As the boys got comfy on one of the cream couches at the clinic yesterday, Tyz and I decided to go down to the reflection room to fill in some time before Brendan’s appointment began. We had no sooner walked in and made ourselves at home on the meditation cushion when Bren called us back upstairs, as he had been called into the consult room, early.
Tyz and I quickly made our way to the elevator just in time to ride up with DR P, Brendan’s orthopedic surgeon. This great man has, in the last 2 years, given Brendan two life saving surgeries. In that time I have been present for maybe four consultations with him and he and Brendan have had several phone conversations. I introduced myself and Tyz, we all had a very brief elevator chat, he smiled at Tyz and told her that there was no denying who her mum was, and I told him we would be seeing him in clinic in a few minutes as we stepped out of the lift and went on our way.
Bades directed me to room 3, I met Brendan in there and we waited for the team to gather. We would bring the kids in when we had a better idea of what this consult was about. S – Dr P’s assistant came in and said she wasn’t sure why we were here, she went to find files in the staff area. We heard Bren’s oncologist Dr V arrive and ask S why Brendan was here. Because this appointment hadn’t been scheduled by his staff, he wasn’t sure what was happening either. He caught Bren’s eye and said he’d be back shortly and I went and got the kids and brought them into room 3, as it looked like this was just going to be a quick check up and go.
We all eventually ended up in the same room at the same time; there was Dr P & his assistant S, Dr V and his CNC K, an intern (I think) that we hadn’t seen before – whose name I don’t know, Bren, the two kids and me. Nine of us in all, quite a motley crew! Dr V was happy to see Tyra and Baden as he had not met them before.
As it turned out Dr P knew exactly why we were there, but …he did still want to get his ‘unholy trinity’ (I thought he said holy trinity) to double check Bren’s MRI film that afternoon before he could tell us much; he went on to explain that the hot spots that had shown up previously, (although not impressive) they needed some more consideration.
We were told that there are two likelihoods to consider:
The first: being quite likely, is that what are showing up are nerve endings that have healed with a small bulb like shape at the end. Not uncommon post amputation.
The second: is the possibility of disease recurrence, which will mean more surgery to remove spots, resulting in Brendan losing maybe another centimetre of his remaining femur. There would be about 3 weeks recovery time and most probably a new prosthetic fitting with ongoing recovery to get walking again. Because they feel Brendan is moving forward in leaps and bounds – everyone is hoping that this is not the option that has to be taken.
Chemo at home will continue as normal, regardless. (Yep, how strange is it that ‘Chemo’ is as normal!)
Baden listened intently to all of this; Tyra had excused herself to go to the bathroom and caught the tail end of the conversation when she returned. When he finished speaking Dr P turned to Bades and said kindly,”Do you understand all of what I just said?”
Bades said he did. Dr P then said, “Well, do you think you can explain it all to your sister later?”
Bades thought for a minute and said, “I’m not sure, maybe.”
“Good.” Was Dr P’s reply.
The conversation went on to discuss when Brendan’s amputation had been performed. Dr P thought it was around the March of 2015, Dr V agreed, I said I thought it was the 30th of March, and Tyz reminded everyone that it had been Easter. Her contribution was appreciated.
During the conversation about scans, and what may or may not happen next, Bren had to drop his pants so that his leg could be checked, there is no room for modesty in these situations.The consult and the rhythm of the room continued, Dr P went on to explain again, this time I think for the kids benefit… that when he started out treating sarcoma many years ago the patient either lived or died – there was no middle ground. Now there is a growing middle ground with people continuing to live with the disease.
The consult concluded with Dr P saying he would ring Brendan over the weekend to let him know what the MRI revealed, he smiled at Bades, gave Tyz a friendly, grandfatherly pat on the head and left. Dr V and K then said their see you laters, they are always the last to leave the consult…and are starting to feel like old friends.
It was interesting to see Tyra and Baden interact and take everything in throughout the consult, and important I think that they got to hear their dad’s condition being discussed openly in front of them by his doctors, giving them a better understanding of what is going on. We have always been age appropriately honest with them about Brendan’s cancer. They are an important part of the team and are treated that way.
We felt pretty confident, after a confusing start, that all was well, and are happy with the precautions and care that Brendan’s team are taking in his regard.
On the way home we called in to Max Brenner to celebrate in the best way ….with chocolate! (see happy chocolate induced joy in main photo!)
Dr Stalley rang this morning to say that his team think that evidence of the hot spots on the MRI being disease recurrence is underwhelming, as far as they are concerned. So these spots will be watched carefully and another MRI will be taken in three months.
Phew…no operation!!! We are very happy with this news!
Life is good and hope is limitless.