Friday, April 27, 2007

The Biopsies

The First Biopsy

The biopsy was done on the 17th and we got the results on Thursday the 19th. They were negative meaning the biopsy indicated normal tissue. We were elated at this news but I should've known to ask more questions. With the wind in my sails I booked my wife and daughter on the first flight to Dallas the next day and they were able to attend the wedding. Unfortunately my daughter was sick the entire trip and in hindsight should've stayed home.

The Second Biopsy
The following Monday (the 23rd) a second biopsy was done to confirm the first result. The radiologist(Dr Sneickus) was frustrated that we had not gotten a result from the first procedure and it was then that we learned it was possible the first result was a false-negative. He promised the results to us the next day. Unfortunately these results took longer and we didn't get them until Friday the 27th of April over the phone from Dr Lipksy. He told us that Karen had cancer, that it was an advanced stage (stage IV) and that it would require chemo and most likely surgery. He could not give a prognosis until further tests were done. He recommended we hang up the phone, schedule a colonoscopy through his office and setup appointments with an oncologist, Doctor Moriarity in Overlook hospital, Summit.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The First Step

On April 07th, 2007 my wife went to the emergency room complaining of a pain in her right side. It had been there all week and she'd been scheduled for a CT scan that morning. Unfortunately she'd forgotten to drink the Berium and hence went to the emergency room in the hopes that they could expedite the diagnosis.

The Emergency Room
During the course of that Saturday she underwent a series of blood tests and scans including a CT scan and an MRI. The results indicated numerous large lesions in her right liver and left lobe. By 9pm I was on the way to the hospital. "Under Pressure" was playing on the radio. Whilst I was driving to the hospital my wife was told by the doctor on call (Dr. Michael Gould of Somerset Medical Center) that she had colon cancer which they believed had spread to her liver.

He should not have done that without a biopsy. No one can tell you you have cancer without a biopsy.

Monday saw a series of phone calls and triage. We scheduled an appointment with a GI doctor (Dr Marvin Lipsky) on Wednesday the 11th of April 2007. That appointment came and went. He was thorough, spoke very fast with little elocution. The diagnosis was that she did not have a blockage in her colon and that they would do a liver biopsy to determine whether the liver lesions are benign or malignant indicating cancer. The earliest we could schedule the biopsy for was the following Tuesday (17th). Karen's sister was getting married the following Saturday (21st) in Dallas and Karen would not be cleared to fly after the procedure. This was a difficult decision but the need to diagnose the problem outweighed the wedding and on Thursday the 12th we decided to cancel the trip to Dallas. That week I worked Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.