Saturday, March 20, 2010

Of Hip Replacements for John and the First Day of Spring

It's the First Day of Spring -- March 20, 2010

Even today as I look around, I see some patches of snow in the very cold part of Pennsylvania in which I live, but the snow is almost gone. Two days ago, as John and I were on our way to Hershey Medical Center, his cancer treatment center, I saw my first real promise that Spring would be here soon -- a clump of deep, vibrant purple crocuses. Then as John and I pulled into the hospital parking lot we saw a sea of yellow daffodils! I knew Spring was approaching fast!
Today I can see and feel Spring everywhere and I'm finally feeling good.

This has been the longest, coldest Winter I can remember. There has been snow on the ground for months, and it has perhaps been snowing more days than not this Winter. Or so it seems. And I feel I've finally made it through a long, dark time.

And yet, there will be some more tough days to come. When we were up at Hershey Medical Center these past few days, my husband John found that Graft Versus Host Disease had returned to his eyes. GVHD can be a sign that your donor has rejected you after a bone marrow transplant, and that your cancer will return or has returned.

No, John's donor has not rejected him -- most likely -- and he is still in remission from his two cancers. Thank God for that. John is just having problems with his eyes -- itching, burning, and a little trouble seeing.

Another thing John has been dealing with on this visit is a lump and something suspicious possibly indicative of cancer found in his body during a CT scan last week. That's one of the reasons we're in Hershey right now. But John and I are not worrying. Gee, if we worried about every scare, we'd go nuts! So we'll wait and see what happens. We're going home on Saturday (first day of Spring!) and John will most likely get the suspicious areas looked at there, by his local oncologist, Dr. Ford. If not, we'll come back to Hershey soon.

If it does turn out that John does have another cancer, he could possibly even be treated where we live. That would mean that we wouldn't have to make so many trips to Hershey Medical Center. We believe Hershey is the best place to go in the world if you need cancer treatment. It is just becoming difficult to make the 210+ mile round trip for us when John goes for check-ups or receives treatments.

I guess I should mention one more thing about John. While at home, a few days before leaving for Hershey Medical Center, he had an MRI, because he had a pain level of 7 for several months in his pelvic area (on his backside).

The MRI showed Osteo Necrosis. For those of you who don't know how to
translate that, Osteo means "bones" and necrosis means "dead" or "dying."
As in "dead bones."

John will have to get two hip replacements to correct the Osteo Necrosis -- one in each hip.

Dr. Claxton wants John to get treatment for the Osteo Necrosis, at least initially, back where we live. First he will get bone medication, then he will get the hip replacements. John will see an Orthopedic Surgeon as soon as he gets back home.

We don't know how soon the replacements will be -- within days or years. We'll have to go back home and ask our local Orthopedic Surgeon.

Yes, I'm glad it's Spring, but I'm already tired from the challenges that lay ahead!

But John and I are always up for challenges, I guess, because that's the way we live our lives. So, one day at a time, onward...

love you all, krissy :)


  1. I hope that John can get those hip replacement behind him soon and can enjoy the warmer weather. Helen

  2. I'll be praying as always for you both.

  3. I know it was the most snowy winter I've seen in PA or anywhere else and have no words to express my joy for spring's arrival! Although I've never met you both you mean a lot to me and I'll be praying for the challenges you face ahead. ((((((((((((((John & Krissy))))))))))))

  4. Boy I sure can relate to the dying bone pain. Poor John, one thing after another. I hope it all straightens out for him. I can't wait to see flowers but it will be awhile here. Now why didn't I plant crocus.....

  5. I should plant some crocuses. They always make me happy. So John has a problem in two hips, huh? Thanks for sharing this with us, dear one. I will call you today. This made me very, very sad. I love you! xoxox

  6. I would just like to say how wonderfully brave you both are. Taking one day at a time.
    I hope they are able to sort out his hip pain soon and give him replacements.
    'Onwards....' you say? My you are so brave!
    Prayers always being said for you both.
    Happy Spring! I have crocus out at the moment in my garden, just as the snowdrops are wilting. Soon the daffs wil be opening out too. At last! I join you in has been a long winter everywhere!
    Praying for you both.
    Jeanie xxxx

  7. Hope John can be treated asap, Krissy. You've adapted well to the on-going scares around John's health. Quite frankly, after the cancer treatments he has had, I am not surprised he has trouble with his bones - steroids can contribute to that.

  8. You are correct ADB -- the doctors are attributing the trouble with John's bones to his use of prescribed steroids. It's the most likely cause, anyway. We'll see what the orthopedic surgeon says in a few days. John was on the steroid Prednisone for months and months. He was also on the immunosuppressants Sirolimus (Rapamune) and Tachrolimus (Prograf) for years. My question for you, Guido, is this: While Siro and Tachro are not steroids (to my knowledge), could they have also effected the bones? And could bone marrow biopsies effected the bones. John has had a total of 11 bone marrow biopsies -- some on each side. His doctors in Hershey are saying that the damage is not from bone marrow biopsies, as it is too extensive, and must be from extensive use of prescribed (by them) steroids. I know you are not a doctor, Guido, but what do you think?

    krissy knox :)

  9. Will respond by email, Krissy

  10. Thanks, ADB, I appreciate it! krissy :)

  11. As always you have such a postive outlook Krissy. Continuing to pray for John & you. I'm sorry that you folks on the east coast have had such a horrible winter. Ours was so mild that we are constantly astounded when we see the TV weather reports from the east coast. Hugs to both of you...Linda in Washington state

  12. I like that you said, "if we worried about every scare, we'd go nuts!"
    You share the wisdom you've learned and earned in this school of life. I'm grateful, thanks. The best to both of you.

  13. Look at it this way Krissy, if you didn't have challenges what would you do? Sometimes it's that life is so difficult that makes it interesting.

  14. After all John's been thru, hip replacements will be a party to him! Both John and you are always in my prayers.

  15. |Hi Krissy,
    I respect your views and comments and also agree with most of what you say. Thank you for your recent comment, dear heart. Too, I didn't understand what you were going through with John until my wife, Sharon, got worse with her CHF - congestive heart failure and constant fluid in the lungs. We sure do hope that the Lord comes back soon to claim us in Rapture!

    Tom Schuckman
    Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 68-70
    Jesus is Lord

  16. The best of luck to John. Are you, or do you know a caregiver who deserves a break? Why not enter our photo contest (it's really easy), and maybe will be sending a dinner for two delivered right to your home. Here's where to enter:!/HomeCAREcom?sk=app_226105637428999


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