August 16th, 2006

It just keeps on not getting better

We talked to the surgeon today and got some bad news.

On the day of Tandra's breathing function test a couple weeks ago, she had 27% of her lung capacity remaining. She says she feels worse now than she did then and I can see that in her.

Also, the lung biopsy is a much bigger deal than I thought. They have to slightly collapse one lung to get tissue from it. She'll be in the ICU for a couple days after the surgery and will be in the hospital for 7 to 10 days total after the surgery. That surgery is scheduled for this Friday the 18th.

When Tandra asked the doctor how long she had without intervention or treatment, he avoided the question. He said, "When we do a lung replacement we like to try to leave the patient with at least 50% in order for them to lead a full healthy life. Obviously you're already past that point."

I thought he was referring to how much lung capacity the patient has when they do the transplant, but Tandra thinks he meant that they like to leave the person with 50% of their original lung tissue. I thought if you do a transplant, you transplant the whole thing.

Anyway, the gist of what he said was clear - even with a transplant, she shouldn't expect to live a full life in terms of years. And who knows what effect the immunosuppressant drugs will have on her quality of life.

Last night we met with one of my mom's doctors. He's an alternative medicine doctor and his practice is on the leading edge of non-traditional medicine. He practices bioresonance scanning, among other things. 90% of his clientele come from out of the state or out of the country. He of course advocated a completely different path, and said that a combination approach wouldn't work and could be counterproductive. I told him that abandoning the traditional medicine you've grown up with is like jumping off a boat in the middle of the ocean. I would like to try his approach, but it takes a long time, and time is something I don't think Tandra has a lot of. It's not like we can try his approach for a while and then if it doesn't work out, switch back to Western medicine. We just don't have the time, I don't think.

Ok, I'm out of steam. You guys have the basic facts. I've done a lot of crying today. I'm exhausted. I'm going to try to get the baby to take a nap so I can take one too.
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