stand4hope Posted August 3, 2005 Share Posted August 3, 2005 I'm embarrassed to have yet another post, but I'm doing it anyway. We got the CT results today. A couple of things were a little better, but the thing that is causing the breathing is worse. They called it "severe alveolitis" and that said it's worse than a week ago. Again, I looked this up, and this is about the best description I can find: http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/23069035/ An open lung biopsy is scheduled for tomorrow. We met with the surgeon late afternoon and he said he will make a 1" incision in the front and a 1" incision in the back of his right lung, and possibly a 3rd incision on the side. They will then take a piece of his lung for testing. He held up his fingers in about a 1" x 3" rectangle. He said it will be clamped closed with very tiny staples. They are doing this in his right lung because his left lung is already beaten up pretty good from radiation. He told Don that he knows he's struggling with breathing right now and after the surgery it will be worse for several days. He said they have to do it to find out what's causing this damage and causing it to continue to get worse. He said they will be looking for three things: Infection, Drug reaction, and Cancer. He said it will take 2-3 days to get results. Apparently the bronchoscope doesn't get into these areas of the lungs. Since it takes 2-3 days, they won't be able to treat whatever is causing it until they get the results, except with steroids. They said he will come out on a breathing tube, and because of his weakened condition and diseased lungs, he may have to keep the breathing tube for several hours to several days, and be in ICU. He will also have a chest tube for several days. He’s been in there one week today, and will be in at least another week. Don immediately said, "Let's do it. Get in there and fix it - I've got things to do." I've been hearing that line for two years, but it's the one line that keeps his focus on staying well. I called the oncologist after I left his room to confirm and that he agreed with doing this and to ask if he thought Don could do this. He said that there really isn't much choice and that the alveoli will apparently continue to worsen without finding a way to treat it. He told me if it's infection, we can get some antibiotics in him and see how he does over the next month or so. If it's a drug reaction, then about all we can do is steroids and time, because there's no more chemo for him while he's in this condition. And he said, if it's cancer, we're in a lot of trouble. He was very kind and I appreciated his direct response. If he has to go to ICU, I'm glad he will be in this hospital's ICU. They are the same ones that took care of my dad when he first started having trouble, and they are the ones that took him in at the end. They are first class! As for me, I started using Becky's breathing techniques tonight, and I sure wish I would have bought the expensive bubble bath for tonight's bath. I admit that I'm scared - very scared, but so far I've got my wits about me and just doing what needs to be done. I've been giving him his baths and getting this and getting that, and he says I'm a good nurse. Well, I’m off to search for the surgery tips you wonderful people have provided. I never printed them because I never thought we would need them. Please pray that he will get through this. He’s so strong – mentally and physically. I must believe that he is strong enough to get through this. Love to all, Peggy Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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