Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's Up Doc? (aka The Second Opinion) Originally started/written 2.21.10

Aw crap... do I need to pay Warner Brothers Cartoons for the use of that phrase? Oh well...

Sorry it's taken me a while to post this next blog. Typing has become a touch difficult lately so it takes a little longer than usual for me to type. That and also dealing with an infant who may potentially be at the starting gate for teething, I kind of have to walk away from the blog for a bit every now and then.

I know you guys have been wondering how my appointment with the "Second Opinion" doctor went last Friday. I know this because I've gotten the texts, emails, calls, etc. I kind of had to process what he told me and also, I needed a couple of days where I wasn't thinking about what he had told me. Well, that didn't happen. My situation is always on my brain now, no matter how hard I try to "relax and take it easy". It has started to infiltrate my dreams. I have weird crazy dreams that I only half remember when I wake but I know they're nuts.

First off, to answer everyone's question: I'm doing fine. Thank you. Well, as fine as I can be for someone who has a tumor in her body. This is what I deal with every day now... I'm realizing that now I'm dealing with a constant pain on my left side close to where the tumor is, there is a constant throbbing in the area of the tumor (I can only guess it's the artery the tumor is wrapped around), I have a headache and backache that doesn't seem to go away no matter how much Tylenol or Aleve I pop (and believe me, it's a lot), and I'm so tired now that I feel like I've been shot up with a serious load of quaaludes (not even a nap helps because I'm still tired after waking and there are days when I can't even wake up in the morning). It makes taking care of the baby and reading/learning about my specific type of pancreatic cancer a challenge. Other than that, I'm in pretty good spirits and I'm just trying to find some good in this piece of shit situation I have found myself in. Here's something... you know how they say that your feet get bigger when you're pregnant and they never go back to their regular size so you might as well buy new shoes? Not for me! I am still a size 7 1/2 - 8! Woo hoo!

Ok, now down to the nitty gritty: The Second Opinion.

Saw a Dr. R. Selby at USC University Hospital. He has an astounding CV and came highly recommended to me by the last vascular surgeon who diagnosed me. He told me that if he had the same thing he would go to this guy. Great. Enough said. Let's talk to him.

In a nutshell: He'd like me to go under the knife as well. Here's the kicker: He agreed that my pancreas would need to be chopped up (for lack of a better term) he didn't think it would be as drastic as Dr. Ramos (who referred me to him) thought. He feels that he can leave a healthy amount of pancreas which would mean that possibly I would not be insulin dependent. He also thinks that he would only need to remove, at most, 10% of my liver. Which is good. Less chance of liver failure. But he also dropped a bomb on me. I would also be losing my spleen, possibly my left adrenal gland, and depending on if the tumor has infiltrated my stomach or not, a portion of the back part of my stomach (better than the lapband?).

That's a lot of stuff. I need time to figure this crap out. And I also asked to see an oncologist, because I haven't talked to a doctor who specializes in cancer yet! So I have an appointment with an oncologist at the USC Norris Cancer Center and these peeps over here are going to just go ahead and schedule my surgery and let me know. The Bean gets baptized on the 11th and I'm hoping I have a month or so before I have to have this surgery. It still scares the bejeezus out of me especially because of that deal with the major artery that's involved. I guess we'll see...

Sorry for not posting this up as soon as when I had written it originally. I was in mommy mode and also I really needed to figure out what I wanted to do about this surgery vs alternatives to surgery. Now that I know what is going to happen, I'll be writing a new blog on that right now and post it tomorrow. So as soon as I have time this coming week, I'll try to make the blog a daily occurance if possible. I have a lot going on this upcoming week... I'll explain in the next blog.

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