Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Wait and See"

(by Brandon Heath) Brandon Heath - What If We - Wait and See



I'm sorry I haven't posted much this week. If I haven't talked to you personally (or you haven't seen my facebook status), you probably aren't aware that my mister ended up having surgery yesterday. Let me start at the beginning...

Christopher had an appointment with his ocular oncologist on Thursday (basically, just his regular 3-month visit). Dr B was still concerned about the blood vessel that has been bleeding since the beginning of August. As you may recall, Chris saw a specialist (Dr C) back in September; but at that time was advised against surgery. Dr C's concern was that there were possibly cancerous cells still in the tumor, and the surgery would risk spreading it. As I've mentioned before, the bleeding is not a metastatic concern; but it prevents Chris from being able to see, & it prevents Dr B from being able to get a good look at his eye.

So, Dr B sent Chris for another ultrasound, and we found that the tumor has shrunk some more. Again, this doesn't mean much from a metastatic standpoint, but we take what good news we can get! It is still considered medium-sized, but it is now more in the middle of medium, rather than at the top! {If you care to know more about the staging, you can see a detailed explanation here. Christopher's tumor started at about 6mm deep & 13.5mm in diameter, and is now about 3.5mm deep & still 13.5mm diameter, which is considered T2a.} Dr B was very pleased with the amount of shrinkage at this point.

After looking at the ultrasound pictures, Dr B recommended that Chris go back to Dr C to have the surgery to cauterize the hemorrhaged vessel & clean out the blood. He explained that the tumor is sterilized, so there shouldn't be a risk of spreading cancerous cells. When we went to see Dr C, he also warned of a higher possibility of a cataract developing. We are already expecting cataract surgery as a result of the radiation, so this isn't really a concern for us. He just may end up needing surgery a little sooner than if he only had radiation damage. The only other concern is that after surgery, other vessels inside the eye may ooze some blood, and they'll have to go back & suck the blood out. That, also, isn't too big of a concern, because it shouldn't be any worse than what he is dealing with right now!

It just so happened that Dr C had an opening for surgery the very next day, so we took it. It was an outpatient procedure called a vitrectomy. [I was going to post a link, but the picture is just too gross!] We went in super early on Friday morning, only to wait over FOUR hours for him to finally be taken in to surgery {I still don't understand why we couldn't just show up an hour before they expected to be ready for him!! Ugh!} A little over an hour later, Dr C came out to say that surgery went well. He was in recovery for about 30 minutes, and then we were free to leave. He seemed to have slept well last night (with a little help from some hydrocodone he still had from his last surgery).

At the follow up appointment today, Dr C explained that he saw some white spots in Christopher's eye. These spots indicate a lack of circulation due to radiation damage, so he might not be able to see as well as they had hoped. He said we'll just have to wait & see. Other than that, it looked good. To me, it looks worse than when the plaque was in his eye, but that blood will go away WAY easier than the blood on the inside of his eye. When Dr C checked Christopher's vision, he was unable to see the chart. But, he could see a few feet away, so that's progress!

As for my mister's recovery, he's doing very well! He is only on Tylenol & shouldn't need anything more than that. He doesn't feel great, but not awful either. He describes it like a paper cut with stitches & all of your eyelashes turned inside your eyelid. {Sorry if that made you gag!} He felt well enough to have a couple of friends over tonight, so I think that's good! He can go back to work on Monday, & he should be able to see out of his eye within a week or two! He'll be able to get rid of the patch & not have to deal with pirate jokes {though I must say, he rocked the patch! Not everybody can get by with that!}



Amy

2 comments:

Brooke said...

my prayers are with you & the mister. *hugs*

lewiston said...

ah, his discription made my eye "hurt". :/ i thank the Lord for the Dr.'s wisdom and care for chris - sounds like they're doing they're best and staying on top of things.
you're right, he totally rocked the patch! but i'm sure he's ready to move on!