Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thank you for all of your prayers and calls to check on our family. Your support is very appreciated and your shared concerns for us only further proves what a kind, caring group of friends surrounds our family.

I wanted to let you know an update on Brad's recovery. Tuesday morning I took Brad in to see the orthapediac surgeon who worked on his leg last week. Brad had been experiencing excessive swelling, inflamation and a sudden increase in pain in his leg. Against his desires, I took him in to see the doctor to ensure that everything he was experiencing was a normal part of the recovery process. While we were in the office, the doctor let us know the results of the biopsy of bone surrounding the tumor mass that had just come in.

Despite the doctor's original prediction, the biopsy results for the remaining bone came back showing malignant tumor. I have to admit that this diagnosis was the furthest thing from my mind and caught me completely off-guard.

The bone cancer that Brad has been diagnosed with does not respond to typical radiation and will have to be removed physically from the bone. The doctor basically left us with a couple of options: either (1) full knee replacement (downside being that Brad is only 30 and the knee replacements generally only have a life of 7-10 years; meaning lots of surgeries through life and he will have to discontinue sports and agressive exercise that only put further wear on the knee.) or (2) amputation above and below the knee; using the heel to create a new knee and prosthetics below the knee.

There is some chance of the cancer moving to other areas of Brad's body but only occurs in less than 50% of cases. Brad will continue to have scans run to ensure that the cancer has not already spread to other areas. The doctor suggests waiting at least 6 weeks to allow for Brad's leg to recover from the first surgery. We are not certain at this time when we will elect to have the next surgery, being that baby #2 is scheduled to be delivered by c-section in just 4 weeks (Valentine's Day to be exact).

Although the news is still very new to us, I can certainly see a plan for how Brad and I will move forward through this battle and come out stronger in the end. It is with the support of wonderful Christian friends like you who help to keep us positive and focused on the infinate possiblities that God has in store for our lives. I also have come to realize that it is through life's challenges such as this that we are able to reach out to others with similar life-struggles who need our support.

Thank you so much for being such a beautiful picture of God's love to us. Your faith in His healing power and your support for our family means everything to me.
Hugs, Jen

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Biopsy shows Chondrosarcoma

As most of you know, I previously had a tumor in my knee. In December, I had a needle biopsy that came back negative for malignancy. Dr. Marco told us from the beginning that a negative test result would mean we were still uncertain (meaning the cells they removed were not cancerous...but there could be other cancerous cells in a different location).

During the surgery, the doctors removed the entire tumor mass but left as much bone as possible in order to save mobility and function of the knee. After the surgery the bone surrounding the tumor was further tested and revealed a cancer that has a moderate chance of spreading to the lungs. Therefore the bone left in the knee has cancer in it.

Dr. Marco has shared with me three options
1)Remove infected bone and replace bone with a bone from a bone bank. This would require a complete reconstruction of the acl and a complete knee replacement in 5 or six years
2)Complete knee replacement using metal and plastic. Down side is the more wear and tear on the knee, the faster you will need another one.
3)Amputate the above the knee and down to mid calf. Use the remaining foot leg bone and ankle/heel as the new knee with prosthetics below the knee.

Marco wants to wait at least 8 weeks to let everything heal up and also allow us time to decide where to go from here. My initial feelings lean toward the complete knee replacement. The other concern is of the cancer spreading to the lungs. I had a c.t. scan before surgery that revealed no tumors in the lungs. However, the cancer is slow-growing so it could already be there and just not visible. I will continually have c.t. scans to check That is our update. Please continue to pray for Jenny as she is due with our second baby in less than 1 month. Also pray for Zeke as he is in the difficult transition from only child to soon to be little brother (which is only complicated with all the added stress of my medical conditions.)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I know some of you are in the dark about my surgery so I thought I would include two pics from yesterday when Jenny cleaned my wounds. The first photo shows the cut where they took my lcl out and put it on the table. They had to reconnect it with a post to the bone in my leg. The second cut actually itches a lot worse and is on the back side of the knee