I had a new deck, now it was time to get a new hip.
Now that I had the hysterectomy, it was time to move forward…again.
The hysterectomy was done so I could take Arimidex, another hormone blocker for ER+ breast cancer. This was going to be easy. All I had to do was take 1 pill a day for the rest of my life. Easy.
Oh, but wait, there’s more. Since I had bone metastasis, I also got to have monthly infusions of Aredia. It’s purpose is to strengthen bones in an effort to keep the cancer from attacking them and to keep from having any bad breaks.
In the meantime, now that the hysterectomy was behind me, I was taking the hormone blocker, and getting the monthly Aredia infusion, it was time to find out if I would ever be able to walk on my own again. In December, my radiation oncologist and my regular oncologist recommended the same local hip surgeon. With glowing recommendations I was able to get an appointment with one of the best hip surgeons in the area.
My husband and I had hope based on all of the positive recommendations. Unfortunately, when we met the doctor, the air was knocked out of us – Again.
I need to give credit to the surgeon. He was very nice and completely honest about his abilities. After looking at my scans and reading the reports he told me “I’m sorry. I can’t help you. There is too much damage.”
You could have knocked me over with a feather. The wind was gone from my sails and with only one hip, I wasn’t very stable (ha ha).
As I was still trying to catch my breath, he followed up by saying “There are only 4 or 5 surgeons who can help with this. One of them happens to be in San Antonio. I’m going to send your records to him.” In fact, it was better than that, he was actually friends with the doctor and called his office before we left.
In 2011 we met my orthopedic oncologist. He was amazing. He looked at the scans, reports and x-rays and started talking about options. My head was spinning. I don’t think I really understood anything he said. Thankfully, my husband was there and understood the language (he majored in kinesiology in college). What I remember most is the equipment he wanted to use was not available in the US yet. It was stuck in a government approval process.
I was excited he was talking about options, and then, just like that, the air was out of the sails again.
We made a follow-up appointment and drove home. Over the next few months, we drove to San Antonio several times to meet with the doctor. Each time he would talk about options. I was beginning to get a little frustrated, wondering if I would be using a walker the rest of my life. Finally, during our trip in July, my husband and I were wondering aloud in the car ‘Why do we continue to drive two hours to see this doctor if there isn’t anything he can do?’
When he walked in, it was as if all of those other appointments had been his way of processing everything. Instead of us asking why we kept driving to San Antonio he shocked us by saying “It’s time. When do you want to have surgery?” What? Did that just happen?
After the shock wore off, my surgery was scheduled for August 3, 2011. It was time to get a new hip!