Christine's Second Surgery

One Step Forward

It’s been a busy week for Christine and it’s still only Wednesday! On Monday and Tuesday, she had 5 doctors appointments and there were some issues to clarify. First of all, the hole on her cheek is an infection and not a new tumor. This was our biggest worry. It’s now being treated with antibiotics and wound care, so we hope for an improvement this week. The open wound on her arm is ready for a graft and the surgery date given to us was August 10th! Dr. Garvey said this was unacceptable and it’s now May 4. All other wounds (leg x 2) are healing nicely.

We met with the radiotherapy doctor, Dr. Chronowski, and we started the process of arranging radiotherapy, which will be 5 days a week for 6 weeks. When we start is yet to be decided as it all depends on how the infection heals. Thanks to COVID for all this uncertainty! That extra week when her appointments were put back created all kinds of problems! Also the tracheotomy tube is still in place until the infection shows some positive healing.

Christine had a swallow test on Tuesday and she passed, thankfully. This shows that the inside mouth surgery has healed and there are no leaks. That means she can go back onto proper food! Yay! Christine had tomato soup for dinner and it tasted SO good after 5 weeks being fed directly into my stomach via feeding tube. The feed tube will remain until after radiation is complete, just as a precaution. She will be on soft food/ liquids for a few days then she will progress slowly to more solid foods. She has plenty of lovely soups in the freezer, so she is looking forward eating those again (thanks, Michelle)

On the COVID front, we are both still totally isolating for the foreseeable future. We only go out to the hospital, which is like a ghost town! Thankfully MD Anderson only deal in cancer, so no COVID patients are there to infect us, although they are still taking every precaution to stay safe. We’re keeping busy and not getting bored. Changing dressings seems to take 1/2 the day and of course we have the lovely garden and pool to sit beside in the afternoons in perfect, beautiful weather. Couldn’t be better if we were in the Caribbean! Christine is able to walk around the pool with the aid of a walker, so she gets a bit of exercise, and Andy is swimming daily, although the water is still quite cool. So, life’s not all bad, in fact much better than a lot have in the present situation and we’re grateful for it.

Again, we must thank all the wonderful friends who keep sending messages of encouragement, even though we can’t meet, and all the lovely surprise FaceTime calls and emails from people far and wide! We’re doing OK and a lot of that is due to you. Thank you.

Of course, if you no longer wish to receive these updates please let us know and we’ll take you off the list.