Monday, December 15, 2008

Surgery Consultation

Karen's doing well. After a long lead-up and much anticipation (on my part), we finally met with Dr Chamberlain from St Barnabas Hospital today.

We had a very good first meeting with fairly positive results. Before coming in he first spent some time reviewing Karen's scans. There was some confusion here but we worked it out. After reviewing Karen's history etc. the doctor laid out the situation on the back of a piece of paper.

Essentially he drew liver, life sized, with veins going in, veins coming out and various different sections. Then he drew in the tumors, a big one here, big one there, a small one there, a tiny one over there etc.

In order for a successful surgery, you need to keep a certain amount of veins going in, a certain amount coming out and a certain number of zones that add up to roughly 20% of the overall volume. So the challenge is how to do a surgery that'll achieve all those objectives.

The next step is to get a couple more pieces of data together. A series of special blood tests which K' did today before we left and a 64-slice CT scan w/contrast. This'll be a high-definition scan that'll allow Dr Chamberlain to reconstruct the liver in 3D on his computer. This'll let him develop a clear plan.

One possibility is a two stage surgery. First they'll go in and clean up the right-lobe. At the same time they'll tie-off the arteries into the left lobe. This'll cause the tumors over there to die and trigger the right lobe to grow. Then in surgery #2 they'll go in and cut out the left lobe entirely. Another possibility is that Karen would get a pump, about the size of a blackberry, placed into her liver which'd deliver chemo drugs right into the liver. I don't know about this piece but let's see.

It all sounded good and was delivered in very clear, easy to understand language without dumbing it down for us. Overall this was a great meeting and went just about as well as we could've hoped. Next step is to check with Moriarty to make sure he's comfortable.

Dr Chamberlain is not wasting any time. The scans will be "squeezed" in this week with no doubt some calls from Chamberlain/Moriarty and we'll meet back again in 1 week.

At that time we'll confirm if surgery is a possibility. Despite all the good news, it's still not confirmed.

I think Karen and I both are still processing the events of the day but slowly the stress is leaving me at least.

Please spare a thought for Adam Beldycki [LINK] who was undergoing his 5th liver surgery today.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for update. Ye are both great warriors and we are all praying for you here in Cappa.My 100 year old asks for Karen every few days and prays for her every night. Love galore Jo.

Don MacLeod said...

Hey Guys

I hope Dr. Chanberlain & Dr. Moriarty greet you with big smiles when next you meet.

Don MacLeod

Catherine Murphy said...

Rooting for you all over there and we're so relieved to hear that the meeting was so positive. THink positive and the world will follow. If prayers were Chemo Karen you would be glowing in the dark. Lots of love and good wishes Catherine and co in Carrigwilliam.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear the meeting went well, hope next weeks is just as positive. Praying hard for a good result. Conor sends you a big grin and Eoghan sends you a hug and a kiss too!
Teresa xx

Lena Antaramian said...

Hi guys,

Glad to hear the good news! Will pray that you can go ahead with the surgery.


Lena and Victor

kmc said...

Just wishing you a blessed Christmas...

you are in our prayers.

The Camiolo Crew
Dave, Kristin, Andrew, Genna, & Rosie