Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Backwards foot plan

When I got back in the states Dr. Blum sent me to an Orthopedic Oncologist who would be the one actually doing the amputation. Dr. Kenan looked at my films and a small forest’s worth of paperwork and bluntly stated that I had three options. I could have an amputation and he recommended a full from-the-hip amputation just to be safe, or one of two replacement surgeries. One would cut off my leg above the knee and raise my ankle and foot. Then it would be flipped around and my ankle would become my new knee with my foot attached on backwards. Get a mental image of that if you will. I wouldn’t have believed that anyone would actually have it done until he pulled out some thick medical tome and found a picture of the final product. Very 'Island of Doctor Moreau'. Finally, he said they could maybe cut out the end of my femur and my knee, replace them with titanium parts, cut out what muscle is involved and do a double bypass on the artery and vein. The downside of that procedure is that there will most likely be some nerve damage involved but at this point I think I’d be willing to put up with some nerve damage in order to keep my leg. I’m also willing to put up with Dr. Kenan’s terse bedside manner in order to keep my leg.

Dr. Kenan then sent me to yet another doctor, Dr. Maldonado, a very nice vascular surgeon, who recommended an angiogram (I love how they recommend these treatments as if there’s really anything voluntary about them). So I said sure, why not and had me a good ol’ fashioned angiogram. An angiogram is when they puncture your leg’s artery to flood your leg with contrast dye. Then they use a portable x-ray machine to check out the results. I got to be awake for that and got to feel the sensation of my own warm blood pouring over my legs when they cut into my artery. Luckily I was on a medical version of a housebreaking wee-wee pad. I also had the sensation of having my naked pelvis eyeballed by a room full of junior doctors. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I had long lost any shred of dignity a long time ago. Cancer does that to a person.

No comments: