Moving On To the Next Step
09 March 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
Bill did great getting through his leg surgery. Normally he is not the best patient so I was a bit worried about how he would manage not being able to move around much, not to mention the pain. My fears were unfounded though. He didn't have a lot of pain and what he had was able to be managed with Tylenol, no heavy duty pain killers required. The biggest problem we had was getting him up the steps with his crutches. Bill, our daughter, and I, stared at the steps for a while and then our daughter pulled up a YouTube video on how to climb steps with crutches. We tried the method but reverted to bumping up the steps on his butt. After that first attempt he got much better at going up and down the steps using the crutches.
The first couple of days Bill stayed in our room where our daughter had contributed one of her TVs and set it up so Bill could be entertained. Of course he mostly watched MeTV – Memorable Entertainment Television – where you can watch all the great old shows like The Lone Ranger and Zorro, not to mention Bill’s favorite, Emergency. After the first couple of days it was time to start going back to the doctors to check how he was doing and what the next step would be.
We were very excited to hear that there was absolutely no melanoma in the tumor that came out of Bill’s leg. The doctors were amazed too. We were hoping that would mean that he could skip, or postpone, the immunotherapy infusions that we know are coming next. No luck though. Our Johns Hopkins oncologist said there is a 0% chance that the melanoma won’t come back if we do nothing else.
This week Bill will have the first of four infusions of a drug called Yervoy. There is a 15% chance he will have serious side effects. We are hoping that doesn't happen but we understand that if you do get the side effects there is more of a chance that the drug will fully work and the melanoma will go into complete remission. There is a 25% chance that will happen – with or without side effects. As you see, we are playing statistics now. We are feeling pretty positive that all will go well though.
We managed to get another good snow storm last week, a week and a half after Bill’s surgery. We were scheduled to get his splint removed and have him stop using the crutches the day of the snowstorm but we went to the doctor the day before and had it done then. Originally the doctor thought it would be three weeks on crutches but he is healing so well that that wasn't necessary. The skin graft isn't pretty. Bill thinks it looks like a zombie bit him but a sailing friend suggested maybe we could say it’s a shark bite. I’m going with that one. It’s a lot more plausible than the zombie story.
Now we are ready to start working on the boat again. As you can see from the picture above we have to wait a bit for the snow to melt. We are just a few weeks from spring – and we are ready!