Joyce’s Journey: Knee Replacement + Cancer Update

Joyce's Journey Update at pamelapetrus.comWe’ve had a few developments in Joyce’s Journey lately, so I thought I’d share a quick update. Over the summer, Mom had a full knee replacement on her left knee. The surgery was done in July and within no time she was doing way better than average. The physical therapists were very impressed with how quickly she was able to really use the knee and released her from therapy earlier than usual. We had a follow up with the doctor a week ago, and he insisted that her x-rays could be used in a text book, showing exactly how the process is intended to go. She is using the knee wonderfully!

We also switched her cancer care to Louisiana Oncology this month. (This is the clinic where Matthew works and it’s much more convenient for Mom.) She was very pleased with the new doctor, Dr. Gallagher, and is excited to feel at home in the new clinic. It’s been right at two years since her cancer diagnosis and one year and six months since the surgery. Her blood work came back wonderfully this week and the doctor said he sees nothing of concern right now in terms of recurrent cancer. Of course, we’ll always have to monitor things closely. However, her tumor marker was a glorious 2.5 this month. (It was 4.5 in May and anything under 5 is considered “normal.”) Seeing how far the tumor marker has dropped was a reason to celebrate in itself!

As of right now, Mom’s biggest obstacle to overcome is her back pain. We’ve recently discovered that the pain stems from scoliosis, arthritis in her back, and probably osteoporosis. There’s not really much that can be done about the condition of her back. However, we’re hoping to find some ways to manage the pain within the next few weeks.

All in all, things are looking wonderful! It’s quite amazing to think about everything that’s happened in just two short years, and I’m happy that we’re mainly fighting your average battles these days, not those hefty ones. If you’re new to Mom’s story, you can click the “Joyce’s Journey” tag below to follow a bit of the story. Thank you to everyone who has followed along and continually sent prayers and thoughts our way. It’s been most encouraging and my entire family appreciates your support!

This photo was taken as she zoomed through Wal-Mart shortly after the knee surgery. Hide your babies.

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