Report from Piedmont Hospital 11-12-09

Hi Everyone,

Great idea about the Mardi Gras beads. My friend Lynn had a big batch and Mom is enjoying the ones I brought with me. She has one around her neck, gave me one to wear. Denice, Howard (the stuffed dog) is right beside her. She let me take her picture (attached, I gave her editorial privileges.) Look closely, she really is smiling.

She's been awesome this morning, 100% cooperative through every poke and prod. That includes the CT scan, getting blood, the 16 ounce drink to help her eliminate the CT scan fluid, changing bedding, answering questions, taking pain meds, blood pressure and vital signs check.

She really wants to go home and is very diligent in her efforts to follow orders and do whatever is asked of her to expedite the process. I'm really proud of her. I asked her what she will do at home and she said . . . "we have a girl that comes every day." "Jeannette?" I asked. Answer: Yes, Jeannette.
She is looking forward to resuming her home routine with more mobility.

One of the surgeons attending the operation came by few minutes ago. She gave me a better description of what they found. I'll try to communicate what she said:

The original needle biopsy showed cancerous cells, but the lab work was inconclusive. When they opened her leg with the incision there was a cavity that was created by accumulated blood and body fluid. It could be the result of her fall (my hope/belief). Or, the accumulation could be caused by a tumor. Tumors sometimes outgrown their blood supply and bleed out whatever blood they have. Dr. Davidson took tissues from the sides of the cavity of blood as well as the 750cc's of old blood. The tissue and blood samples are now at the lab checking for cancer. A CT scan was also done today to check her lungs for soft tissue cancer (SARCOMA), a likely place for it to show up. Regarding the pain that prevented her from walking - the amount of blood collecting would stretch her tissues and nerves to that point on pain.

Dr. Adam Nouland just came by. He is theradiology oncologist and works with Dr. Davidson, the surgical oncologist. Dr. Adam is Australian, fairly young, and grew up in Papua New Guinea where his parents did mission work. I'm glad I was here to give him her medical background concerning the colon cancer and the parathyroid removal. We had a fairly lengthy discussion about the likelihood that the tumor has been growing for a long time (evidenced by size) and the fall created a trauma that has brought the cancer to our attention. I found him to be very bright, deliberate in his assessment and compassionate about her specific situation. I think he will be a good collaborator as we make decisions about radiation as part of her treatment. He checked the wound and said Mom is doing really well. He told me that the tumor wraps 2/3's around Mom's femur with the only side free of tumor, the very back of her leg. The tumor is deep in that it goes down to the bone. There are two radiation possibilities. Before surgery and after surgery. I am to call him later and we will discuss by phone. He said that his experience would indicate that the pathology report will not be back until Monday or Tuesday. The pathology report will tell us the specific type of sarcoma and direct us as to course of action. Preliminary reports from the CT indicate that there is no cancer in her lungs.

Physical Therapy came by. Mom used the walker to the door and back but was favoring her Left leg, no putting her lleft foot all the way down. Tired very easily. a little resistant about the non-walking exercises.

IMPORTANT UPDATE!! Nurse Wanda said they are trying to decide if she will be able to leave the hospital tomorrow. But, probably not to go home. Unless we can provide a certain level of care at home, they would want her to go into rehab. I will try to find out what kind of care it would be necessary. We have to find the balance between having her home and the ability to properly take care of her.

One last thing. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here and spend time with Mama. What an amazing journey we have all been on with this wonderful, dignified, hard-headed, firm and loving Mom who made the (irrational??) decision to bring 8 children into the world. And, I'm so glad to be able to share this part of the journey with all of you up close and personal instead of from afar. Once again, I am so proud of her and so proud of how everyone has pulled together for the singular goal of doing what is best for her.

Love, Jocelyn