Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Robotic surgery the way of the future…

Good morning, Netizens…

As many of you know, my wife Suzanne recently was diagnosed as having uterine cancer, which suddenly drove the fear of God into both of us. Fortunately, thanks to Sacred Hearth and Cancer Care Northwest, we had caught the cancer in its earliest stages, and she was faced with a hysterectomy which, by itself, could have been a prolonged and very expensive operation. However, this picture of the robotics table which has dramatically decreased the amount of time patients routinely spend in post-operative cancer surgery and has made the world of difference to patients of a wide variety of maladies.

She went into surgery on a Monday and returned home in two days, which is an abrupt comparison to two to three weeks. Instead of an lengthy midriff incision there were five tiny slits less than four inches across; she was actually on the table for less than two hours, and was in recovery, conscious and talking to me within hours.

As we found out, not all surgeries can be done robotically. In some instances, due to abnormalities inside the abdominal cavity, while the surgeon may begin the procedure robotically, they may have to abort the robotic procedure and be forced to perform the surgery manually which takes longer and is more expensive.

Suffice it to say, Suzie has returned to work now and is nearly healed. We were so fortunate, in that the surgery was done professionally, with a high degree of professionalism, and thanks to this wonderful device, she is now recovered and on her way to well-being for which we are eternally grateful.


Suzie is back home!


Good evening, Netizens…


End of day three…


Closest to my heart is that my Suzie is back home from The House of Pain on the South Hill, having had her cancerous uterus removed during a robotic surgical procedure two days ago. I must hereby make a promise to myself, that in the near future I will diligently explore the technology involved because, despite all I may have stated in the past about the cost of surgical medicine in Spokane, in this instance having a 3 million dollar piece of state-of-the-art equipment installed at Sacred Heart easily saved us as much as ten thousand dollars or more.


Removal of a woman's uterus, fallopian tubes and associated reproductive organs using the old-fashioned surgical means, sometimes meant a woman could spend as much as a week to three weeks abed in the hospital, depending upon complications. The robotic technology reduces that painful time to under three days. In two short days after her surgical procedure, Suzie is back home, sitting up unattended and walking; gingerly, but walking nonetheless.


I can only speak glowing volumes about the quality of care we received from Cancer Care Northwest http://www.cancercarenorthwest.com/ and the physicians who attended to Suzie since our ordeal began. Suzie's oncologist, Dr. Melanie Bergman, spent a fair amount of time explaining the procedure and answered all our questions in a gentle, caring manner before and after the robotic procedure.


We are not out of the woods quite yet, though, as there is still a pathology study to be completed, making certain that the cancer has not spread, and that there are no further complications. We are keeping our fingers crossed. I will keep everyone informed as we continue through this process. Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers.



To explain my absences and other things…


Good morning, Netizens…


Thank God it's Friday!


I have studiously avoided mentioning anything related to the ailment that Suzie and I have known about for nearly a month, simply because Suzie did not want to make a “big thing” out of it, and seriously wanted to avoid any public notice. Unlike your truly, she is extremely reticent about sharing the details of her personal life, and until she finally began sharing bits and pieces of her malady, I was content to always let her have her way, and I remained closed-mouth about her cancer and the diagnoses we have received, other than a few friends who I swore to silence upon a number of dire threats.


However, once she let the cat out of the bag, telling a few friends about what was going on, and when one of them immediately blabbed all she knew to the rest of the free world, I no longer felt I had to sit on my hands, hence this morning's entry.


For you see, Suzie has uterine cancer. As opposed to the initial diagnosis, which scared the bejesus out of us both, we now know that on a scoring scale of one-to-ten, ten being the highest severity, she has scored a one, and according to her oncologist, thus is an excellent candidate for robotic surgery. If all goes according to the plan, she will actually be in the hospital for a day while they perform the actual surgery robotically, with an in-home recuperation period of as much as a month. According to the oncologist, if everything works as planned, she has an excellent chance of total recuperation.


Both of us have extensively researched not only the kind of cancer she has on the Internet, and all the possible treatment methods that modern medical science can give us, but even the type of non-invasive removal of her uterus and all the other female plumbing that procedure may include. We are both quite confident that everything will work out, and that everything that can be done has already been done or will be done within the next few weeks.


However, this ordeal has been frightening, to say the very least. I have lost track of the number of hours we have spent sleepless, tossing and turning as we contemplated unraveling our lives together, and of all the ugly possibilities that could take place. I will keep everyone updated as we approach the closure of this arduous affair.