Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Looks Like Lefty Gets a Reprieve

But she better be good or we're yanking her parole.

Dr. Cutter went over the MRI report with us in detail, and called a radiologist into the exam room, who also read it. They said they believed that the reporting radiologist was being overly cautious with her conclusions given the decription of the findings (which was all Greek and Latin to us). Today's radiologist said the reporting radiologist probably flagged Lefty for biopsy because of the known cancer in her next door neighbor. "Those findings alone would not have resulted in that recommendation."

There's also an issue with doing a reconstruction on Lefty if she is "outta here" because Venita has intercostal neuritis in her left side. This is neuritis--an inflamation of the nerves--between her ribs. This is a chronic condition; had it since she was in college. She has learned to live with the pain. Dr. Cutter said that putting an implant over that neuritis could lead to extreme discomfort. Dr. suggested that after we get through all of this, Venita should see someone about the neuritis. Venita had the neuritis treated when she was younger, but the steroid shots given with a very long needle through her breast were uncomfortable, and the effects never lasted long. So she gave them up.

Venita and Jim are going to sleep on this decision and call the surgeon's scheduling assistant tomorrow. If we don't flip flop during the night, we will be asking for an MRI wire guided biopsy on Lefty. What that involves is Venita laying on her front in an MRI coffin with Lefty hanging through a hole in the platform board and clamped in mammo plates. Boy doesn't this sound like fun already? They take MRI films, locate the area of concern, and do some external markings. They pull Venita out, take off the vice grip (whew!), numb Lefty, and insert a nonmagnetic wire into Lefty to "target" the area of concern. Then back into the MRI to see whether they got the wire where they wanted. This shows Dr. Cutter where the tissue she is seeking is located. The MRI and wire insertion take about 2 hours.

Then in a wheel chair into pre-op, where Venita goes through the whole thing she went through before with the biopsy on Righty. Local anesthetic but out of it. Will be brought out of anesthesia, sent to recovery and discharge (about 1.5 hours), then whisked home by Jim. Another 3 days of ace bandage over the whole mess.

Venita's already starting to "test" other pain meds because the Vicodin last time made her nauseous and she stopped it within 16 hours of the surgery. This time, she would like something that works, but still hasn't found any yet. She has tried Tylenol with Codeine and Percocet for the post-surgical ischemia (dying tissue) in Righty. Neither of those meds touch her pain, and Venita isn't allowed to use Ibuprofen-based products (which do work for her) because of bleeding/brusing possibilities. Going to try Percogesic (a tylenol/antihistamine combo) tonight. If you have any ideas, let us know.

The pathology report will be available a week later post biopsy. Dr. Cutter said maybe a 10% chance of cancer in Lefty. Once that path report is back, and clear (antijinx), we will proceed to mastectomy and reconstruction on Righty.

6 comments:

Alice said...

I found this site.

http://www.cancer-pain.org/treatments/treatments.html

Alice

Steph said...

That sounds like good news for Lefty! We'll be with you throughout the journey.

-Steph & Cuddles

Cindy and Patches said...

I sending prayers and support....

julie said...

hoping and praying lefty stays on parole..you cracked me up with this post..I got some very visual mental pictures..you are a great writer my friend...as far as pain meds go..I too got quite nauseous from vicodin and codeine related products..I frequently use propoxy apap which is a generic of darvocet..it works well and gives a nice buzz to boot..right after my surgery i am going to have a morphine drip and haven't decided yet which pain killer to go home with..I am researching now and will keep you posted..

Cheri said...

Oh! I so hope Lefty gets a reprieve. Particularly with intercostal neuritis to deal with. I also got some very strong visuals from this part of the blog... YeoW (my boob has inverted and is now touching my backbone). I wish I could recall the name of the drug used in emergency during a ruptured ovarian cyst episode. It worked like a charm. I'm allergic to Morphine. Demerol worked well too. Not sure what they can send you home with though. I was not able to use Vicodin for many years and now it barely touches me and is no problem. Go figure. I hope you find the perfect thing for pain. Pain management is huge in my book. All things look better when you are not suffering needlessly. Will be watching for the Lefty update.

Donna said...

Vicodin(hydrocodone/APAP) caused me a lot of nausea adn vomiting as did Percocet(oxycodone/APAP). Darvocet(Propoxy/APAP) worked well. By the way the APAP is tylenol. I would also recommend a anti-nausea med. Compazine and phergan suppositories work well, but will make you drowsy. Have you had general ansethesia in the past? I unfortunately have reactions to it with N/V. I found the following combo worked well for me: Zofran (IV) prioe to surgery and a Scopolamine patch behind the ear works great. The patch last for 3 days- a lot of people use them for motion sickness.