Steve Hutchison (foomf) wrote,
Steve Hutchison

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Well. It's still about 85 in here, though the temperature is dropping in other parts of the house.

Penny's oncologist visit (Dr. Gosewehr) was today at 3:30.

It was a toasty 90 degrees at noon when we decided to get the heck out of the house before it got too hot to think.
The idea was to see a movie then go to the clinic in time.
We learned that there were no theatres showing anything we wanted to see until after 2pm. Feh.

So it's off to eat, which is good anyway because I was starving. Pho, that is. The best pho restaurant in the Portland Oregon Area, Pho Huang. That was calming, which we needed, and cool, as it was air conditioned, and really nice when we left because it didn't heat us up a lot. From there, we went to St. Vincent's Hospital, where the medical offices were; after wandering around a bit in the Wrong Places (traffic flow at the hospital is from hell) we got Penny dropped off at the right place, I parked, and waded through the thick hot muggy air until we got inside.
We were a little early. First, the nurse saw us, took medical history, went over everything, made notes. Then, the trainee-doctor, a very nice woman, saw us, took medical history, went over everything, made notes. Finally, Dr. Gosewehr saw us. He reviewed the history himself, but didn't actually take it himself. He went over the diagnoses and the imaging.

Some odd news: The cancer itself is about the size of a smallish plum, or at least, the mass that may contain the cancer. The doctor thinks it maybe a fibroid of some sort, since the cells didn't appear to him to be consistent with a stage 2 cancer; he believes the assessment may be right that the cervical biopsy was contaminated with 'leaking cells' ... it seems to be fairly common, or at least heard-of.

The cryosurgical alternative that my brother's girlfriend had, is not used on uterine cancers, only on cervical cancers.
They use four methods to treat cancer of the uterus. Hormonal ... not going to be used.
Radiation - used as an adjunct, or when surgery is not advised for various reasons.
Abdominal entry hysterectomy - the classical 'rip it out' method. Not advised for persons who for whatever reason cannot deal well with having a big hole put in their abdominal wall. Takes a couple weeks or so to heal from this, with difficulty moving and so fort for the first week.
Vaginal entry hysterectomy - the modified classical 'rip it out' method. Not nearly so invasive. Takes a day in hospital and heals in two days or so, maybe a week.

On the downside: Penny has asthma (makes it hard on the anaesthesiologist) and diabetes (slows healing). She also had a cholecystectomy (laparascopic removal of gall bladder) and had Complications because the surgeon didn't do things right.

The outcome: Dr. Gosewehr did a test involving a 'pinch' where he basically probed around her insides (rubber gloves and lots of lube) to see if her uterus would move easily. It will. So he CAN do the vaginal entry hysterectomy. He's going to be gone for two weeks, though, very soon.
So, he advised that we get a second opinion and guidance from a radiation oncologist at Good Samaritan, to find out how she'd do having the radiation treatments. Some definite risks there too, as it's a five week, five days a week ZAP treatment, followed by a week of rest, then internally applied radiation twice in one week, a week of rest, and the final treatment. And it MIGHT be all gone, by the end of that time.

I'm suspecting, all things considered, we'll eventually decide on the surgery, but ... first we talk to yet another oncologist.


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