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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Just as Rambo’s commander told him in First Blood:  “It’s over!”

Radiation is over!  Monday was the last day.  I was planning on writing an update Tuesday afternoon but when I got home from yet ANOTHER MRI of my left foot I was so wiped out I was asleep on the couch from noon til about 5PM! (After 5 weeks of radiation every day I felt the need to go to a doctor’s office and lie still on a hard surface for 15 minutes while staring at the ceiling listening to medical equipment making buzzing noises!)  Maybe all the radiation effects finally kicked in at the end?  Maybe it was a relief to finally be done with that trip every day?  C:  All of the above?  Either way I was beat and didn’t even have the energy to get off the couch all day.  On the good news side of things I got this great diploma I would rather not have:

(Click for Larger Image)

It was nice of them to give this to me for  “graduating” from Radiation University.  Now its on to my P.H.D. in beating cancer.   The 5 weeks seemed to go by pretty quickly. Its the next 5 weeks that have got my mind racing again.  With last week’s trip to Manhattan to meet with Dr. Healy I also got the full schedule for April.  The first appointment comes April 3rd.  I will be going in to get an MRI of the knee to check on effects of the radiation and have the pre-op physical. Then on April 4th I will return to meet with the plastic surgeon.  The BIG DAY is April 26th – I start my extended stay at the Upper East side’s luxurious Memorial Sloan Kettering Hotel and Torcher Chamber.  There is a whole lot more to having this tumor removed than I thought.  They aren’t just slicing open a little part of the knee, cutting it out and sewing me up.  They will be removing the tumor and much of the skin around it including some muscle (and whatever else is in there) which will require skin grafts from either my lower leg or back.  Some muscle will also be needed to be filled in around the area because the whole thing is right next to the knee joint that needs to be protected by muscle that they will be removing.  He tells me he’ll be “moving” the peroneal nerve also.  I don’t claim to know what exactly they’ll be doing.  All I know is its gonna suck!  7-10 days in a hospital bed for recovery from the surgery alone!  The first few days will be pretty miserable just sitting there with the leg elevated not being mobile at all.   Hopefully they have good wi-fi because I just got myself the New Ipad.  (So far it’s pretty cool.  My first Apple Product, oh no!!!)  So, the mind races towards April 26th..the new countdown begins just as the old one ended.

Easier said than done…There is an old saying that I dont know the origin of but it says:

“If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back”

I used to think about that a lot with many of life’s challenges and problems.  It always brought a great sense of relief and calmness to whatever issue I was worried about at the time.  Anyone want to take me up on that little game now?

At least I feel like I can see the light at the end of this tunnel for the knee…let’s just hope its not a train 😉  While I was on a roll here I was going to tell you the joke about the broken pencil.  Never Mind.  It’s Pointless.

Time flies when you’re having fun!  Its hard to believe there are only 2 more radiation treatments left. I haven’t put anything on as far as updates recently because there really hasn’t been anything to tell about.  It’s been nothing but drive to Commack every day and come home.  The fatigue sets in quickly at times but other than that the skin is doing fine.  No redness, swelling or blistering as they thought might happen.  There have been no other side effects from it during the entire treatment process.  I shouldn’t say NO OTHER effects.  No one warned me about the weight gain it causes because all you do is sit around and stuff your  face.  There is a great deli right on the way there that forces me to stop by some sort of magnetic force field that draws me in.   Then when I get home a lot of the days I’m too warn out to do much more than sit on the couch,  watch TV and eat cookies.

Now for some good news.  I met with the surgeon, Dr. Healy on Wednesday.  He said everything looks like it is progressing well.  I still have full range of motion in the knee.  No pain.  No skin irritations.  The plan is for the surgery to be in late April.  Either the 19 or 26th.  Dr. Heally is waiting for the plastic surgeon to coordinate with him.  Plastic surgery will be needed after Dr. Healy removes the tumor and relocates the Peroneal Nerve which runs right next to the tumor and along the outside of the knee.  That is one of my biggest concerns.  Hopefully that nerve makes it through without damage and I will not end up with foot drop.  But, if that the worst thing that happens I should consider myself lucky.  The plastic surgeon will need to do some fairly major reconstruction of the area with skin grafts from my lower leg or back.  ( I need to meet with him in a  few days so he can figure out his plan too)  The actual surgery for everything will probably be about 5-6 hours.  Recovery time in the hospital will be 7-10 days!  Not looking forward to that at all.  I will basically be immobile for the first few days, in bed with my leg elevated.  Even after I make it home they tell me I will pretty much be bed ridden with the leg elevated for the next 2-3 weeks.  Now that’s what I call excitement!  (If anyone would like to send me something as a get well gift I had my eye on THIS! )  All in all, it seems to be turning out well.  At least for the radiation part of it, if you listen closely you can here it: