Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Biopsy Done

Much of today was spent at the hospital as they did a needle biopsy of the large tumor in Sandi's back and groin. She is in some pain, but the meds are helping so she is home and as comfortable as she can be right now. I did not go into detail  about this before today because we were scared enough. I did not want to scare everyone with what could have happened today. Now that it is over, I can talk about it.

Her tumor is about the size of a baseball and has tentacles and stuff hanging off it in different directions. It is located just off the left side of her spinal column, at the base there and runs from the front of her body to the back--just below the surface of her skin-- if you count in the tentacles. While we knew going in that this would be very dangerous to try to needle biopsy because the thing is wrapped in arteries, blood vessels, and nerves it was far worse than thought.

It is nestled between two small pieces of bone and was much more wrapped up in arteries and things than expected. They had to thread the needle into her back, slide up the back side of the bone and then drop over the top of the bone and down before the other piece of bone. They had to do this while sliding around nerves that control bodily function, range of movement, and a lots of other things. They had to do that without also damaging numerous arteries that crisscross the thing along with blood vessels and stuff that is part of the urinary tract. While he knew going in it was a bad deal, I think if he had known going in what he figured out when he was in there, he never would have tried this today. The man was absolutely exhausted when I met with him after they moved her back to recovery.

It took far longer than expected, hours longer in fact, but they were finally able to get four samples. Pathology personnel was brought in to assist in the middle of the procedure and was able to confirm that at least one of the samples was definitely a piece of the tumor. Once they determined that they  got out as quick as possible. I think there were concerns about how long everything had taken and the need to take what they had and get out while the getting was good. I think they were relived to have gotten one confirmed sample and are hoping the others will turn out to be viable as well.

So, they have four samples and know for sure after testing in the operating room that one of the four has what they were going after. It most likely will be early next week before the pathology report comes back and we know which kind of cancer this thing is. That will determine the treatment plan.

The specialist confirmed what we had been told last week---there is absolutely no way possible to remove this particular tumor. Even if they could get it out of her, the risk of irreversible damage to bodily functions and other issues is off the charts. It appears that it will be a chemo and/or radiation situation if a separate treatment plan for this thing has to be developed. We won't know that for sure until the report comes in early next week.

At this point the plan is to have lab work, doctor visit, and chemo next Wednesday as planned.


Bill Crider said...

Sounds terrible, all right. Judy had a similar tumor at a very precarious place in her back, and surgery wasn't an option. Radiation killed it, and maybe that's what will work in Sandi's case.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hoping for the best, Kevin. Don't know you two keep going. You are heroic.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

I'm very afraid of the radiation stuff, Bill. Seen a lot of burned patients when they are trying to stop lung cancer. Not to mention all the nausea and other stuff.

Thanks, Patti. Sandi is the hero along with those treating her and keeping her here with us. As well as the incredible number of folks praying and think of us.

Elizabeth said...

Praying hard for you & your family Kevin.

Reine said...

It must be terribly difficult with painful. Knowing what type it is allows the most effective treatment available, so it's good they were able to sample. I hope that with improvements that have been made in radiology in recent years, Sandi will have better results than others you have know. Blessings.

BPL Ref said...

I am so sorry to hear about the ongoing ordeal. I second the motion that both of you are heroes. Sandi has borne more than anyone should be asked to do, and has done so with amazing grace; but you have also been strong and faithful and deserve much credit. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.