Thank you for visiting my Caring Bridge site and for your prayers and support as I begin a journey which began unexpectedly last week.
As many of you know, I underwent a successful surgery in June for a left knee replacement at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater. And if you've experienced a knee replacement yourself or know someone who did, adherence to a strict physical therapy regimen is vital for restoring the knee's flexibility and mobility. My therapy was going extremely well. My therapist commended me on my progress, saying I was ahead of schedule. In four weeks I was able to navigate stairs and walk--although not a great distance--without the aid of a cane or walker. I was feeling great.
On Sunday, July 23rd, after hosting a party at my house for a few of my girl friends., I had a "non-event" of simply twisting with my feet planted, resulting in an excruciating pain in my right hip. I was unable to walk or stand. It was only with the help of my brother Charlie and husband Ted that I was able to make it the car and be driven to the emergency room at Lakeview.
X-rays and CAT scans revealed a fracture in my right pelvic bone due to a weakening in the bone, and that the weakening was the result of lesions stemming from a spread of cancer that had developed in a breast.
I was admitted to the hospital and spent several days of further testing to confirm the original diagnosis. The good news was no evidence of additional spreading to vital organs and other places. On Friday (July 28th) I was transferred to a transitional care facility where I have been receiving physical therapy to gain enough mobility so that I can return home and continue healing there. Our home has steps to navigate and not until I am able to handle them safely will I be discharged.
Today (Monday, July 31st), I met my oncologist, who summarized the strategy going forward. My breast cancer is a highly treatable form and the strategy for treatment is chemical, without surgery or chemotherapy at this time. That treatment begins tomorrow. The bone break will not require surgery either but will take 6 weeks to mend on its own. In the meantime, I will receive chemical treatment to maintain general bone integrity and strength and hopefully avoid a break somewhere else similar to what my hip experienced.
It is important that I go home to be in comfortable and familiar surroundings. My goal is to be home in a week. This will require continued physical therapy--and not just in my hip--but also to make sure I don't lose any of the progress I've already made in my knee. At first, the diagnosis of my hip included the advice "non-load bearing", an expression that means as much to an engineer as to a doctor, creating a dilemma: how can I keep weight off my right hip when it means putting all my weight on my recovering left knee? Then my orthopedic doctor, the same doctor who had performed my knee surgery, revised the advice to say I can shift a good portion of the load to my hip if I am able to withstand the discomfort. The load can be leveled. Engineers and patients prefer that.
Thanks for your prayers and support. I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many caring friends and family members. I know all of you are with me and I feel your presence as I begin the journey before me.
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