surgery for broken neck

momof2 Member Posts: 81
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Well, just thought that I would give everyone an update. I have had a busy two weeks, most of which was spent in the hospital. I started having a lot of pain in my neck so we started radiation. One day, the pain was unbearable, the next day I seen my oncologist. I was admitted to the hospital for pain control. At this time, it was determined I needed an MRI and some x-rays and a CT. These tests determined my neck was broken at c2 and c3. The good news of this, the tumors which were once there, are gone :o) A neurological surgeon was called in and I was in surgery the next day. A bone was taken from my hip and grafted into my neck. I am now wearing a halo brace for the next 2-3 months. They said I am very lucky I wasn't paralyzed or dead. I feel pretty lucky yet am quite down with the brace. I had to withdraw from my college classes for the semester, which was really hard, I can't do the things I used to do on my own, it's just been a really tough adjustment. Thank you all so much for listening!!

Take care!


  • ktinkey
    ktinkey Member Posts: 170
    Hi Carrie,

    Thanks for the update. I know this is a very hard time for you, as it would be for anyone. You have been through so much, but remember, we are here for you and many of us will be praying. Even though God may feel very far away right now, just picture Him carrying you on His shoulders. He will see you through. You are still here fighting and we lift you up!

    God Bless,
  • DeeNY711
    DeeNY711 Member Posts: 476 Member
    Carrie, call your class advisor and explain what is going on. Most colleges have programs where you can work on a self study or research paper for credit while unable to attend classes.

    There were only 2 times during the journey that I sobbed long and loud. The first time was when I thought I lost the surgeon's business card and could not figure out how to call by phone. I found the card and wrote the phone number, the pager number, the surgical department's number and every other detail in 20 places just in case.

    The second time I sobbed was the day I had to leave during the first day of class and realized it would be impossible to continue attending class. It was an ugly surprise, because I had gotten dressed and attended class 6 days following bilateral mastectomy and throughout the first several chemotherapy treatments while simultaneously losing all my hair. I then had from May until September off. When the subsequent semester began, the cumulative effect of all chemo cycles amplified the exhaustion of daily radiation treatments. As the classroom became seemingly airless and the room started to turn dark, I mentally calculated how long it would take emergency services to find my location on campus.

    I explained to my class advisor, and she suggested that I pick a topic and work with it at home for the semester... my choice of topics. It was counted as a 1 1/2 semester hour course in graduate school, but there is also a 3 semester option. By the time I found out about this, it was a little too late into the semester to make the criteria for the 3 semester hour option, but working on that project kept my mind functioning far better than it would have fared without the distraction and organizational focus it necessitated. It also provided great comfort to realize that the faculty did not want to lose me as a student.
    Hugs and kisses and stuff,
  • SusanAnne
    SusanAnne Member Posts: 245
    Carrie, I must say that I admire your persistance. Having gone thru all that pain and then surgery. Of course you can't perform the tasks and attend class like before! Give yourself permission to use this time to heal and you will be back to yourself sooner than if you push yourself too hard now. I'm happy for you that your tumors have disappeared. Keep your chin up and let others help you (it makes them feel good to help out). Good luck.