i am a little tired at the moment. you see, i’m missing a bit of blood.
that is 22 vials of my blood, drawn for comprehensive tests on my liver. so i think i’m entitled to a little nap.
but before i crash out and lose another afternoon to fatigue, i wanted to make sure to get us all on the same page.
first, i hope your may day has been lovely, whether you’re celebrating in the twin cities or working your way through holding cells after occupy protests. my present insurance is through kathryn’s union, and the policy has saved us thousands of dollars, if not tens of thousands, since we were married. so, i like unions, and i don’t mind if protests interrupt my day. though i’m grateful i was able to travel freely today.
as business wound down on friday, my doctors switched the upper endoscopy to a dual procedure. so my sunday, instead of badminton in the park, was rather less pleasant. although at this point the colonoscopy prep is old hat for me. still, it’s shitty. heyo!
the endoscopy found a “large” lesion of melanoma in my small bowel. i don’t know what “large” means in my GI doc’s report, but she’s recommended a bowel resection. i’m meeting with my oncologist next week and then my GI surgeon the week after, and at the moment i’m leaning toward avoiding surgery. as my GI surgeon pointed out the last time we found ourselves working with intestinal tumors, we could cut the lesion out, with all the risks and discomfort that come along with bowel resection, and a week later we could find another cancerous lesion an inch away from the previous resection. again, in my GI surgeon’s words, it’s a local solution to a systemic problem. of course, i’m not rushing in to anything, and i need a lot more information about size, location and potential complications if the lesion causes bowel obstruction or perforation.
on top of dealing with all of that, i spent the morning with my new hepatologist to talk about possible treatments for my hepatitis C. we’re trying to get as much information as we can before deciding on a course of action – as i’ve heard, the hep C treatments are still pretty nasty, even as their success rate have skyrocketed (from 20% to 80% cure rates). if we can get my liver to stabilize without dramatic intervention, it might allow us to move forward with the IPI, which could possibly get rid of the lesion, which would mean the surgery would be unnecessary.
you see what i mean when i say it’s complicated.
so to get more information, she took about a pint of my blood (i think she’s a vampire doctor) and ordered an MRI of my liver. i was able to fit in the MRI this afternoon, and now i’m finally home. i’ll have more information in a couple weeks. my hepatologist hopes that we can avoid treating the hep C as long as possible – it’s a year of treatment, and there are new drugs currently in clinical trials that are showing great promise without as much toxicity. i asked about my possible participation, but patients must be five years cancer-free. so that’s out for now, but if all goes well they’ll be available soon.
that was an awful lot for just two days. i’m sitting down with my oncologist next monday to talk through all of this. but for now, i’ve been poked and prodded inside and out, emptied of too many bodily fluids, injected, examined, put inside a jackhammer and sent home.
it’s time to rest for a bit.