Happy: A Quest for Life After Death

Monday, August 14, 2006


It's official -- the surgery is over, and it went well.

Note to self: resume breathing.

When Dr. Tanabe and his team "opened" Mat and examined his liver -- up close and personal -- they found exactly what they expected to see. Tumors on the right and left lobes, but nothing in the center section to cause a change of plans.

As expected, Dr. Tanabe removed the entire right lobe of his liver (containing a dozen tumors) and three tumors from the left lobe -- hopefully leaving none of the cancerous tissue. The surgery itself took about five hours, with a couple of hours before for preparation and a couple of hours after for close monitoring in the recovery room. No need to spend the night in the ICU, and, so far, no need for a transfusion.

No photos of Mat for today's post -- I don't want to scare any small children who may come across the blog. Mat's a little yellowish and waxy looking, and has tubes sticking out of various veins, but don't worry -- while I visited Mat briefly after surgery, a doctor came to examine him and pronounced that he looked "great." All I can say is his standards are reeeeeally low. (What do you think his wife looks like?)

The real photo op of the day came before the surgery when Mat dressed in his hospital gown, a shower cap to contain his non-existent hair (last week's attempt to regrow hair was a false alarm), and ... a pair of tights. Thigh-highs, actually.

Mat is left with about 30-35% of his liver, so he may temporarily develop jaundice, but that's nothing that can't be managed. And within three weeks, most of his liver will have regenerated. If you'd like to visit, Mat is at Mass General Hospital, in the White building, room 716B. He's pretty busy being checked out by nurses and doctors, bathed, etc., but by about 11 a.m. is done with the morning ritual.

Heartfelt thanks to you -- too numerous to count -- for helping us walk on water.


Hank said...

Yea Mat! I had to stop myself several dozen times from calling to bug Kimberly to see how you were doing. I am SO glad she is keeping us up to date with this blog. You are in our thoughts and prayers.


PS - Don't grow the hair back. Just get a dark tan and you will be uber cool.

PPS - Maybe this will be the year I can keep up with you on a snowboard. (probably not)

Anonymous said...

Like Hank, I held myself back hoping for a post...thanks for publishing one Kimberly!
Now on to the next phase of hope, let us know when you are ready for good food and guests.


Thom said...

That's wonderful news. We'll continue to pray that Mat's recovery will go as well as the surgery.

And thanks, Kimberly, for posting so quickly. Like Hank and Stacey, I was itching to call someone, but forced myself to wait for a post.


EmilyCC said...

Hooray! Thanks for the update, Kimberly. Wishing you both lots of good rest and quick liver regeneration (I'm still reeling over the idea that Mat will be growing 70% of his liver in less than a month!).

Anonymous said...

I'm really happy about the good news. I'm sure there was a huge sigh of relief--I know there was one here. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed, etc., just in case. Make sure to use SA when she gets there. I'm putting one more rock (big) on the dam (this pm) and then I'm going to take a few days off from that project.


Anonymous said...

We are doing the happy dance here in our neck of the woods! We hope the recovery is smooth and feels a whole lot better.

Zoe and Andrew and Soren

Tianyu said...

Wow! Really great news! I wish I could go there to see Mat.

Mat, all members are waiting for you in TC. :)

Anonymous said...

Kimberly and Mat:

thanks so much for the update

so glad the operation went well. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

if you need anything let us know.

Dawn and Mike Lease