Deep breath…

April 16, 2013 in Lymphoma by adminrcr

Going in to surgery

Loopy Jeff going to surgery

Jeff had a really good night’s sleep. He was up roaming the halls when I got to the hospital this morning. On the agenda today was a bone marrow biopsy and the port-a-cath placement. Dr. Oommen says he has Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), but there are subtypes. Further examination is being done of the biopsy material from last Friday to determine the subtype which will further direct his chemotherapy.

Interestingly, they did the bone marrow biopsy in his room. Jeff lay on his side facing me, while the doctor poked and pushed on the back side of his right hip. This is a very painful procedure – for the patient and for the poor sap holding the patient’s hand. Yes, there was pre-medication to help him relax, and local anesthesia, but it doesn’t get to the bone itself. Jeff could swear the doctor had his feet braced on the wall in order to push/drill into his bone. There were a few times Jeff’s eyes widened like he was about to explode, but he was a trooper. (Deeeep breaths) A wise doctor (Dr. Burk) advised that IF it needs to be done again we should give the pre-meds a good chance to take effect before the doctor starts the procedure. Noted! Those meds made Jeff sleep for quite a while after the procedure was done.

Flowers from Sondra

Flowers from Sondra

Next on the agenda was the port-a-cath. Jeff was still pretty loopy from the pre-meds when they came to get him for the surgery. They have a pretty neat surgery organization. I was given Jeff’s surgical case number and shown the monitors in the surgery waiting room. They list each surgical case (by number) – kind of like flights at the airport or the Dominos pizza tracker. The surgery tracker tells you the stage of the case, like “in pre-op”, “case started”, “closing”, etc. At one point I was waiting for Jeff’s case number to cycle to the screen when Dr. Birbari popped up beside me to tell me he was done. All went smoothly and he has a new accessory.

Power port - nothing low-tech for this guy!

Power port – nothing low-tech for this guy!

Jeff was THIRSTY and hungry so he got fed and chatted with visitors. On talking with him on the phone tonight, he said Dr. Oommen is starting Rituxan tonight. This is the first of the chemotherapy “cocktail”. He said we should know the subtype by Friday and should know the bone marrow biopsy results by Thursday or Friday. The “real” chemotherapy will probably not start until all those results are back, and then another 7 days or so in the hospital šŸ™

Visitors today: Kristi Fugate, Dzu Dao, Brenda Pender, Sondra Simpson, Dr. Watenpaugh, Dr. Suri, Dr. Burk, Dr. Gleason, Dr. McDonald