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[cancer] Surgery outcomes, the simple (and lucid) version

This is a slightly more lucid (I hope) recap of my last blog post, with a few more thoughts added.

Surgery went well from a procedural perspective. There have been no complications, post-operative healing has gone well, the incision is looking good without inflammation, bleeding and drainage. As my surgical oncologist has said, I tolerate surgery well.

The bad surprise was the discovery of unexpected tumors outside the liver. My surgical oncologist’s initial comment to me on that was, “What we’re supposed to do when we open you up and find unexpected tumors is just close you back up. I knew that wasn’t the right answer for you.”

I still have not seen either the surgical report or the pathology report, so this is not full and final data, but my current understanding is that there were four small tumors in my lesser omentum and one in my thoracic diaphragm, which was more or less interpenetrated with my liver via a bridge of adhered scar tissue.

All tumors were resected or ablated, and I am currently in No Evidence of Disease status. This is not a remission or cure, this just means there are no detectable tumors at this time. Considering the fact that the omentum tumors were not detected prior to surgery, this is not exactly confidence inspiring.

I’ll be making a longer, more complex blog post about what this all means for my health, my likely paths forward, and what happens next. Essentially, things have gotten more urgent and dire than they were looking pre-operatively with the Ashcroft tumor question. Also, the overage on the fundraiser is going straight to the additional testing and consultations which are being sparked by these new findings.

So, yeah, not so good. The good news is they got everything they found. The bad news is there were tumors to be found outside my liver. I have now experienced metastases in four locations outside my original colon presentation. I have now experienced multiple metastases in various sites. I have now experienced metastases that apparently presented while I was under chemotherapy. Like I said, not so good.

I won’t be seeing my medical oncologist until probably next week, as they are awaiting the surgical report and the pathology reports, as well as the meeting of the Tumor Board, which happens on Thursdays. Plus we’re waiting for the tumor gene sequencing results, which even on a rush basis will be another two weeks or so.

More to come, once I have a bit more mental clarity to discuss. Meanwhile, I am expecting to be discharged from the hospital today. Pain is controlled and my body is functioning reasonably well.

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