Posted by: cg00n | June 12, 2009

Breaking News

Got a call from the general surgeon about an hour ago who summarized the results of the PET scan for me.  There are several areas of uptake, all of them fairly small and all at or below my right knee.  I am therefore eligible for an isolated limb perfusion which is really good news under the circumstances.  As I explained in the Son of a Lump posting, this means they hack into the major blood vessels supplying the leg and pump something like Draino through the system in the hope of killing off any remaining cancer cells.  Since this works best at elevated temperatures they also bake my leg to a sort of medium-rare consistency.  Having done this (or maybe while they’re doing it – I’m a little fuzzy on the details) they will take out the tumours detected on the PET scan.  This may mean I will need flaps or skin grafts or something to plug up the holes.  The last of the lymph nodes in my groin will be gone as well.

Oddly enough I found the phone call comforting:  I am now less nervous than I was earlier today.  I have no problem with the idea that someone is going to knock me out and cut me up as long as they do it painlessly.  Furthermore the perfusion treatment seems to work Quite Well so with any luck I will have several more years of trouble-free existence.  It will almost certainly mean another week in hospital and several months before all the wounds are fully healed but all of that is merely an inconvenience.  It also puts the final nail in the coffin for the extended sea cruise we were planning in August.  Pity.  I can live without it.

Sometime next week we expect to get an appointment with the surgeon who will actually be performing the operation.  Obviously we’d like to get it over with but now that we know it’s coming up we can start preparing.  We know the drill by now.

So that’s the kind of day it’s been this July 12th 2009.  I’ll update this story as it unfolds.  Thanks for watching.


Ms. S.L of Calgary was kind enough to supply the URL of a diagram of isolated limb perfusion which I thought might be of interest to the more curious among you.



  1. Life is full of ying and yang … this news has both. The best part is that the lumps are somewhat isolated and have not traveled beyond your right leg.

  2. I’m so glad that you met someone in the waiting room last week who has had the same procedure. Good to know that the bad stuff is in one limited area and that there is a good treatment available.

    The cruise will be waiting for you next year when you have recovered.

    What a roller coaster for you. I hope that you get the surgery very soon. The uncertainty is always the worst part.

  3. Years of trouble-free existence — something to look forward to. We’re so happy that things are looking better for you now. We want to see you on our next trip to the east coast.

  4. Whoa! Cooking school. Still, the opportunity to heal is wonderful. Good news, man.

  5. […] thing I forgot to mention was that when Dr. H called a few weeks ago she said that, based on the PET scan and the current spread of the melanoma, she […]

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