Happy: A Quest for Life After Death

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Beginning

When I signed up for this blog months ago, I thought it would be a showcase for my witty comments and insightful observations about life. Maybe later. For now, this blog is about Mat's cancer. I hope you, our friends and family, will be able to get updates about Mat without worrying about whether you're asking annoying or inappropriate questions. I can't think of how to write this week's update without the background, so here's the history.

The Beginning - April 2005
Mat was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor in his pancreas in April 2005. As it always seems to happen, it was the middle of the night. Mat woke up with excruciating pain in his abdomen. He tried to get back to sleep for a couple of hours, and finally drove himself to the nearest emergency room. Nothing obvious was wrong with him -- vital signs OK, no profuse bleeding, no bones poking out -- so he sat in the ER all day. Mat said he thinks the receptionist there was hoping he would leave.

He didn't leave, so finally he was given an MRI that showed a "mass" in his pancreas. (ERs and doctor's offices are full of euphemisms.) He was admitted to Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass., and had surgery the next evening. Dr. Armen Kasparian performed the surgery. Everything went well -- Dr. Kasparian got clean margins (indicating he removed all of the cancerous tissue) and sent Mat home after about five nights in the hospital.

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