Friday, April 18, 2008

Since the surgery...

So far my dad has done well, he is being seen by an oncologist in Fort Worth, had a port put in, and has just finished his second round of three weeks on, one week off of chemotherapy treatments. So far no new cancer related symptoms have popped up, and the side effects of the chemotherapy have not been to bad, according to my dad.

Monday, April 07, 2008

More of the story...

Dr. Fisher arrived that afternoon with a resident and a med student. He informed us that, they had reviewed the CAT scans and found where the blockage was. At that point they could not determine the cause of the blockage. He noted that the CAT scan showed a mass in the pancreas, but the blockage could be caused by adhesions from previous surgeries, or it could be a tumor. He said that the intestines prior to the blockage were very stretched out, and as such, the surgery to clear the blockage was considered to be an emergency, and the mass in the tumor was not able to be operated on at that time. The surgery was set for 7:00pm that evening. Dr. Fisher said we could go down to the surgery waiting room and wait there or wait in the ICU waiting room, and he would come up to us. We opted to stay in the ICU waiting room. At about 11:00pm Dr. Fisher had completed the operation and came up to the ICU waiting room. He drew us a picture of what they found, and how he corrected the problems. It turned out that the blockage was a tumor, apparently an adennocarcinoma, which had spread from the pancreas. They removed that tumor along with 12" of intestine. Dr. Fisher also found another tumor that had invaded the intestines adjacent to the pancreas. This tumor had not completely blocked the intestine, but probably would in the future. Since it had invaded from the pancreas, it was too risky to remove. To keep my father from having to have another abdominal surgery, Dr. Fisher opted to tie in the intestine to another place in my father's stomach, and also to the existing intestine. Essentialy creating two exits from the stomach, and bypassing the other tumor. Dr. Fisher also found some small tumors in the area where my fathers previous incision was, as well as one or more on a blood vessel feeding the intestines.

They sent off the tumors to do pathology on them, but to his very experienced eye, they were certainly cancerous. Dr. Fisher appologised for the bad news, asked if we had any questions at this point. We couldn't think of any at the time.

This was obviously a big shock for all of us, Heather and I knew the diagnosis meant, and I think my mom pretty much knew. As soon as Dr. Fisher left, we all pretty much broke down for several minutes. Then we waited for my dad to make it out of recovery and back to the ICU. We went back to the hotel at about 2 that morning.

The next few days were spend sitting with my father in ICU while the effects of the surgery, etc. wore off. He would alternate between being awake and sleeping every few minutes. Over the next few days he was able to resume eating, was moved out of ICU, and was finally discharged on February 8.

More later...