Hi VP's...well we just got back from more waiting in the clinic and we have now seen both Dr. Gillenwater, the surgeon, and Dr. Hong, Bren's oncologist. Just as we suspected, several...5 lymph nodes in her neck (3 on the right side and 2 on the left)...are still lighting up and have to come OUT! We still don't know if there is residual disease in this "bad boys" or if they are dead, but because of so much radiation, they are still lighting up. They will send these guys to the lab to actually see if they are alive or dead. Regardless...they will come out along with some surrounding tissue to make sure the "Big C" is history.
The good news is that the current scans still show no metabolic activity in Bren's sinus and brain where those other tumors/lesions were. YEA!!!! We are soooo happy about that. There is no new activity any where else as well so that continues to be very good news.
The other problem that poor Bren has been having is the scar tissue in her nose that has been trying to close off her nasal breathing. We talked to Dr. Gillenwater about this as well. She is going to do an endoscopic exam on Friday when Bren is knocked out just to look around and see if there is anything else that is suspicious in her sinuses that need attention. When she's in there, she's going to try and open Bren's nasal cavity by putting some stints in her nose...sew them in...and leave them in about 6 to 8 weeks until the scar tissue hopefully heals OPEN! We were in hysterics in Dr. Hongs office visualizing flexible McDonalds straws up her nose. You know that sick gallows humor that cops have? Well we were cracking ourselves up laughing at all the information...as in horrible side effects...that could result from trouble with the surgery. Believe me...we are very nervous about this upcoming surgery. This is just the sick way we know that takes some of the tension out of this situation. We sure had some good belly laughs though.
There are all sorts of horrible things that can go wrong with this surgery...most involve nerve and muscle damage. It's amazing all the stuff that's in your neck. Dr. Gillenwater is a very good surgeon and she has done this type of surgery many times before so we hope and pray that she's "spot on" Friday and that the surgery goes flawlessly. We anticipate Bren being in the hospital about 1 or 2 days. I won't have a time of the surgery until Thursday, but I'll definitely post that on the blog when I get it. We'd really, really appreciate lots of positive thoughts and prayers that day. I'll definitely have my laptop and will keep you all posted so stay tuned.
So there ya have it dear friends...I think I've got everything that happened covered. It's really chilly here today and we were talking about going to Kemah tomorrow to walk around the shops by the marina. I think we might do something with Paula and Jason on Wednesday. There's a couple more appointments we have at the clinic but we know the path the week will take so now it's just that waiting game until we can get this surgery behind us.
Keep watching the blog for future update and pics. We hope this note finds you all well and getting ready fro a wonderful Thanksgiving...that's right around the corner!!
Blessings to you all...
Dee and Brenda