Friday, October 31, 2008

Update - An Appointment with Dr. K.

Dr. K's office called me yesterday - he asked that I come in and talk to him about what to do about the rib bone and we made an appointment for next Wednesday. Options, as I understand them based on the talks with Dr. H, Dr. M., and my wound care nurse, are:

1) Do a CT scan or a chest x-ray to see what, if anything, is going on with the bone. Is it infected? Or is there some necrosis?

2) In the meantime, continue monitoring the open wound for healing.

3) If the healing plateaus and/or the bone is infected, then surgery is indicated in order to either take out the bone and/or to cover the bone with some soft tissue from my lat.

4) Another option is to undergo hyperbaric oxygen treatments. Apparently, you sit in a chamber that is 100% oxygen for about 20-30 minutes, daily, for four weeks. It apparently does wonders in terms of healing wounds and my rad onc, Dr. M, said that people come out of the chamber feeling really refreshed.

5) Or, we may opt for surgery anyway in order to get some soft tissue over the bone to protect it. If I do surgery, I may have to go off of Xeloda and perhaps Tykerb and then I run the risk of the cancer growing again. Which then argues for what is the lesser of two evils, right?


jeanne said...

Boy, Dee. You have a lot to wrap your head around, don'tyou? I do not know what to say other than I know you'll make good decisions about what to do. But wouldn't it be nice if the treatment was 30 minutes in a bubblebath every day or something?!! xo nyc jeanne

Dee said...

Hi Jeanne,
Yes, a bubblebath would be a great alternative!! These options, as I've outlined them, are just based on conversations I've had with others this week and I really don't know what direction Dr. K. will go. I think I just had to write down what I've been hearing this week in order to get it straight in my own head. So, we'll see what Dr. K has to say next week!

Hope you're doing well!

MisAnthropology said...

I know nothing, of course, but that idea of hanging out in the oxygen bar sounds pretty appealing...

Dee said...

Hi Mary,
The only problem with said oxygen chamber is that the closest one is in Salem . . . so it'd take a few hours every day . . . but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!