Bionic Reporter

Cancer free

September 11th, 2013

It's never not good news when the doctor tells you you're cancer free, so even though I said I was mostly finished with the whole thyroid cancer business, here is one last post on the matter.

The most recent scan shows that the radioactive iodine treatment appears to have worked, and the cancer has not metastasized into any surrounding tissue. "It's pretty much cured," I think were the exact words. So the awful, terrible low-iodine diet appears to have been a success on all counts (and this news comes just as the swelling in the salivary glands appears to have subsided and food has started to taste normal again =)

OK, now that that matter is really out of the way, time to turn attention to the Cleveland Clinic and the surgery ahead.

This is my last week at work, Thursday is actually my last day for at work covering the capitol/political beat, until after the surgery recovery, which will likely take until February or so.

The surgery will be to eradicate, for lack if a better term, a staph infection that has festered since about this time last year, when I had surgery to fix some of the original cement that had cracked over time.

Staph infections may be familiar to people in Hawaii. There was actually a time not too long ago when Hawaii led the nation in occurrences of staph infections (see 2004 and 2007).

My staph infection is the non-MRSA strain, but it still is nasty stuff. It has mostly lingered since first showing up in 1992 and again in 1993. Back then, a series of surgeries and a barrage of antibiotics worked to suppress the bacteria, but it was stirred up again last year. As I have come to learn, the staph mostly just lives on the artificial hardware in my leg, for now the knee, but at some point the bacteria may (or will) work its way up the artificial femur and likely get into the bloodstream, at which point it becomes much more serious.

The process to finally get rid of the staph involves replacing all of the artificial parts, so that means the entire knee/femur/hip prosthesis that was first put in in 1985 will have to be replaced.

While that probably could be done here, I have basically chosen to go back to the Cleveland Clinic, where all of the hardware was put in in the first place. As I mentioned before, my orthopedic surgeon here, Dr. Thomas Kane, is excellent, but he also was very supportive of my seeking a second opinion from the doctors in Cleveland. And after speaking with the surgeon there, even he is convinced that I'm going to the right place to have this done.

5 Responses to “Cancer free”

  1. Erika Engle:

    Wow BJ, GREAT NEWS -- and some scary news ... just know that we'll all be pulling for everything to go meticulously and sterile-ly well so that you emerge from surgery staph-free! Also that your recovery will go rapidly!

  2. ohiaforest3400:

    Wow, this sure puts life's other, minor struggles in perspective. As is said to theatrical performers, "Break a leg!", and come back well.

  3. marilynlee:

    Get well soon! Your byline will be very much missed. I am glad you are in such competent hands, and I will be thinking of you.
    Aloha, Marilyn

  4. Donna Bebber:

    Good news about being cancer free. Best of luck for what you are facing.

  5. Strobie:

    Rock 'n' roll, Beej! Go kick that staph's ass!

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