Something is "growing" inside the bone marrow of the left tibia, below the knee and about halfway down now. There are a lot of possibilities, including various types of cancer and also an infection. We're hoping that it's an infection, obviously, and considering how quickly (4 months) it's gone from an isolated band of pain to swelling clear down the leg, that still seems like a good possibility.
The lung x-rays and CT scan were clear, which points away from something like "primary lung cancer, secondary bone cancer." That's actually good news, because if he had undiagnosed lung cancer then it would be fairly advanced by the time it triggered a secondary site. So whatever he has, it likely hasn't been there for a super-long time.
Yesterday, he went to Oakland to see the orthopedic specialists at the Kaiser facility there. They're also the bone cancer experts, and they couldn't make any guesses about what was going on inside his leg. So next, he'll have a needle biopsy done, and if that isn't conclusive then they'll do a surgical biopsy.
His main symptoms are still just the pain and swelling. It's funny-- the first two most obvious things we thought of clear back in March were 1) MRSA infection and 2) Cellulitus (a tissue infection that his mother and sister have both had). The idea of an infection down inside the bone marrow, contained within the bone, never occurred to us. If it IS that (keep your fingers crossed), that helps explain why we haven't seen fever, nausea, or sepsis by now. The night his sister and I browbeat him into going to the ER, his swelling had suddenly increased and he had fever and nausea, and we thought the doctors would find an infection for certain then.
But one of the first things his doctor did at the beginning was order a blood test to look for signs of bacterial infection, and that came up clear and still would, even now.
We'll be hounding the doctor to get the biopsies done ASAP. I really hope it's an infection, and we're trying to keep positive thoughts in mind.
I'll keep you posted.