Finally got to consult with the Yale Orthopedic doctor specializing in both cancer and hip replacement. Wonder of wonders he suggests that we try radiation first.
Our radiologist was scheduled to begin that treatment regime on Karen's hip a month ago. Her regular Orthopedic doctor weighed in for more info first. He was worried that radiation while it may work against the tumors in the hip it slows healing of fractures.
August turned into a month of scheduling x-rays, MRI and PET scans, second opinions and waiting.
Now we're armed with Yale docs input. His opinion seems conservative enough. In fact, last December both hips had small fractures and the left was irradiated early on and healed enough so that it doesn't cause her pain. It's worth a try on the right.
Tomorrow we meet with our oncologist to review the hip recommendations and get his opinion on PET scan comparisons. The PET tells us how fast (or slow) the cancer advances and ultimately whether our treatment options have been working.
We did take a chance over Labor Day weekend and traveled to Ithaca for our annual visit with very dear friends from college. Our oncologist who very much values a balance of treatment and quality of life was a bit nervous about the possible recurrence of spontaneous bone breaks. Ultimately Karen wanted us to not worry about the worst that could happen but hope for the best. We had a lovely and memorable weekend. Our friends are some of the loveliest people anywhere.
Cancer support...it takes a village.
Photo - Eileen Haggerty - Karen and Louise Foster
William and Karen - Karen and I have been married for 41 years. Karen's breast cancer has reached stage 4. This is what happens next.