From the Orthopedist, the orders were no contact sports, no running, no jumping or anything that could cause a potential impact to the spine. Travis was really bummed to hear that since he has been focused on getting stronger so that he could play soccer and do all of the other fun activities with his friends. The good news at this point from the Orthopedist is that surgery is not required and the fracture is expected to heal on its own, barring any further injury. Also, the fracture is not severe enough to warrant a back brace which would be pretty uncomfortable for Travis so we are thankful for that news.
The next step was to visit the Endocrinologist (the doctor responsible for dealing with all of the after effects from cancer and its treatment during Travis’ growth development). They ordered a bone density scan to determine if Travis bones have become more susceptible to injury after the cancer treatments. They also ordered some additional labs to be run to see if he is deficient in calcium, etc. We should have the results of these tests in a few days. We did discuss some medications that potentially help with stimulating bone growth but hopefully we do not have to go that route and things will heal on their own.
To Travis, it seems like his world just came crashing down again right at the time he was getting back to “normal” and he is not allowed to do any of the fun things he likes to do with his friends. But in the grand scheme, we will take this setback as it comes and try to focus on the things he can still do like riding bikes, swimming and anything else that is low impact. We would like to ask a huge favor that you please keep Travis in your prayers and send him positive thoughts to help keep his spirits up. Travis is a Warrior and he will fight through once again!
Tony and Lynne