A little update, as things have progressed very quickly this week.
It would appear that I shall be having the liver tumour (along with about 30% of my liver) removed on Monday. As in, the day after tomorrow.
The sentence was handed down earlier this week when Bekky and I went to see the liver surgeon in London. The MRI and CT scans I had undergone the previous week showed a very modest reduction in the size of the liver tumour, no current sign of cancer in the bowel and little change in the lungs (although they only mentioned one nodule instead of three which is encouraging but not necessarily accurate). However, it seems that even a modest reduction in the size of the liver tumour is enough to get cracking with its extraction.
So, I am being admitted to The London Clinic (again) tomorrow and surgery will then take place first thing on Monday morning. I am told to expect up to two days in intensive care post-surgery and up to two weeks in hospital in all, although that’s what they said last time and I was out after eight days. That said, the surgeon has made it clear that this is a more major operation on what he described as “the factory floor” of the body, so while I hope to escape early, this may or may not actually happen.
There is a slim chance they may reverse my stoma during the operation as well, but this depends on the availability of the bowel surgeon and how the liver surgery goes. I will awake either with or without bag. As of yesterday, the likelihood remained slim so I am not too optimistic – the silver lining of this particular cloud, however, is that if it is not reversed, my post-surgery diet should be less limited, meaning I can fully enjoy The London Clinic’s menu which looks rather good and which I had to forego last time as well.
There should then be a period of 4 – 6 weeks’ recovery time at home, much like last time, and then, joy of joys, more chemo. Yes, I am told to expect another 6 rounds over 12 weeks which is faintly disheartening but hey ho, it’s got to be done and while the last 6 rounds were pretty taxing, I survived comparatively unscathed so I am sure the next 6 will come and go in a flash. Ish.
I have mixed feelings about this impending stay in hospital – on one hand I know what to expect, it being only 4 months since my last stay, and it signifies another leap forward in my treatment. On the other, I know what to expect, it being only 4 months since my last stay, and frankly it ain’t much fun: tubes emerging from everywhere, canulas, drains, wires, machines that go ping, drips, oxygen tubes, epidurals, interrupted nights, pain, bed baths, ridiculous stockings…I could go on. Suffice to say there is a pretty robust mixture of anticipation, nervous excitement and anxiety at Nicholls Cottage this weekend.
All will be well, of course, and frankly all we want is just to get on with it now. Bekky is being stoical as ever but, like her husband, is not particularly looking forward to it. That may be an understatement. While I drift in and out of consciousness, she must bear witness to my post-surgical dribbling, jibbering and moaning, poor thing, which I wouldn’t choose to inflict on anyone. I couldn’t do it without her though.
So here goes. We shall proceed to London, any shred of dignity that I once had I shall leave at the door of the hospital and I shall look forward to ten days or so of weirdness, daytime TV, sleep and discomfort.
Between us we’ll keep you posted on how it all goes.