Treatment plan update

Wow. I am totally remembering why I set up this blog in the first place now. One of the worst things about this whole cancer thing is feeling like I have to talk about it all the time. It's not that I mind talking about it, it's the repetition of the details that bothers me . I'm so lucky to be surrounded by so many people who are interested in what is going on but it's exhausting having to update everyone one by one via email, texts or in person. Oh, and then there are the guilt trips if someone feels like you haven't told them, but you've told other people. Yes, folks, this is why I created this blog. Not a selfless act to educate the masses about cancer, no, rather a completely selfish act to save me from repeating myself or getting into trouble through omission.

With that rant out of the way….

I'm booked for liver resection on Feb 15th. They are planning to take roughly half my liver. This might cause temporary liver failure in most mortals, but apparently I am gifted with a very large liver. Perhaps all that beer drinking in my University days uniquely evolved my liver. Or maybe that's why I got cancer in the 1st place. Best not to think about these things too much !!!

It's a fairly big operation. Should be around 5 hours (nothing compared to my last liver / colon resection combo marathon surgery), and I can expect to be in intensive care for up to 3 days, and then back on the Ward for a week. They are going to try and do it as keyhole surgery but because they need to gain entry through the same area as my previous surgery they are expecting to encounter a lot of scar tissue so it's highly likely it will end up being open liver surgery. Apparently that is a beauty of a scar - this is the look I'll be going for with mine :) Oh, they also have to remove my gall bladder because it will be in the way. Apparently that doesn't normally cause people any problems however because I've had half my inner arse (ass for American readers) removed already it could temporarily cause me some trouble. Also, they don't know why but when they remove a big chunk of your liver it tends to affect your ability to concentrate for a period of time. I mean, who needs to concentrate ? Oh, and I might get to experience an epidural as this is a popular method of dealing with the post surgery pain in liver surgeries. Who knew?

Once they have the pathology on the tumour they will decide if I need to get back on the chemotherapy bandwagon. Apparently my current liver function is totally normal i.e. not affected by the previous chemo at all. So winning there.

So, that all doesn't sound too bad, right ?

It might also be in my prostate. They took a closer look at the PET scans and there is some concern that there might have been some spread into the prostate. Apparently the prostate is right next to where my previous colon cancer was. I suggested we just whip it out just in case - because that is my attitude at this point - but they tell me the prostate is actually worth hanging on to it I can . So, yesterday a lovely man put his finger up my bum (ass for American readers). I think “digital examination” has got to be one of the most misleading terms.

  • Doctor: “Now Scott, we are going to do a digital examination of your prostate”.

  • Me: “Oh, sure” (thinking, I wonder what new wonderful digital device they use for that purpose).

  • Doctor: Puts gloves on.

  • Me: “Oh fuck, those digits.”

He thought I had a great interior, but has referred me for additional tests today / tomorrow. I may even be lucky enough to have a sedated prostate ultrasound or even a biopsy if I'm really lucky - mmm, did you open that little biopsy image ?

Oh yeah, and when I finished at the hospital yesterday I had flat car battery. I am winning at life.

So, before Feb 15th they want me to reduce my liver fat. Now before anyone has nasty thoughts, everyone has liver fat and the surgeon told me my liver is actually quite 'lean'. Yeah baby. However any additional fat I can eliminate will help the surgical outcome. So I have started the mother of fasts and will be running everyday until Feb 15th.

I just cancelled the amazing walk I bought my wife and I for Christmas . It was booked for early April but I'm worried I won't be sufficiently recovered to walk 20kms a day by then. I've also been trying to figure out how to handle work. Is it fair to others that this is probably going to keep happening i.e. extended absences to keep getting shit cut of me ? I don't know.

Jeeeez, this cancer thing sucks just a little. I do keep reminding myself that as long as I still have treatment options, I am one of the lucky ones. And surgical options, even better. I have some cancer buddies who are not as lucky.