On our last post I mentioned that we had a medical appointment we needed to keep and cut our trip to the Florida Gulf Cost a little short. Earlier we had done a "Heart Saver CT Scan" recommended by our family doctor. A small suspicious spot was seen in Wilma's left lung. Well the medical appointment confirmed that the spot found in her left lung was indeed Cancer. We immediately called MD Anderson in Houston to set up second opinion appointments and discuss treatment. Houston is much hotter than Port Isabel this time of year.
We traveled by motor home to the South Main RV Park in Houston on the 4th of June. Our first appointment was the next day at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The next week was filled with several tests and consultations ending with a biopsy of the small spot in Wilma's Lung. The spot was confirmed as Cancer. The good news was that it would be able to be removed and not need further treatment with chemo or radiation. PRAISE GOD! For what it is worth, we were told that the cancer was not the type caused by smoking or passive smoke.
Monday the 15th we met with a surgeon that would schedule surgery for Wilma. He recommended an open surgery that would enter her back by cutting two ribs for access. She would be hospitalized for about a week and would have about a two month recovery time at home. The earliest he could fit us in was the 28th of July. We accepted the appointment, but asked if the Nurse Practitioner could find us an earlier surgery. Later in that week we met with a Cardiologist in preparation for the surgery. He analyzed the CT scans and recommended that Wilma start taking a cholesterol lowering drug. She elected to use Crestor which is made by AstraZeneca. Wilma is retired from AstraZeneca.
We decided to go back home to Port Isabel while we waited for the July 28th surgery or for a closer appointment. We had been back home only a day or so when we received a call from MD Anderson. They had us a surgery appointment for the 6th of July if we wanted it. It only took us a few moments to accept the closer date. The doctor scheduled was the head of the Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery or VATS department. This procedure would use a camera inserted between the ribs with 5 small incisions for removing the lower lobe of her left lung. The recovery time was greatly shortened and she would only be in the hospital a couple of days.
We traveled back to Houston on the first of July and had our first appointment with Dr. David Rice the next morning. Surgery schedule was confirmed for the next Monday, the 6th of July. We got to spend our 4th of July in beautiful downtown Houston, missing the South Padre Island fireworks for the second year in a row. Have I mentioned that it is hot in Houston this time of the year?
Wilma went in for surgery Monday morning early. The surgery was completed about 10 AM, but she was not back to her room until early afternoon. By early evening, she was on her feet for the first time. The next day was spent adjusting pain medications and walking around the nurses stations several times. The pathology came back clear including some lymph nodes that were removed as a precaution. Wednesday she was discharged back home to the motor home. Friday she walked a mile around the RV park. We continued our early morning walk around the RV park, it was too hot to walk outside later in the day. Wilma walked the length of inside of the RV many times each day.
The doctors cleared Wilma for travel, so on the 18th we moved our motor home to Avinger to take care of some business. The next weekend we came back to Splendora for Wilma's family reunion. We dry camped in the parking lot of the school next door to the church where the reunion was held. Back to the South Main RV Park on Monday. Tuesday we had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon and a chest X-ray. Dr. Rice gave Wilma a clean bill of health and told her to keep on doing what she was doing as she was progressing excellently.
At this time we had considered going to the mountains for a few weeks as that is what we planned before the unexpected surgery. But we both decided that the call of HOME was stronger than the cool mountain air. So Tuesday around noon we rolled south out of Houston-- destination Port Isabel. A stop overnight at the Kingsville Wal-mart, and then an easy morning drive on in home on Wednesday.
Now here we are 6 weeks after surgery, Wilma is doing really well, back to "normal" activities. She is walking our usual 2.3 mile loop every morning. I fixed up our trikes and we have started riding them again. We count ourselves among the most fortunate and are truly blessed. When we discovered this spot, Wilma immediately called upon the prayer warriors she stays in touch with by email and telephone. We are sure the excellent outcome of our ordeal was the result of prayer from many good folks. Thank you all and thank you God.
Walldog, Willie and Jake