Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Breathe In, Breathe Out - A Cancer Recovery Journal - 5

Hi folks - Here's an Ema update for Wednesday September 19, 2007.

Ema came home from the hospital this past Friday evening. The pressure bandage on her leg is 24" in diameter, quite heavy, and keeps the leg very stiff. Hopefully, with our visit to her orthopedic oncologist today, we'll get that bandage replaced with something more manageable. She'll need something that allows the knee to bend so that she can start physical therapy later this week.

We are waiting on the pathology report of the extracted tissue surrounding the tumor site. This will indicate the amount of cancer infiltration into the margins and allow the radiologist to target specific areas for radiation treatment. It will also give us an idea of how far the cancer might have spread into the surrounding tissue. Hopefully, not much.

This report is important important to the radiologist and oncologist because it will help them map out exactly where to concentrate the radiation. As you know, the radiation will destroy the healthy as well as any cancerous cells. The idea is to give enough radiation to kill any rogue cancer cells, but not so much as to cripple her by destroying too much of the healthy tissue that's left or damaging the bone. At this point it looks like chemotherapy will follow radiation treatment.

Ema's spirits are good, and we are both ready to continue this battle with the help of family, friends, and our team of doctors. The kids are glad that mom is home, and don't seem too disturbed by the sight of the gigantic band-aid around mom's leg, only the fact that we didn't opt for the Spongebob Squarepants variety.

I'll post another update as we get the pathology report.

Thanks again for all of your well-wishes and help.

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Day 17 Monday 9/10/07: 9:30 AM – Can you say pins and needles? Surgery is today – 3:30. Resection, reconstruction and skin graph. Three things that just shouldn’t have to be done to a body. Thank God we have the technology to do it though! We are also waiting for the ‘all clear’ from Dr. U on the two latest CT scans – pelvis and thorax/abdomen. So, yes, I’m requiring CPR every time my phone rings this morning.

Day 18 Tuesday 9/11/07: 8:00 AM – Ema’s surgery went as planned and she is resting comfortably in the hospital. We are on step four of making Ema cancer-free: Find, Remove, Heal, Annihilate, Recover. Seems like a solid plan.

On the home front, I’m adjusting well to the role-reversal. Was able to get the kids up and out of bed, pre-dawn. “Is it night or day, daddy?” “It’s both, now get your shoes on.” I have a renewed appreciation for what Ema does every single day. Oh shoot! I just realized I forgot to have them brush their teeth, and today is picture day for Juliana and Nick. . .oh well. At least I didn’t leave the iron on or the shower running as I left the house. I think. I’ll call Dr. U’s office this morning to hear results from the other two CT scans.