Wednesday, July 20, 2011

John Causes Difficulties

Good morning, all! I hope I'm the only one up at this hour, and all of you are safely in bed asleep.
We've had another interesting week. Last Tuesday John had his lung biopsy done, but not without some excitement. First he had to have another 2 liters of fluid drained from his left lung. Then the biopsy itself got a bit messy. The tumor is in the left upper lobe, in the hilar region (near the center of the chest), which is quite vascular. So he did a lot of bleeding - coughed up about 1/3 of a unit of blood, and had quite a bit build up in his pleural space, which had just been drained. Blood is a very concentrated fluid - lots of cells, lots of proteins and things in the serum - so it draws fluid to itself. So Thursday night I took him in to the Goshen ER with another effusion which was drained on Friday, and was quite bloody. They drained all they could, but there was still quite a bit of bloody drainage left in the base of his left lung when he came home on Saturday, so tomorrow morning he will likely be going back to get drained again. This time they will probably insert a chest tube, which is more invasive and uncomfortable but does a much better job of completely draining the space around a lung. Hopefully, that will be that. When he has an effusion it gets big enough to restrict the filling of his heart, so he gets a lot of swelling in his feet and legs, and it presses on his ribs, which causes quite a bit of pain. So he's very ready to get this taken care of.
The good thing about all of this is that it got him into the system at the Goshen Hospital Cancer Center. It is an hour closer than the doctor we'd been referred to in South Bend, and is one of the best cancer centers in the world. We were determined to get transferred to Goshen, but his ER admission took care of that for us. We are very happy with the doctor he is seeing, and with the fact that they are beginning to work with him before the biopsy results are back. Those results will tell us which of 3 possible mutations has caused the cancer, and will determine chemo choice. But nutritional and lifestyle needs are the same no matter what, so we're getting started with that now.
Other that that, we're in the middle of a terrible heat-&-humidity stretch, when even the dog doesn't want set foot (paw?) outside. My flower beds are a mess, but they'll keep until the weather breaks next week. Nobody is outside to see them anyway. Thank goodness for AC!
Sleep well, everybody! We'll keep you posted.

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