My younger sister just called me. She has been diagnosed with cancer but they aren't sure what kind yet. She has multiple masses along her spine. She has been struggling to survive for more than 6 years now since a botched abdominal surgery left her with severe short bowel syndrome. She is in an acute rehab facility after spending 17 days inpatient at the hospital with multiple blood infections and they only stopped the last 2 antibiotics today. She got the blood infections from her central line that allows her to get TPN - IV nutrition. I feel so sad for her I can hardly speak. This woman is only 50 and she has been through so much already. She's afraid to tell our 85 year old mom because she thinks it will kill her. I wouldn't be surprised if mom strokes out when we finally tell her. I called this morning (Tuesday) and talked to my sister's hospitalist trying to get more information. He says it is "premature" to say she has cancer. (Well then why did he send the oncologist to talk to her???) He says there were abnormalities on her CT Scan but they could be nothing or they could be cancer. He is trying to get a consult with a spine surgeon. He said sometimes they have a different opinion from the radiologist. (I know we have had that same experience with the GI looking at the films vs. the regular radiologist). He said the oncologist is ordering a bone scan and he is trying to get that done tomorrow. A bone scan should be pretty conclusive one way or the other whether she has cancer and where she has cancer in the bones. He thought they would have a definitive answer by the end of the week. So I called my sister and told her all this and she was very relieved. I think she is pretty loopy from the pain medications and didn't really understand what the oncologist meant or told her. Thanks for the good wishes. I will post the results on the board later this week.