Medical Update – Shoulder Surgery & Radiation Results

We spent a Saturday evening in Chicago celebrating the 40th birthday of our bestie, Corey. (Shout out to Corey! He is the reason we ended up dating and getting married.) Dan had just enough energy to live it up and enjoy being with friends.

So this guy likes to keep me on my toes. Wednesday Dan will have surgery for a complete shoulder replacement. First thing I know is that his shoulder hurt while golfing, and then all of the sudden we are in for a matrix bionic shoulder.

Ok, that might be extreme, but I have seen the sling he will need to use and it kind of makes him look like Robocop anyway. I am anxious about his recovery. He has had some serious fatigue the last few weeks. I think it is a cumulative effect from being on a full three months of Alcensa. (Maybe radiation related too? It’s no cake-walk for the body.)

My primary anxiety is the thought of him getting any sort of infection during surgery, after surgery, etc. So just keep us in your thoughts.

During all of his pre-op appointments, Dan did follow up with our oncology team which included the radiologist. His bloodwork continues to be good on Alcensa. His MRI showed the round of targeted radiation three monthsh ago accomplished its task, so we are good to go for the next while. Go ahead and pop your champagne.

I don’t really know what to say. I am caught in an awkward place of loving this man with everything inside of me and also thinking of his physiology; the risks of everything and the impact of every decision. I know we are so lucky to even be able to address something that is a source of pain for him and allow him to have surgery. I am also devestated by the conclusion that the majority of the deterioration of his shoulder is due to the steroids over the past three years. Damn cancer. But how can I complain about one deteriorated joint? I grieve so often for young ALKs like Dan who have lost their lives.

This is a wild place to exist in–this stage 4 lung cancer reality. I often look at him and don’t realize what has happened—it is just him. But more times than not, I am taking it all into a full account. I risk sounding moody and gloomy for the fact that I feel I have to give an honest account of our journey. It is ours alone, after all. Just us.

Please keep us in your thoughts this week.

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