Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Surgery Day's A Comin'

Well here we are again. We met with Dr. Ronald Chamberlain this past Monday the 23rd. It was basically a pre-op review and time for any last minute important question that you could possibly try to muster up in your brain. What is proposed to happen is this.

First Dr. C. will perform a diagnostic laproscopy to see what the deal is before the "first incision." Then in "general" what could happen are these three scenarios. These scenarios all have their own sub-scenarios and so on but I won't get into all that.
So the first one is surgery can't take place for any number of reasons, (too much scar tissue, too much tumor etc). If this is the case Dr. C. assured me he will still do radio frequency ablation (rfa) or microwave ablation to the tumors.

The second one is both sides of the liver are resected to remove said tumors, during the same surgery as well as part of the colon where the primary tumor originated. We want that crap gone!

The third is that the liver resection will take place in two stages, to, as I understand it, safeguard me from liver failure. But the colon resection would take place. With the two stage deal, one section of liver would be removed. I would recover 7-10 days in the hospital come back in 2-3 weeks and the other section would be removed. Dr. C. is sensing the latter scenario will take place. The end goal being to all of this is me have no evidence of disease or (let's be wild shall we...Cancer Free!!). Does all this make sense?

I am incredibly blessed, fortunate and grateful to be in this position. That is not lost on me. Just to have the word "option" in the life of someone with cancer is a golden ray of light. I am grateful to still be able to hear that word.

I really like Dr. Chamberlain. He is very thorough and articulate and obviously very intelligent and good at what he does. I don't know how I have been so lucky to have gotten such an incredible team.

Dr. Moriarty has been guiding and navigating me through these horrible, scary unknown waters and has never given up on me. I don't know what I would do, or where I would be without him or Kathy, Sonya, Kim, Chris, Gina, Miriam and Mylene. The woman, and nurses that care for me always.
And now I have this surgeon who seems to have his stuff together and is ready to go.

Since I met with Dr. C. on Monday I have been at a greater peace. I have been struggling in prayer. Jesus what do I ask for? I just want to be healed, completely healed and I know you can and are doing it. But then the thought sneaks in "well what if your supposed to stay sick, what if God's will is that you die from this?" This has been my internal spiritual struggle.

Then I was praying and felt so strongly Jesus saying to me "Karen what would be the opposite of what your asking me for?" I thought about it and said it would be unhappiness misery and death. Jesus said "I am not here for you to live like that" I am here for life and for joy." Okay so that was pretty heavy and while I was in the bathroom of course.
Then at the end of my meeting with Dr. Chamberlain I asked him if he prayed and he responded a very strong yes. He wrote down a scripture on an unopened gauze wrapper handed to me it was Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity.

Yeaaaaa I think I want this guy to be my surgeon.

I am fully at peace. Jesus has plans to GIVE me hope and a future and I'll take it.

Thank you all for everything. Every prayer, thought and kindness is deeply appreciated and as always humbling. There are so many people out there who needs our prayers. So lets keep praying for each other. We all need it.

Fran will be posting the happenings as best he can after surgery.

My sincerest love to all,

Friday, February 20, 2009

4th Colonoscopy

Karen's doing better. The malaise from the shingles has cleared up. Tomorrow (Friday) is colonoscopy day which makes today prep day, not fun. Karen's 4th colonoscopy in 2 years.

Sydney turned 5 today also and she is just a doll. No other word for it. We'll go out to dinner as a family after K's procedure and Sydney gets to pick the place.

Sunday is Syd's party which makes Saturday cake baking day.

Monday is Chamberlain and pre-admin testing all day at St. Barnabus.

Life is good.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Karen has Shingles

Karen has shingles. She's running a mild fever the last two weeks and most recently this has amped up. She's in bed resting with a confirmed case of shingles. I won't go into the details but think painful chicken-pox.

Shingles is normally not expected until you're over 60. Then again colon cancer is not expected until you're over 50. Karen'll be 34 this year! Go figure. Google says this is fairly common in long-term chemo patients. I myself have a mild cold so she probably caught some of that too.

It's a virus so she's on anti-viral medicine. We're hoping this will clear up in time for surgery (March 3rd) and not interfere with the preparation. With a colonoscopy coming up on Friday 20th and Sydney's birthday on the 19th (she'll be 5) we already have a packed schedule.

Timing could be better but like everything else we'll deal with it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Protein Folding Continues

Karen's doing well. Getting stronger and prepping for surgery.

I wanted to post a very quick update on our Protein Folding team which is making great strides in the area of Cancer Research.

As you can see from the team stats page, we are ranked 6519th out of 152,887 teams worldwide. Not bad!

Report generated on 18:56:54 February 02, 2009
Date of last work unit 2009-02-01 18:23:19
Active CPUs within 50 days 7
Team Id 144824
Grand Score 169488 (certificate)
Work Unit Count 203 (certificate)
Team Ranking (incl. aggregate) 6519 of 152887

I've written about this before and here's How to Help.

If you're interested in the mechanics of protein folding and how it actually works, here's some stuff I've figured out along the way: Parts 1, 2 and 3

I know this isn't a very interesting update but it's important and does help the field of research.