I am doing really well, feeling better than expected. I really feel I was lifted through the “fire” of yet another procedure by all your well wishes and prayers. I was prayed over by a group of prayer warriors Tuesday night as well. I am tired with stomach cramps, but not feeling nauseated!
Yesterday started off on the wrong foot as Karen who was going to go with me came down with a fever and the flu. But my Mom was staying with us anyway to take care of the guys, so Mom got to do the honor of taking me in. The procedure was a success! I got into my gown, had blood drawn and had my IV put in by about 10:45 a.m. Then, as usual, it was the waiting game. I was visited by all my nurses(radiologist head nurse, liver surgery head nurse, SIRTs head nurse, etc…) One of the nurses said she had just learned that Abbott was one of the top centers in the U.S. for this procedure. They have done 130 cases of this type of radiation. That was re-assuring, but 130 doesn’t sound like that much, does it? Overall the treatment is relatively new, but it is becoming more popular. I had a different doctor this time vs. during my angiogram and he stopped by to introduce himself. He explained that he was very familiar with my background as my case history was recently presented in a conference of surgeons. The doctors at the conference review all the cancer surgery/radiation cases and come up with a plan for each patient based on all of their opinions. It is nice to know that they seem to make their decisions as a team. At 12:30 p.m. I was wheeled into the procedure room. They scrubbed me up, sterilized the room and then gave me some knock out medicine. The knock out medicine takes the edge off everything but doesn’t completely put you to sleep. After that they put a hole into my hip and go up into the femoral artery. The catheter tube has a camera on it and above my body is a bank of tv’s that they/I can view their work. You basically feel no pain, just a bit of pressure from this step. During the procedure I can talk to the nurses and ask questions. One thing that did come up yesterday was that the doctor found another artery leading away from the liver that he needed to embolize (block off) before he could inject the radiation. Good catch on his part. At one point during the procedure my nurse felt I was a little too awake, so they shot me up with more juice. That turned out to be a really good thing. When he injected the radiation into my body, it instantly cramped up. On the pain scale I went from a 0 to a 6. I imagine the liver itself was just cringing back as it got hit with the poison. I can’t imagine what it would have felt like if I had no pain meds. He injected 3 rounds of the radiation beads into my system. After each injection I would feel the cramp but it would subside after a minute. After all the injections, everything ended pretty quickly. They pulled everything out of me, bandaged me up and sent me to recovery. Later they took me for a scan to see make sure the radioactive beads were in the right place, which they were. I didn’t realize this until yesterday that the radioactive beads were sent directly to the left lobe of my liver, not the whole liver. The rest of the afternoon I basically just rested and recovered. Surprisingly I did very well and was discharged on time at 5:15 p.m. Again I felt no nausea-that is a big thing for me!
By 7:00 my sick wife, mom and I where all sitting at the dining room table relaxing. Karen had rallied a bit from her 100 degree fever and Brenden’s temp. had also dropped. I was feeling blessed to have made it through yet another procedure and was finally sitting down to get some food in my stomach (it had been almost 21 hours since I last ate).
The battle plan moving forward: Full blood work up and CT scan in 2 weeks Then wait till around the first week of June for another scan to view the overall results. I do have to sit down with my Oncologist at some point to get his opinion and perspective. I am sure plans, strategies and the future can change, but for today I am thankful and blessed-Praise God!
Thank you for all of your prayers and your special prayer you posted for me Vicki! Sarah thank you so much for updating everyone yesterday. I am radioactive and glowing-just not as much as Homer. Karen continues to battle through her flu/Cold thing and went back to work today-she is amazing!