It has been almost a week since my Mother-in-law was admitted to St. Jospephs. There are at least some facts to draw on at this point. The cancer that is traveling throughout her body seems to have originated in one of her breasts (and how ironic is it that my wife has been doing the breast cancer walk every year to fund research on breast cancer?). Her neck is still in pretty bad shape, and she has a broken hip on top of all of that.
They started to radiate the cancer in her neck a couple of days ago, evidently that is all going well. I am happy to know that. They are actually going to do a hip replacement surgery on her Monday morning, then take her to another radiation treatment that afternoon. I am happy to see that they are doing everything so quickly, yet I wonder how quickly it all should go.
I know that hip and knee replacement surgery is pretty standard stuff at this point, but I wonder how able someone would be to recover from a hip replacement, while undergoing radiation to kill cancer. I suppose they wouldn’t be doing the hip replacement if they didn’t think it was completely safe, I must just acknowledge that the doctors know a lot more than I do.
I am finding an up side to the whole situation though. I don’t really think the doctors would be doing a hip replacement surgery on her if they thought the cancer she has would be immediately fatal. I really doubt that they would be replacing the hip were they not sure that she could walk away from this whole ordeal (pun sort of intended) with only a bunch of scars and a new hip. The cancer in the breast, lung, hip (likely will be removed with the addition of a new hip), were not the biggest issue. The cancer in her neck was the most pressing issue.
The cancer in her neck has been responding pretty well to the radiation. Whatever that means. Well enough that they are going to radiate her neck again only hours after she gets her whole hip replaced. The marvels of modern technology.
I am going to spend a couple hours with the Mother-in-law tomorrow, before she goes into surgery on Monday. While there will be little that I can do other than simply be there, I bet I can make her laugh a few times. I don’t know if laughter will actually help her, but it will do volumes of good for me. High spirits are often the only thing you have going for you.