Thursday, May 31, 2012

We meet the surgeon

Zack and I walk into our appointment thinking the doctor (Bridges) will schedule surgery to remove a fatty tissue. We fill out more paperwork and I let the nurse know that we don't have insurance, but whatever he needs we will pay, it may be monthly payments,but they will get paid. Assuming that he won't be able to remove this in his office I want to make sure that we get the best care possible for him.

We meet the doctor, he is talking to Zack and not me. I am pleased because this is Zack's leg, his health issue and though he is 16 yrs old I feel that the patient must be addressed not the parents. He inspects the area, grabs a hold of it firmly and says "it feels like it's really in there." He asks the usual questions, "how long has it been there ", we don't know (Zack has never been one to really pay attention to his body), "does it hurt?" No.  The doctor then proceeds to say "I don't feel like it is sebaceous, but it could be",  he mentioned other options of what it could or could not be,  "we will know when we get in there". He schedules the surgery (we were right we have to go into the hospital) for the following Wednesday.  It is to be as outpatient, he will remove it, send it to pathology and we will have our answers.

At this point we are anxious, but he doesn't seem to be too concerned, though he does seem confused as to what it could be. He has "never" seen anything like that before. We pay $100.00 "food faith payment" and leave with instructions for him to continue on as normal, just no rough play and hold off on football practice until the surgery and healing are done.

Update:  We find out later from our oncologist ,there should have been some form of X-ray or MRI taken. If the MRI had been taken "they" would have seen this was a a bad tumor and should have been removed according to cancer guidelines by an oncologist. The tumor "could have" been cut and spread throughout his body. Zack could have been admitted into St. Judes Hospital as part of their trial for Ewing Sarcoma which would have been mostly covered through grants, but because the tumor was removed and it was later diagnosed we were no longer eligible for the trial.  We were VERY lucky that everything was removed and for that we are grateful, not to the arrogant surgeon who I hope NOW will think twice before cutting without tests. I have also heard from several sources that it is not uncommon for tests to be given or not according to insurance coverage (or lack of).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


It all began with the angels whisper. I had already said goodnight to Zack, was comfortable in bed and half asleep, when a voice came in and told me to give him one more hug goodnight. I walked into his room and in typical 16 year old "attitude" he said "Mom, you already said goodnight", I told him something just told me to hug him again. As I walk into the room, I see a large knot on his upper thigh. After freaking out, my husband  and I examined the area and determined to take him to Urgent Care first thing in the morning.

It's 9 am and Zack and I sit in the car outside urgent care waiting for them to open. We fill out the paperwork (little did we know this was the start of many papers being filled out). The nurse is very relaxed and tells us about his cousins, best friends brother... that had a fat cell on his leg removed back in his college days. Of course he is making all these comments without actually seeing the cyst.  The doctor enters the room, examines the area and immediately sets up an appointment with a  local surgeon. She explains that there is no way that she can handle this in urgent care, the growth is too large. (about the size of a racquet ball).

The next day, we see the surgeon  (Dr. Bridges). He inspects the area and determines that the surgery must take place in the hospital. I usually, don't trust our local Hospital, but for some reason I was very relaxed about everything being handled in our small town. The Hospital was recently purchased by the larger one in the next town, somehow knowing that they were in charge gave me a sense of calm. Well, that and the recent addition of Estrogen in my system.  The surgeon tells us that he has not seen anything like this, he is not clear as to what this could be, it appears to be a mass and is connected to something. He schedules the surgery for the following Wednesday.