Monday, August 27, 2012

Second Opinion

Today we met with Dr. Menedez at the Dr.'s of USC hospital in East LA for another opinion. Immediately when Wyatt and I sat down we both looked at each other and agreed that this place already felt so much better than Kaiser.

We filled out lots of paperwork and as we sat and waited to be called back into an exam room we both noticed a lady sitting by us with just one leg. Wyatt asked her, "How long have you been on crutches?" And she responded, "A long time." She had her full leg amputated all the way up to her hip. I immediately felt grateful that Wyatt's was a below the knee amputation and knew things could be way way worse.

They called Wyatt back and we already liked this place so much better. It was much more inviting and the exam room had a huge window in it unlike the dungeon at Kaiser. Once in the exam room the nurse went over all of Wyatt's paperwork, took his vitals and sent in a resident doctor to go over things with us as well before Dr. Menedez came in.

Dr. Menedez came in our room and was very professional and to the point with everything. He gave us three opitions:

1. "The gold standard" - Below the knee amputation. The reason why he likes this option is because it has a very low chance of reoccurrence. 00001% chance of reoccuring.
2. CyberknifeThe CyberKnife is a frameless robotic radiosurgery system used for treating benign tumors, malignant tumors. The CyberKnife system is a method of delivering radiotherapy, with the intention of targeting treatment more accurately than standard radiotherapy. The two main elements of the CyberKnife are (1) the radiation produced from a small linear particle accelerator and (2) a robotic arm which allows the energy to be directed at any part of the body from any direction. However, the reoccurrence rate is approximately 10%
3.Cryosurgery- is the application of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue.  Liquid nitrogen is usually used to freeze the tissues at the cellular level. The procedure is used often because of its efficacy and low rates of side effects.

We went over every option in detail with Dr. Menedez and felt good about now having some options. But we came out of the appointment feeling more confused and frustrated. Wyatt even asked the doctor what he would do. He told us he can't answer that. He just kept saying, "The gold standard is amputation and has the lowest reoccurrence rate." 

We both felt right about using Dr. Menedez for Wyatt's surgery. He is a very intelligent man and very very well known. Wyatt also liked the fact that If he does go with amputation that in surgery he will fit him with a temporary prosthetic and then just 6 weeks later he can get his permanent prosthetic. With Kaiser he wasn't going to have any temporary and would have to wait 3 whole months to be fitted for his prosthetic. 

Since Dr. Menedez is currently in the process of moving from USC to Cedars Sinai all of his scheduling is a little crazy right now and he is also no longer scheduling surgery at USC. So now we are just waiting, praying, fasting and praying some more to know what route Wyatt should take. 

Wyatt is meeting with another doctor on Monday at the City of Hope for a third opinion. Thanks again for all the sweet messages, texts, calls, cards, meals and prayers. Nothing goes un noticed! Sorry if we haven't returned everyones's been pretty crazy around here. Just know we appreciate it all!


  1. Oh Jenny this just breaks my heart. I'm so sorry this trial your going threw is so hard! Brad went to USC and they are known for treating cancer and so so nice! I hope you feel peace and comfort through out this all. Love you!

  2. It sounds like it was a much better experience even if you decide that amputation is right! Its always comforting having other options! we love you guys and are praying for you constantly!!