Happy: A Quest for Life After Death

Friday, April 03, 2009

What just happened?

I'm the first to admit that life is not predictable. Plan a vacation for three months from now? Forget it. Make plans for next weekend? Maybe, but with a 50 percent chance of cancelling. This morning? We couldn't even plan our afternoon.

Mat woke up early this morning with a sharp pain in his stomach. Sound familiar? It should -- this is what started this whole cancer odyssey. He waited until 7 a.m., then we chucked the kids in the car so I could take him to see his doctor, who took one look at him and sent him to the infusion unit for IV pain meds and set him up for a 4 p.m. CT scan. (If anyone is keeping track, and I'm sure the health insurance company is, this is the fourth CT scan in about two months.)

He spent a full day being pretty miserable despite pain meds, and seemed to feel worse and worse as the day went on.

Finally, by 6 p.m. or so, Mat was checked into a hospital room for an overnight stay, and the CT scan results were back. A bowel obstruction in Mat's small intestine.

That's when my head started to spin. About 6:30 p.m. Dr. Tenabe, the same surgeon who performed Mat's liver resection two and a half years ago, came to talk about the possibility of surgery. By 8 p.m. Mat was being wheeled to the OR, and by 9:30 surgery was underway. Huh? You shot who in the what now? (Free "stupid cancer dot com" button to anyone who can identify that quote!)

Joe and Ellen came to keep me company in the family waiting room while I waited for news during the surgery, and we were just settling in with some snacks when Dr. Tenabe came in at 10:30 to report that the surgery was over and it went well. Some of Mat's small intestine had become adhered to scar tissue from a previous surgery, and then looped over itself, cutting off the blood supply and causing pain. Lots and lots of pain. Dr. Tenabe detached the small intestine, untangled it, and that was it.

Well, that's not quite it. Mat's got about a week-long stay in the hospital to look forward to, and then several weeks of recovering from surgery after that.

In other news, we found out Wednesday that there are no clinical trial options for Mat right now, so Mat was planning to start a new chemo drug, 5-FU, next Wednesday. Somehow I doubt he'll make that appointment.

See what happens when you try to plan ahead?


ellen said...

peanut butter & chocolate...

Matthew Zachary said...

Free "stupid cancer dot com" pins for everyone. Rock on!

Matthew Zachary
13-Year Young Adult Survivor
I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation

Twitter: http://twitter.i2y.com
Facebook: http://facebook.i2y.com

"Stupid Cancer!"

SLP said...

That sucks!
I sending you warm thoughts and lots of chocolate hugs...

EmilyCC said...

Oh man! Glad you had good company and good snacks during surgery.

Wishing Mat a speedy recovery and better luck with 5-FU. (I'm liking the name of this drug--seems to be saying something vulgar to cancer)