Published September 05, 2013
The doctors at the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber (HOC) referred me to the top jaw surgeon at UCLA. I met with him yesterday. His opinion is that the oxygen chamber will not help me. I have heard that from many doctors, but the doctors at the HOC think there is a slim chance.
Remember, I'm throwing spaghetti at the walls these days to see what sticks. His feeling was that I would need surgery to take bone from my leg, which they mold into a new jaw to replace the infected jaw. It's a 12-hour operation.
Question: Can a chemo patient with low white and red blood cells and low platelets (which are responsible for our blood clotting) withstand a 12-hour operation?
I did not ask, because he first needed to see my X-rays. He said if the jaw has not been completely infected by the necrosis (dead bone), then they can try to scrape down the dead bone until they reach healthy bone with the hope that it will heal.
I gathered all my X-rays and dropped them off to this new doctor. Good news (kind of): The X-rays showed that I am Stage 1. This means the infection has not reached deeply into the jaw bone. I will set up this minor scraping procedure and go from there.
I don't know what to do about the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. I will see those doctors on Wednesday and try to get more information out of them. But the truth is, they really don't know. My situation is so rare. Argh! Meanwhile, I live on Advil and cold and hot compresses.
I am still doing well with the Phase I clinical trial drug, which is keeping my liver metastases stable. I am so grateful for that. The jaw won't kill me, but the liver will if it becomes uncontrollable.
I feel good today. I’m just tired, as I am every day, but I can live with that.
Next week, I want to tell you about breakthroughs in immunotherapy which look very promising.