The breast cancer and the esophageal cancer are two totally different cancers, not a spread of cancer. The breast cancer was discovered because she had a routine mammogram. Before she had the mammogram, she had routine blood work. The blood work showed she was anemic due to blood loss. Her doctor ordered scopes, and the esophageal cancer was discovered.
Her breast cancer surgery has been postponed because the esophageal cancer must be taken care of first since it’s invasive. It’s a complex surgery and must be done at a university hospital, so she will be going to the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.
A surgeon said, “This is a very, big deal surgery.” She has been told that three-fourths of her esophagus will be removed, and her stomach will be pulled up into her chest to be made into a tube and be attached to the remaining part of her esophagus. This surgery should take between 4 and 8 hours. Bonnie will be in the hospital for a week or more on a unit where all the nurses are fully ICU trained and whatever equipment she needs will be brought to her room. She will have a feeding tube for a couple months. She will never be able to lie flat again because the sphincter that keeps the contents of her stomach from coming up and possibly going down into her lungs will be removed. She has ordered a medical alert bracelet as instructed. She will also have to eat 6 to 8 small meals a day once she's able to eat again.
Not long after that surgery, she will be having the breast cancer surgery which also involves a long recovery period.
Bonnie and Guy aren’t just being hit emotionally and physically, but financially, as well. In the last couple months, Bonnie has had to undergo so many tests, scans, and biopsies. Every time she goes for testing, she is charged a co-pay which is often a few hundred dollars. The co-pays have already added up to a few thousand dollars for these tests.
They will have added expenses while Bonnie is hospitalized in Madison. Guy needs to be able to stay in Madison and will probably need to have a hotel room for at least some of the nights. Even the cost of eating in the hospital cafeteria will add up. He is not able to travel around town on his own since he is disabled. They will also have some added expenses at home due to these surgeries. They have work-at-home jobs and have been unable to work as much as usual since her first diagnosis.
The good news is both of Bonnie’s cancers can potentially be cured. She just has to go through a lot to get to try to get to those cures. It’s hard knowing that although you don’t feel sick, you must have two major surgeries that are going to cause you to feel bad for a while, could have complications, will have long recovery periods, and will have lasting effects. She’s just trying to remember that the surgeries will probably rid her of cancer.
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