Headed down to BWH early this morning for a full day of appointments with Kathy. We had a 7:45 MRI followed by a 9:45 meeting with the pre-op team and finishing up with a meeting with the surgeon, Dr.Marco Ferrone.
The MRI was fun as usual trying to stay still for 45 minutes as the machine bangs away creating images of my left thigh. They injected a fluid thru an IV for the last 20 minutes of the MRI which allows the doctors to see the blood flow and highlights the tumor since it is vascular.
Then on to the Wiener Center to meet with a nurse practitioner. She is responsible for making sure we are fully aware of all that has to happen leading up the surgery. She is a Saint A’s grad so we got along very well! The paper work we had from the hospital referred to the surgery as “same day” which lead us to believe that it would be an in and out situation. The nurse was very clear that I was in the system as an admitted patient and I would not be leaving the same day. The meeting with Dr. Ferrone would provide more details.
We got to Dr. Ferrone’s office just in time as we had been running behind all day. After a short wait we were directed to a room to wait for him. No needles this time which made me happy as the previous 2 visits made me feel like a pin cushion. Dr. Ferrone came in and filled us in on the procedure. The MRI showed the tumor was a little smaller but is still about 4″x 5″. It is also closer to the femur than they thought before.
He is going to make two incisions on my left thigh. One on the inside and one one the outside, pretty much the length of my thigh. This will allow access to the tumor without disturbing the main muscle on the top of my thigh. He will work from both sides to remove the tumor and a margin of healthy tissue all around the tumor. He will not actually see the tumor as it will be encased in good tissue or what they call “margin”. He will also take some tissue off the femur to insure no cancer is left behind. He may end up putting a stainless steel plate on the bone to help reinforce it. The mass/tumor will then be given to pathology while I am still on the table. They will verify that the mass has no cancerous cells in the margin and then give Dr. Ferrone the okay to close up the incisions. The procedure will take 4-5 hours. Recovery will be 3-5 days in the hospital. They want to make sure that all of the possible side effects do not be come a problem. The possibility of infection is 1 in 3 but that may not show up (if it’s going to) for about 2 weeks. The can usually control any infection with antibiotics so it should not be an issue.
It is going to be quite the procedure but it needs to be done so we can move forward. We have tremendous faith in the people at BWH and in particular, Dr Ferrone. He is one of the best in the world at treating Sarcoma’s and we are lucky to be in his care.