February 6, 2012
WOW! What a day. There is no way to possibly describe the emotional roller coaster we have been on today. We woke up this morning fully anticipating a definitive answer to the spots on her lungs. Here is the chronicle of the day:
The second biopsy results came back negative; no cancer, no fungus, and no bacteria. We all smiled for about two seconds before there was a BUT. Apparently, a big BUT.
The team still felt very strongly that these spots are, in fact, lung cancer. Our stomachs all fell to the ground. The doctors continued on about how this JUST HAD to be cancerous. They just need to do ONE MORE BIOPSY (maybe two) to be certain. Of course, this meant that we had to include even more doctors. We already felt like every doctor in the hospital had paraded through the room.
The circus continued, and this is what they proposed:
Try another biopsy with the interventional radiologist and wait and see if the pathology produced a different result. If this biopsy was negative for cancer, they would still want to do yet another biopsy. However, this time Elaine would be put under general anesthetic while the doctor would attempt to get tissue from one of her lymph nodes for biopsy. If that came back negative, we would watch it and the doctors would remain suspicious.
To say that we were frustrated was an understatement. Someone was going to come and talk to us by 11:30.
We run into one of the doctors in the hall. He advises against eating or drinking so they can do a biopsy in a few hours (she already had breakfast).
A different doctor says go ahead and eat and drink, they aren’t going to do a biopsy until Tuesday or Wednesday.
Wait! No food or drink. NPO!!! (we don’t know what it stands for, but they put that sign outside her door when she isn’t supposed to eat or drink). We are trying to decide how to proceed.
Okay, go ahead and eat and drink.
New plan. Don’t eat and drink.
We were literally putting her drink in front of her then taking it away.
We decide to go ahead and let her eat and drink. Elaine has decided to go straight to the node biopsy that will definitively determine if it is cancer or not.
The afternoon was very long and very grim. Elaine did physical therapy and did incredible despite her mood. She even took some steps on her walker!
Elaine was understandably very mad, down, irritated and frustrated. A doctor would walk in and she would pick up her phone, not interested in what they had to say, and certainly not interested in telling them her name and birthdate for the millionth time (no joke).
They scheduled her biopsy for Wednesday at 3:00pm
At about 5:30 PM, the heart surgeon walks in, sits down in a chair and delivers the news we’ve been wanting to hear. He says,
“I DON’T THINK YOU HAVE CANCER!”
She looks away from her phone for the first time all day and everyone sits up straight in their chairs and is ready to listen. He went on to explain that he has studied her chart, looked at the scans and results and he firmly believes it is scar tissue from her previous heart surgeries. He has talked to the rest of the team and they are all on board with his findings. He suggested going to the rehab facility and recovering from her stroke and forgetting about this whole cancer scare. They will rescan her in 3-4 weeks just to be sure, but he doesn’t see any reason why that would change.
We could literally feel the weight come off all of our shoulders. It is hard to describe the relief. Prayers (ours and yours) have been answered. Thank you so much for sending them! Elaine celebrated with a steak, baked potato, and broccoli. We are going to look at a rehab facility tomorrow and hope to get her moved by Wednesday.
She still has to recover from a major stroke, but we know that with her determination and work ethic, she absolutely will! Her sister Vangie is staying with her in the hospital tonight. We were joking that Elaine is going to keep Vangie up all night requesting arm weights and doing leg lifts!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your prayers, well wishes, and love. We are so relieved to be through this scare and we know God heard our prayers. Please continue to pray for her recovery. She does need them. Its almost unbelievable that after this tremendously scary cancer scare, something as serious as a stroke seems manageable. She will overcome it with all of our (including yours) support. We can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done, but don’t stop now!
Elaine always defies the odds and she has done it again. Her perseverance, courage, and determination will get her through this. We will be by her side every step of the way, ETS- Exceptional, touch and strong!
We love you all and thank you! Sleep well tonight. We know we will!