“Nurse” Libby has been taking good care of Steve–and Steve is becoming able to do more himself. He is still experiencing alot of pain-both around the stitches and phantom pain. Another check-up today with the orthopedic surgeon and more stitches were removed. Steve still has alot of bleeding from the stump. Chemo needs to be postponed until more healing takes place. The biopsy results of the tumor revealed 70% necrosis (tissue death). This is not good news as the oncologists would like to see results of 98% necrosis.
Went to the clinic to see the orthopedic surgeon and had a very good check-up. Some stitches were removed and the residual limb (stump) seems to be healing well with no signs of infection. We were given instructions on wrapping the stump and Steve was fitted with crutches for future use as well as shown how to balance using the walker.
Steve was discharged on Tuesday, August 16th. He was eager to see the apartment. Steve is on alot of medications including IV antibiotics and is experiencing extreme pain. But it is amzing how he can move himself around. And he is a good wheelchair driver!! Steve is really enjoying sleeping in a real bed again and breathing some fresh air!! The cards, calls, e-mails, and visits are much appreciated. Anyone wanting the apartment address can contact any of us.
FINALLY A LITTLE GOOD NEWS!
Steve underwent 6 hours of surgery yesterday. He was very brave and wasn’t even scared before he went in to surgery. Right now he is trying to rest and deal with immense pain. He is using a pump that delivers shots of morphine every ten minutes, but frankly it doesn’t seem like it’s working. Despite all of the pain, Steve is in a very cheerful mood and very happy with the outcome.
The surgeon (Dr. Cheng) removed his femur (thigh bone) almost up to his hips. Then he used his tibia (shin bone) and attached to the little bit of femur with a metal plate. They completely removed the tumor, along with the rest of his leg, which means technically that Steve is rid of cancer! His remaining leg is about a foot long, which should be great for using a prosthetic.
We are all very happy with his small remaining leg because only a few days before, the team of surgeons from MN and WI said they would have to remove his leg all the way up to his hip bone, leaving NO chance of using a prosthetic leg (as the previous update says). He also was experiencing his first ‘phantom’ leg pain yesterday, meaning he could feel his foot even though it wasn’t there. Surprisingly he said he enjoys the feeling!
We are SO proud of Steve!
We are also very thankful that Steve’s family is here, not to mention many others who came to support us.