Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some very good news

I think I should begin like one of those TV shows with a complicated plot: "Previously, on How is Deb? …"

In May, Deb's regular twice-a-year CT scan showed something growing in her liver. We immediately thought it was a recurrence of one of her previous cancers and freaked. A biopsy showed it to be an epithelioid angiomyolipoma, a very rare beast indeed, but not as scary as breast cancer or GIST in the liver.

Nonetheless, it was growing and had to come out, so Deb had surgery on June 17, losing about half her liver plus her gall bladder. The surgery went well, but the pathology report didn't show clean margins, and the ultrasound during surgery showed two smaller lesions that might be similar growths. The plan then was to wait three months, then do another ultrasound and see what was what.

When you're dealing with something none of your doctors have ever seen before, the possibilities are endless: The remnants of the removed growth (those "dirty" margins) might keep growing, the two smaller growths left behind might get bigger. More of the buggers might show up. And so on. All summer, we were focusing on Deb recovering from surgery and trying not to focus on things we couldn't know.

Now that you're caught up, I can tell you about today: We just got back from the 3-month ultrasound, and none of the bad stuff has happened. Nothing was seen growing on the margins, and the two left-behind growths are the same size they were three months ago. (For all we know, they may have been there forever -- nobody had a reason to look for them until June.)

I suppose you could imagine a better outcome at this point -- the two little lesions might have magically vanished or something -- but of the non-magical possibilities, this was the one we were hoping for.

As far as the recovery-from-surgery stuff, it's going slowly but well. She doesn't have her full energy back yet, but she's working her usual schedule and eating a normal diet. The ultrasound also showed a fluid build-up around the site of the surgery, but it doesn't seem to be infected and the doctors don't seem worried about it. They expect the fluid to get re-absorbed eventually.

Looking forward, we go back for another ultrasound and/or CT scan in six months.

1 comment:

  1. Very good news, indeed! May improved health and wellness brighten all your days.