Skip to main content

The cancer's back, and the surgeon goes after it tomorrow

Well, the nasty bugger came back.

Amanda's tumours were mostly stable while on the aromatase inhibitors, but there was this one gob of disease that wouldn't stay put. For a while, we all thought it was the carcass of the abscess that was left after her hysterectomy. But it was actually a tumour.

It grew and grew, and it's grown to the point where it's causing her pain as it presses on neighbouring organs.

The latest MRI reveals that it's "invading" neighbouring organs, too. It's worse than we figured, but the docs say they can handle it.

With surgery.



Our surgeon is simply excellent so far. Dr. Akira Sugimoto doesn't just have the chops in the OR -- he's one of the most empathetic and caring medical professionals we've ever encountered. We're confident in his skills, and just as importantly, he gives a damn SO hard.

The surgery ahead tomorrow at Victoria Hospital will aim to remove all the disease they can safely take out. They'll also take out one of her kidneys -- the one that gave up after a tumour strangled off her ureter.

They may very well end up resecting (cutting out and splicing) some bowel. She could end up with a colostomy.

She'll have another huge incision up her whole abdomen. Amanda will be in hospital for a week, with another six weeks of minimal activity at home before she's 50% healed. It's going to hurt a lot.

So, why's she so upbeat about this?

Because the doctors and Amanda are so confident that this is the right time. The right time to get the tumours out. The right time to do the surgery so she can be back on her feet in time for gardening season. The right time to take this thing down to a level where her body can get back to kicking its ass, with the help of chemotherapy again if that's what it takes.

Me, I'm kind of scared. Last time she had one of these big debulking surgeries, her blood pressure dropped dangerously low in the OR and they had a hard time bringing it back up. I saw how much pain she was in. I saw the wound open and get infected. I saw so many needle pricks and uncomfortable nights. The whole thing was hard for me, and I wasn't even the one who was sliced. I've seen her go through so much agony and upset. I've had vicarious trauma, but I'm doing my damndest to be an oak, not a rock -- strong, sturdy, grounded, but able to bend.

We've also had to explain things to Gordon in the most appropriate way we can. He's two and a half years old, almost three, but very perceptive and sensitive. He knows mommy hasn't been feeling well. So we had to tell him that mommy has a sort of ball inside her that shouldn't be there. The doctors -- Gordon can now say "Doctor Sugimoto" and "Doctor Welsh" -- are going to do an operation and take it out. She's going to be in hospital and she's going to miss him a lot.


He's going to miss her, too. So am I.

Friends and family have offered their love and support, and the folks where I work have also been excellent.

Gordon, man....what a kid. He went from being "behind" in his speech last year to now being "advanced" according to the speech therapist we visited. I'm so impressed at how smart he is, and how he loves to joke and make people laugh. And he's so, so sweet, kind and polite.

His latest kick is dancing to Macklemore's "Downtown" -- it's on repeat at our house.



So, that's the update. The cancer has rallied, but we're rallying, too, with a kick-ass medical team and some wonderful people watching our backs. As shitty as things are, we're in a good position to fight back.

Thanks to everyone who's been so kind to us through all this. We appreciate it more than we can say.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Gordon turns four and has questions

Gordon wanted to know where mommy went.

Not what happened to her body, but where SHE went.

We celebrated his fourth birthday this weekend with three gatherings. One at our house with his little friends. One at nana and grampa's house. One in Stratford with the Simpson clan.


The big party for the kids was a success. I'd never planned such an event. Thank goodness for the Internet, where I found a Martha Stewart article that laid out the basics. And thank goodness for Party City, which had a ton of Transformers party stuff ready to buy. I wasn't feeling well, but managed to pull it off. Thanks to sister Shannon and SIL Amy for being the Designated Adults who helped in wrangling and last-minute logistics. G thought the whole event was kind of loud, but he really enjoyed it. And I feel like a winner for making it happen -- some of the other parents even chimed in that they now know what goes into a kid's party, since they were as clueless as me! Great!

Great time at nana&#…

Hard to believe it's been a year - but it has

One year ago today, we lost Amanda.

Time plays tricks on all of us. We can think "that was so long ago" at the same time as "it feels like yesterday." I run into this all the time with Amanda's death.

Yes, it feels like just yesterday, or last night, or later today, that Amanda collapsed in the kitchen and died after that long, brutal battle with ovarian cancer. But every day has ticked by at a pace like any other, and it's been a whole year of those days, with incremental and sometimes revolutionary change.

As I move about our home, it's hard to fathom that she's been gone a whole year.

Many of the decorative items she carefully arranged throughout the house are in the exact same place as the last time she touched them. She had the vision, not me, so I've been reluctant to disturb her decisions on what looks good and works.

In other places, I'm reminded that it's been at least a year since something's been in place. Like the fully-s…

She went in to have our baby and came out with a cancer diagnosis

It's been two weeks since my wife and I welcomed our son Gordon into the world. It's also been two weeks since we found out Amanda has cancer.

We went into the IWK on Tuesday, April 2nd for a Cesarean section prompted by an ultrasound earlier in the pregnancy that showed the placenta dangerously close to the cervix. Too close and she could bleed to death during delivery. An ultrasound closer to the due date showed the placenta in a slightly safer place, but now blood vessels were blocking the way out. An emergency C-section was in order.

So we went in, three weeks early. The delivery went smoothly. Our baby Gordon was frank breech, pulled out buttocks-first. I went over and cut the cord. I brought our first child back to Amanda to let her see. It was better than I'd expected!

Then the surgeon started talking about finding bumps. Instead of stitching her up, the team was finding trouble inside her.

They had to page the oncologist. I went into shock, sweating and heaving on t…