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

A request, as we reach two years

Wow, long time no write.

I didn't enjoy this past winter. I was certainly in a long slump. Things were very challenging at work. Gordon was awesome, as always, but I was just in a sustained funk from last summer on. And I'm not sure I'm all the way out of it yet. I'm still largely in quiet hermit mode, but have been making progress at resuming social contact. Little dude and I have a very busy summer that will go by in a flash.

This Thursday will mark two years since Amanda died. I still replay the events of that night in my head almost every day. I'd like to not. Sometimes it feels like forever ago, but sometimes I'm right there all over again.

Hey, can I ask for your help with something?

Two years ago, so many wonderful people told me that if there was anything they could do to help .... Well, I don't ask often. And I should've asked more. And I should ask more even now. I'm still not comfortable asking. But I'm asking for this.

I put out a vi…

Amanda's cancer has returned, just months after treatment

It's been two and a half months since the last update on this blog, and I was hoping to write one soon with lots of good news.

I was going to write about our recent trip to Jamaica, where we got to go snorkeling, bake in the sun and meet nice people from around Canada and the USA.
I was going to write about how Gordon is now 11 months old and exceeding all our hopes. He's a little dynamo who's not that little -- out of 100 babies his age, no normal one would be bigger. He's spectacular and we love him to bits.


I was going to write about putting the finishing touches on the Twin City Wrestling TV show that I've been working on for the past several months. It's just about ready to be sent in to the broadcaster, and it looks great.
I was going to write about the Canadian Cancer Society using our story in a very moving fundraising letter for their winter campaign in Nova Scotia.
I was going to write about Amanda's trip to Toronto to learn about how Prince Marga…

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…