Saturday, September 3, 2016

Surgery's done

Just a quick update (more details about the past weeks to come in future posts):

So I went in for the surgery on Friday, August 12 – and it went fine. I came home the following Tuesday, August 16, several days earlier than we’d anticipated, and on Wednesday, August 24, they removed the row of surgical staples that they’d sealed me up with. (Staples – pretty weird.) None of this meant that I was feeling great – it turns out abdominal surgery is just plain a big deal -- but I was (and am) making pretty steady progress.

Then, this past Wednesday, August 31, I received the first dose of chemotherapy into the pump that was installed in the surgery. The pump is now doing its work, sending the chemo bit by bit to my liver over a 2 week period. At the end of that period, they’ll reload the pump with a combination of saline solution and heparin (to prevent blood clotting), and I’ll have two weeks off from the pump treatment.

Meanwhile they’ll re-start the intravenous chemo (which aims to guard against cancer throughout my body, not just in the liver itself). They’ll use just one drug, gemcitabine, for this intravenous treatment rather than the two-drug combination I’ve had up till now; that means I won’t get another drug, cisplatin, which can be tough on the blood vessels it travels through, so this should be relatively easy too. From then on the plan is that I’ll get the intravenous chemo every two weeks, while every 4th week I get a new dose of chemotherapy via the pump.

Meanwhile, my incision continues to heal, and I’m feeling reasonably well though quite tired. It’s startling to think that all this surgery did was to install a delivery system to send chemotherapy to the right spot in the right way – but I’m hopeful the results will be good!

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