Saturday, March 21, 2009

Big Decisions Ahead

Brent is doing very well. He had his fourth treatment from February 20-24. On the 20th, he had an MRI to see the change in the tumor. His doc said that the tumor has shrank quite a bit; probably from the size of a small orange to a key lime. The one area of concern is that the cancer affected part of the tibia and part of the fibula, and the tissue where the tumor was is now dead. The nerve/foot drop is also a problem. So there are only 2 options for Brent’s surgery.

A.) A total knee replacement including taking out part of the tibia and fibula with a skin graph from his upper thigh, and a nerve graph from his other leg for the foot drop.

B.) Above-the-knee amputation.

I think that the amputation is the most logical choice and probably the choice Brent will go with. With the amputation, the chance of the cancer coming back in the same area is 5% compared to the knee replacement which is 15%. This is a HUGE difference when it comes to cancer. Also, with the knee replacement he will have scars all around his knee, then on his thigh where they do the skin graph, and also where they take the one nerve out and then another where they put it in. As for the foot drop, the nerve graph only has a 10% chance of working, so Brent would be more functional with a prosthetic. We went to the prosthetic company and looked at what they have to offer. It was funny because Brent actually thought it was cool looking at the different types of knees and legs. Of course his engineering side came out and he wanted to know everything about them. I think we are going to talk to the surgeon one last time to make sure we have all the facts straight.


  1. We are still praying for you Brent. Wish we could have seen you at Christmas, now my parents are moving to Wisconsin we'll never see you. Maybe y'all will come to Utah to visit some time.

  2. of course he was interested in looking at the husband would be the same way...its probably something to do with right brain/left brain stuff.
    for me--i think that the percentage is a huge thing in the cancer coming back....that is huge!
    good luck with the decision--and the surgery!

  3. wow, big decisions. i think about you guys often. cancer totally sucks, but i love seeing people like you guys and my daughter facing it head on and winning the fight. thanks for keeping us all informed.

  4. That is a huge, tough decision. Thanks for keeping us updated; I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Love y'all lots.

  5. Hey Brent and Kelly: Vern said he had a nice visit with you recently. I have been in California for a few days, and came home with a cold. I will see you when I am germ free. Love you both - Sheriee

  6. Ok, we are ready for Brent to have his counts up so we can come and rub his head again! Cute blog background by the way.

  7. I came across your blog and just wanted you to know that I wish you the best as you continue your treatment and start preparing for you surgery. I finsihed treatment in November 2008 for Ewing's. My tumor was localized in my fourth toe which resulted in amputation of my upper right foot. I just want you to know that there is "life" after chemo. It's a long road with lots of bumps and turns but soon you will be able to look back on it. Continue to stay strong and surround yourself around people who love you. You will gather strength from them on the days that seem to hard to endure. You are welcome to contact me if you have any questions.

    Keep up the fight.

  8. hope everything went okay yesterday... we were thinking of you both
    josh and jacquelyn