George has a wound/stitches on the back of his leg from the surgery he underwent before starting chemo. It is the reason he has been staying in the hospital rather than going home after the 5 days of chemo as originally planned. Everything was going well. His leg did hurt a bit, which was to be expected. He was recovering from surgery, after all. But recently, his leg has started hurting a bit on the side, as if someone has kicked him and it feels bruised. It also is looking more “pinkish” than his other leg. Dr. Kim, the orthopedic surgeon who performed his surgery looked at it today and is afraid the same thing that happened before is happening again. This terrified George because the last leg infection was so incredibly painful, it brought him to tears on too many occasions. The good news, Dr. Kim said, is that he has already been on antibiotics and pretty strong ones covering a broad spectrum. So, it may help stop any infection from becoming as bad as before. Still, it worries George a lot.
Dr. Kim is sending a member of his team to remove George’s sutures later today and said they will treat the area with something like bleach to keep the wound clean. Seriously! Bleach! Also, by removing the sutures, the wound may be able to drain, which I guess is a good thing? Dr. Koch, the hematologist came in and said she had talked with Dr. Kim. She said that what may happen is that when the white blood cell count starts going up, there may be another collection of pus forming. The white blood cells will see the wound and rush to it to try to vanquish it. Neutrophils fight bacteria and form pus. This whole thing is like Groundhog Day.
The infectious disease doctor came in as well…to her, this whole leg thing looks like the start of cellulitis, just like last time. Not sure if I mentioned that George had cellulitis last time and that the “volcano of pus” was a result of that. Anyway, she has ordered a CT scan for his leg to make sure there is nothing going on deeper in his leg.
Even in the midst of all that is going on…the uncertainty, the disappointments, and the bad morale days, we are so terribly grateful for the incredible team here. The doctors are compassionate and knowledgable, the nurses as well and that even goes down to the techs. We see a lot of med students as well, since this is a university hospital. All top notch human beings.