We all go through life growing, experiencing, working, doing... But have you ever considered that you are basically working so hard to get to the end of your life? I hadn't either. Until Monday...
I will begin my story in the spring of 2010. I can't pinpoint exactly when the feeling came to me, but I do remember waking up one morning knowing that something bad was going to happen to someone around me. I immediately felt that it was my mom. I have always had this "sense". No I am not a psychic. It is VERY underdeveloped. I can't be sure. Plus, I forget to trust it a lot. In this instance, when my mother-in-law died, I thought that was what the feeling was about. The feeling hadn't gone away though.
On Monday 8/23/10 Mama went for a check at the dr about her gallbladder. She had been diagnosed with diverticulitis three weeks ago. More on that later. Monday he ordered a ct, because her liver was enlarged and the gallbladder symptoms. The ct showed masses in the liver and a large one in the colon.
That night the dr called and told her to get to West Florida Hospital because she needed massive amounts of antibiotics. She got here and they found she was severely anemic and have given her 4 units of blood up to this point. They said the antibiotics were not for an infection but for the immune response to the cancer. I came down on Wednesday morning for her colonscopy procedure. The surgeon was unable to even attempt the colonoscopy because of mass was so large it was almost closing off the bowel. They told us it was definitely cancer Wednesday afternoon.
She had surgery Thursday 8/26/10. Dr Patrick Dial removed the affected sigmoid colon...8 inches of it. Resected the colon and no colostomy!! The liver was inoperable. The masses were spread everywhere in the liver. Over 2/3 of the liver is affected. Because of the spread, there is no way to remove the bad without taking some good, which would leave her with nothing. He found a tumor on her right pelvic wall as well. It was wrapped around the ureter. He dissected on it, removing what he could. There is still tumor around the ureter, so we pray that the chemo will work on it. The consideration here is that the ureter could be blocked resulting in her needing a stent or kidney failure.
Her CEA was 230. It is a tumor marker. It will be the thing to watch, well other than the CT and Pet scans, to see how well the chemo is working. Dr. Dial said we should hope for a 5 in the end. I am going to have to research to learn more about it.
Dr. Boatright has Aspergers. Well, we actually don't really know, but he acts just like Tyler. He is frustrating. We ask questions differently and he doesn't repeat. You know how you hear something, especially in this particular instance, and you will restate the question asking again. He answered, "You know everything. There are no secrets." Well, I personally agree with Susan that we need a second opinion. She wants to pay for mom to go to MD Anderson for a consult.
Dr. Denby, the GI who did the colonoscopy attempt, prayed with us when he told us she had cancer. God has really given us wonderful doctors here. (I'm holding opinion on Boatright just yet.) Dr. Dial is the best in the biz, and the only dr from Tallahassee to Mobile that does the colon resection and liver resection in the same surgery. Plus, he went ahead in the same surgery and inserted the mediport in her subclavian artery that will be used for the chemo, which is usually done in a separate surgery!
The nurses are fantastic! Very nice! Helpful and caring. I am so thankful that God led us here.
I have heard enough from the drs, nurses, and Paul Dangerfiled, the anesthesiologist, here that it is possible that there were no symptoms until just recently. I am over the fact that Mom ignored needing a Colonoscopy in March. If she had it then, we will still be in the same situation. The cancer is so expansive in the liver that she has had this for over a year. Based on the amount of blood lost, she has had it over a year. I completely forgive her for not going to the dr or having the colonoscopy in March.
My hypothesis is that the original infection she had 12-13 years ago resulted in this. Damaged cells remained. There is too much coincidence in the uterus infection and the sigmoid and pelvic wall masses. It is the same proximity.
Things I have to get over:
(1)Dr. Davis not doing a proper palp exam (feeling of her abdomen) at some point. When I have not been to Dr. Crowe in a while, he always makes me get on the table for him to do a standard physical! I don't have to ask. He looks at the chart and does it. 3 weeks ago when mama had that case of "diverticulitis", according to Davis, he couldn't have done an exam. He may have, as Mama swears he did, but he couldn't have done it properly! She had hepatomegaly (enlarged liver) on Monday. It couldn't have gotten that large, which was because of tumors, that quick! In my eyes, he failed to do his job. Period. Maybe she would have had cancer anyway, but he could have at least done his job and examined her!
(2)Mamas will to live. What there is of it. Whe has good attitude and good spirits, but I wonder how much suicidal thought there is underneath it all. With this diagnosis and the prognosis of 6mo to 2 years given to her yesterday, what is the reaction she had? Well, when I told her they said that, she said, "Well, I feel fine!" Of course that is pre-surgery. What bothers me more is the "I still want to work" attitude. I want to be aggressive with the chemo. She wants to be able to work.