Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pre-Admission Testing

Karen's doing great. Over the last few weeks her color has returned and she's regained a lot of the strength lost to chemo. Today we had pre-admission testing at Long Island Jewish.

The pre-admission testing consisted of a chest X-Ray, CT Scan, blood work (including CEA) as well as an EKG. A huge amount of information was collected through interview along the way. Allergies and pre-existing problem type questions. We'll get Karen's CEA result on Friday.

We also met with Dr Ravikumar this morning before pre-test. That was a good visit. Dr Ravikumar explained the process he'll go through as well as the various decisions he'll make during surgery. These decisions are rather complicated but essentially result in Karen leaving the theatre with varying degrees of weight loss.

The surgery will last 5 hours approximately and starts at 11:30 EST on Monday morning.

He also may look to use a new technique he's developing (with a handful of other surgeons worldwide) that involves PET scanning with a wand DURING surgery. This allows him to detect a negative margin in Karen's liver more accurately. That's surgery talk for "figure out if there's cancer left or not".

It's an innovative procedure that doesn't add risk to the operation so we're signed up. It involves nuclear medicine though and may not be feasible logistically given the holiday here in the US. We'll see. Only a couple of people have received this process so there's no data to backup whether it actually is of benefit or not but it makes sense to me.

My parents have flown in from Ireland and are a great comfort and support during this time. Ethan loves his "DanGrad" and Sydney likes "Nana's white hair".

Karen's in "game mode" and although she's nervous, overwhelmed and a small bit scared she's up for the challenge. Her nerve is steady and we're quietly confident in what's to come.

We are looking forward to a successful result on Monday.


Chris said...

Have a great Thanksgiving together. Part of what Maggie and I will be thankful for this year is the opportunity you have been given for this surgery. I hope that the surgeons are surprised at how great the procedure goes. You will all be on my mind Monday. Francis, don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes. While Maggie was in surgery I did a real wonder on my feet with my nervous pacing.

Don said...

On Monday, Karen will sleep through the whole event and will awake to the comforts of the people who love her. She may not even realize, at first, that the procedure she struggled so very long & hard for has happened.

Joy to your many Thanksgivings to come, knowing firsthand there is grace in our world.

Hold Fast

Don MacLeod