What has happened in the last two months? More than you can even imagine.
When you have cancer, you never really know when things are going to get crazy. Well, for me, that happened (again), in late November and December.
You see, I had been having pain in my reconstructed hip and then an infection started to show up.
This was new, odd, and completely unexpected. After all, I had my hip reconstructed six and a half years ago, in August 2011 (you can read more about that here).
My surgeon did an MRI in November to see if there was anything else going on and, thankfully, the results were that there was some inflammation. The surgeon aspirated it and sent that off for a biopsy and it, too, came back negative (yea again).
In December, after several rounds of antibiotics not really working, the surgeon decided that it would be best to “go in and clean it out.” It meant a trip to the hospital and a “small surgery” that would only take about 30 minutes.
On December 9th, I arrived, completely at ease, because the MRI and the biopsy had both indicated that this was nothing more than an infection, and the “small surgery” would fix everything.
That surgery did take only about 30 minutes. However, what the surgeon found when he got in there was that my entire prosthesis was infected. After much deliberation about how to proceed (I will spare you all of those details for now), it was determined that my prosthesis (all of them, after all the original surgery was much more than just a hip replacement).
The morning of December 14th I went back to surgery. This one was much longer than the “small surgery” by several hours. Afterwards, I had nothing holding my hip together anymore.
The human body is an amazing thing. I left the hospital on the 18th of December (got to spend Christmas at home with my wonderful daughters) on a walker. I was putting about 20% of my body weight on my leg, and my surgeon was/is hopeful that I will build enough scar tissue and muscle to be able to walk with a cane.
January came and I was back to physical therapy. If you want to see a physical therapist at a loss for words, tell him you do not have a hip anymore and that you have a goal to walk with a cane.
I started going to PT three times a week, and have now graduated to 2 times a week. Each time they introduce a new exercise, they ask if I think I can do it or not. My response is always “I’m willing to give it a shot. If it doesn’t work, I will let you know.”
In the midst of all of the physical therapy, it was also time for my regularly scheduled scans. This article does a great job of explaining the roller coaster ride of living from scan to scan.
I am happy to report that “it was just an infection” in my hip, and all my scans showed that I am STABLE. I will continue with PT, stay on my current medication that has kept me stable for over four years, and continue to live joyfully until the next scan.