Thursday, March 24, 2011

Monumental February

It's hard to believe that two years has flown by. Like that. It was two years ago in February that Derek had his cancer surgery and was declared cancer-free. Make it to the two-year mark with no recurrence and you're pretty much golden. The likelihood of recurrence drops to less than 5%. We were on schedule to get the Official Word that he remains cancer free when life was rudely interrupted by a golf-ball size knot on the front of his right knee.

X-rays revealed that there were bony fragments loose in his knee - one of which appeared to be quite large. Apparently, Derek had Osgood-Schlatter as a child. This causes extra bone growth on the top of the tibia. While this often resolves on its own with no medical intervention, a small percentage of kids take the extra bone growth with them into adulthood. Derek is one of those lucky few. And some of that extra growth had broken off and was free-floating in the knee with the largest fragment being lodged beneath his patellar tendon.

So on the day that he would have seen the oncologist for his two-year check-up, he had knee surgery instead. The fragments were even larger than they appeared on x-ray. In fact, they were so sizable that the doctor had to bring them out to show us on his post-op-everything-is-a-okay visit. The largest one was the size of a large marble; there were two that were small marble sized; and then there were a bunch of little fragments that looked like jacks. It's no wonder he had a huge knot on his knee!

The surgery went fine and I spent a week and a half at home taking care of him. Pain management was our biggest obstacle since the doctor filed off the remaining bony growths on the top of the tibia. *shudder* Biggest RX obstacle: he's allergic to hydrocodone and #2 choice Darvocet is off the market. It took us several days and several phone calls to the doctor to get the right combo of his pain med cocktail. But we eventually got him some relief so he could rest.

We're now a month out and he's doing just fine. He's been on TWO business trips to FL and had his first physical therapy session this week, in fact. He has 120 degrees of motion right now with about 15 degrees more to go. Not bad. Hopefully he's faithful enough to p/t to get his back worked on too!

So what about that two-year follow-up? It's on the schedule for April. We're looking forward to getting some good news!

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