We made it to our 41st anniversary this past August 16th. We celebrated by watching the Olympics, enjoying the day on our deck and a bit of Thai takeout. So simple yet for us very meaningful. Another year in the survivor column is a win.
On the other hand the MRI has been read and still there is uncertainty. It seems that the next step is a referral to orthopedic cancer specialists at Yale New Haven. A possible hip replacement is being considered.
We're getting to some very difficult decisions. Karen's hip is very fragile and in danger of fracture. This is mainly from the tumors although chemo may contribute to bone thinning as well.
Karen already has to be cautious with pressure to that area because of the pain and to protect against fracture.
A meeting with our oncologist is scheduled for Monday and his office is trying to get the next available appointment down at Yale.
How long until we have to make the very difficult decision whether to undergo a surgery is unknown.
Difficult days ahead no matter what.
Photo: Selfie on deck on the occasion of 41st anniversary
"...Take it"; so goes the Yogi Berra quote.
We realized yesterday how many decisions in this cancer treatment have been unanimous. That is until yesterday. We were all set to begin radiation on that painful hip I wrote about in the last post. But....there is suddenly some disagreement in the best course of action.
So an oncologist, a radiologist and an orthopedic surgeon walk into a bar.....if this wasn't painful for Karen I could almost see the humor in the way each speciality wants to address the situation.
Karen's orthopedic doctor was on vacation during last weeks x-rays and decision to radiate. Just before we were to start the radiation the Ortho returned and his read on the x-rays was that the hip pain was associated with an older fracture healing poorly and not any new involvement from a nearby tumor. He thought that radiation may even further slow the healing of the fracture.
Everything screeches to a halt and for an hour or so we are at this fork in the road without much agreement or guidance.
Don't have a medical problem in August is what we've gleaned from this situation, because now the radiologist is away and his associate is filling in.
The upshot is to kick the decision down the road and schedule a MRI. Still waiting for that to happen. More pain meds and stay off the hip seems to be our only option at present.
Concurrently Karen needs another thoracentesis. Her breathing has become more difficult over the last week and we've increased the O2 levels to make her comfortable. I'm starting to lose track; this is either number four or number five. This got scheduled right away; like tomorrow. Which is good because it means less time to become anxious. She hates this procedure with a passion. It's a bit like getting stabbed in the back and not being able to get the knife out.
Hopefully Karen's breathing will be easier while we are standing anxiously at the fork in the road with that damn knife in the back.
Photo: Cynthia Abraham - Karen and Bill at Rogers Lake
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.