Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Today was a big day for us, as it was Roanne's surgery. We headed in to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for 7:30am, where a radiologist placed a wire in the tumour (or where the tumour was before chemotherapy). The wire is then used by the surgeon to show him where he should be removing tissue. The radiologists initially tried to place the wire using ultrasound, but after chemotherapy the tumour is too diffuse to be seen on the ultrasound, so they had to resort to using a mammogram and the metal marker that had been placed during the biopsy back in November.

We then headed over to the UW for the surgery, and after checking in at the reception we headed back to the presurgery area where Roanne changed into her gown and hopped onto the bed. Here is a shot of the newt as the nurse logs her vital signs on the computer:

We then met with the anesthesiologist who installed an IV, then some nurses, then the surgeon's resident, and a number of other doctorly people. The number of medical practitioners who you meet with at a research hospital like UW can be a bit overwhelming, since each attending physician also has a resident in tow, which immediately doubles the number of people involved, then add all the nurses, so it becomes quite a party pretty fast. Here is a shot of Roanne with some of her medical staff milling about:

Eventually everything was sorted out and Roanne was wheeled off into the OR, while I headed into the waiting room for the duration of the procedure, which was said to be about 1.5 hours. Here is a shot of Roanne getting ready to head into the OR:

At about 12:15pm the surgeon came out to let me know that the procedure had gone really smoothly, and Roanne was doing well. He had been able to remove the tumour without any problems, as well as a small benign fibro-adenoma, and the port-o-cath that had been used for injecting the chemo drugs. The tissue from the tumour will be sent to a pathologist, so by next week we will know if they managed to remove enough normal tissue around the cancer cells, or if she needs to go in for a second surgery (fingers crossed!). After another 30 minutes I was called back to see Roanne in the recovery area, who was surprisingly coherent already:

After another hour or so of recovery she took the requisite pee (they won't let you leave until you take a whizzer) and was then able to change into her street clothes and head out:

We then headed back home where Momm and Poppa Sones were waiting, having just flown in from Arizona to visit and deploy nursing skills. The newt is now up in bed reading books about vampires and werewolves, just what she likes best! She will take the next few days off work to continue reading vampire books, and by early next week she should be pretty mobile. So, phase II of the cancer treatment is all done (much easier than chemo!), and all that remains is some recovery and then radiation, huzzah!


  1. Wow- Thanks for the report already! I am amazed she is so "with it" at this point- wonderful that it seems to have gone so well. Was she given a general? Love to all! (Mum C.)

  2. I think that bedside machine is running linux. Get on that, Sones.