I have no more tumours in my liver! Isn’t that amazing?!? I’m so happy!!
I arrived home last night after spending a few weeks in hospital. I have had several procedures, starting with a liver resection and ablation. My surgeon opened up my abdomen from my sternum down to my belly button and horizontally outwards to my right creating a neat incision. He was then able to lift out my liver and, using his scalpel, remove segment 1V containing a smallish but growing tumour located towards the centre close to blood vessels and the main bile duct. This tumour was removed as a matter of urgency as it grew ever closer to these arteries and bile ducts and became life threatening. After the ‘resection’ there were two other tumours burnt out using a technique called ablation. Ablation is performed by a radiologist who locates the tumours using ultrasound and inserts a burning hot probe into them, burning all visible cancer cells. I spoke to the radiologist afterwards and he said that both tumours had been ‘well ablated’. Good news! I awoke in the intensive care unit with a tube down my throat. I couldn’t breathe properly or speak. I pleaded with the doctors to remove the tube but they were concerned that I had sleep apnea and would not. The next 10 hours were the most unpleasant I’ve ever experienced as I struggled to breathe, my lungs filled up with fluid and they occasionally poked a tube down my throat to suck out the fluid, making me gag and causing excruciating pain at my operation sight. I wrote several pages pleading with them:
The staff arrived in the morning at 8am and removed the tube, shaking their heads at the unnecessary traumatic experience I’d had. They gave me a bed bath with lavender oil and I started to feel human again:
I returned home after a week in hospital but was taken back by ambulance with a high temperature. Subsequent tests showed that the main bile duct had been damaged during surgery and I had bile pooling inside my liver and an infection. I was put on IV antibiotics which cleared up the infection and the fever and a new drain was inserted through my abdomen into my liver (under local anaesthetic only and without pain killers) As the local anaesthetic wore off the pain became unbearable as I waited for the doctors to give me some pain relief. It has taken me another week to feel more comfortable with the drain and be able to breathe properly. I have since had another procedure whereby a camera was inserted down my throat and up through my small bowel inserting a stent into the damaged bile duct in the hope that it may patch the hole and provide an opportunity for it to heal. It seems to be working and the fluid output is going down slowly but surely. Lets cross fingers that it has resolved the issue! I need to repeat the procedure this coming Tuesday to remove a stent that they have placed in the pancreas.
Apart from these challenges I have had some lovely experiences in the hospital. I got some beautiful flowers, received friends and, on occasion, took a wheelchair into the sunshine and the fresh air. I have been so impressed with the professionalism of the nursing staff. Thank you everybody for your kindness and for looking after me so well.
The next step, when I have recovered more from the operation, is to embark on three months of chemo.
I am accepting contributions for my ongoing treatment costs on my fundraiser page. Massive thank you to everybody who has already contributed
In the mean time I am felling better every day. I’ll keep you posted..
Wishing you warmth and happiness.