Monday, April 6, 2009
Surgery, not radiation
Last week David was supposed to have palliative radiation on some of his more painful tumors.
Since he has tumors in his lungs, the doctors tell me that those will be the ones to kill him. However, he has a fast-growing tumor on his neck that causes him a lot of pain, and radiation would shrink it and make it hurt less.
That was the plan, anyway. On April 1st we were told that he was instead scheduled for surgery. The tumor is too close to the spinal cord for radiation, so they would remove most of it to make the pain less. After surgery, we were allowed in the recovery room until he could move to a regular ward. Within hours he was walking to the bathroom by himself (with help!) eating pizza and seemed alert. The staff was terrific about managing his pain, and by evening he was sleepy and wanting us to leave him alone.
When he is at his residence, David often calls two or three times a day. But at the hospital, he has full access to a phone, so that night (and the other two he stayed there) I received no less than 34 late-night collect phone calls. Our agreement is that when he calls collect, it is a signal for me to call him back, since the hospital won't let him dial directly to our area code. Which means his phone rang all night long. I bet his room mate was just thrilled to see David get well enough to go back to his residence! Poor guy.
At least the doctors feel the surgery will lessen his pain for a few weeks.