A little more than 6 weeks ago I started this journey. One week ago tonight I had a 10+ hour surgery that was intended for 4-6 hours to remove this mass and a large portion of my liver. The complexity of removing the mass dictated the resection of not only 2/3 of my liver but the resection of a portion of my colon, duodenum, removal of the gallbladder and a kidney. And if that wasn’t enough the tumor attached itself to the vena cava (ie blood supply to the heart) that required careful separation and subsequent grafting. In other words my abdomen took a beating. The past week as you might imagine has been full of feeling overwhelmed while trying to grab sleep. The surgeons and care at Jeff have been amazing including exceptional pain management.
At the outset the picture that was painted was likely “bad” cancer of the gallbladder and the surgeon was convinced at the conclusion of his 10 hours of amazing work that the hard as a rock softball inside me was indeed not good. But tonight I am beyond words of gratitude to learn that the ENTIRE MASS IS BENIGN and not cancer. I think the surgeon was more shocked than me, but I am beyond words.
The level of care at Jefferson has been beyond what I could have expected anywhere. I am incredibly grateful for the support from all of you over this past week, you have no idea how much your words, thoughts and prayers have meant to me.
I still have much healing to do as I get ready to go home soon, so continue to appreciate your comments and not contacting me directly.
Just got kicked out of the ICU, found a new home in the step down ICU. Having fun. Thanks for all your support it’s greatly appreciated.
Andrew is in Jeff’s ICU after the expected removal of his tumor and part of his liver. He’ll stay sedated until the morning. More updates during his recovery. Thank you all for your continued love, prayers and healing energy.
I met with my surgeon yesterday. The next step is laparoscopic surgery on Tuesday, May 8th. Provided that the PET scan was correct and there are no additional nodules of cancer in my abdomen discovered during this procedure, they would then proceed immediately to resect the mass. This would entail removing the mass, half my liver, along with my gall bladder (which is assumed to be in the mass).
If during the laparoscopic procedure they find additional cancer, the mass would be left intact, and then I would discuss treatment with an oncologist.
So, that’s it.
Waiting, worrying, trying not to spend every moment on Google in an effort to self diagnose.
My primary care physician has been careful to leave the actual diagnosis to the specialists, but he is very worried. I’ve been seeing him for over 25 years, so I’ve learned to trust him. If he’s worried, then I’m worried.
Time marches on, slowly.
It’s been five days since I received the gut punch (almost literally) that I had a large growth on my liver. The ultrasound revealed a 10cm mass, but it couldn’t be identified. An MRI the next day was still inconclusive, however it was more precisely measured at 11cm. Yahoo.
I’ve since seen a specialist. We discussed many things, including the next step: on Tuesday a panel of four doctors will be reviewing my case to determine what the mass is, and what to do about it.
So, I wait. I’m not working, just too tired. Plus, I’m an emotional wreck and would be unable to concentrate.
It’s amazing how time works. It can appear to pass quickly, or agonizingly slowly.