Saturday, April 18, 2009

Not to be

Dr. Hassig tried this morning to place a stent into Kay's common bile duct from the duodenum, but due to edema (swelling) and pressure from the cancer in the area he was not able to visualize the opening. Kay otherwise did well in the procedure, no complications, and so she was taken directly from the endoscopy suite to radiology where a CT scan shows that the bile ducts are dilated enough to make it likely that the radiologist can place a drainage tube into the biliary tree using a small needle and guidewire tomorrow AM. The hope is that he can then go through that tube to push a wire through the common bile duct into the duodenum, allowing the gastroenterologist to locate the opening of the common bile duct and be able then to place the stent that he was unable to do today. If this sounds complicated, don't fret. I understand, and so do Kay's physicians. This is definately not the way we had hoped things would go, but is really just a road-bump.

Kay is at the Good Samaritan Hospital now, Brett is visiting, Kay and Mary are going in soon, and I'm off to the YMCA to decompress. Marc Aversa, Kay's FP and my partner, visited me while Kay was having the procedure this morning, and it was nice to have his company.

The reason it is so important to get this stent placed is that decompressing the liver will allow full doses of chemotherapy to be used, and give Kay a better chance of getting the cancer to respond, allowing a better chance of a full remission and long term survival. Aren't words like remission, and survival terrible words to have to use when you are talking about someone you love? These are doctor words. Words like cure are what cancer patients, relatives, friends and loved ones want to hear, but cure is a term impossible to define. The only cure for life is death, so we fall back on this medical jargon.

We keep in mind that Jesus gave us the cure for death. Thanks be to God.

Thanks for your prayers. Kay is fighting hard, and we feel wrapped in your love.



Mary Rose said...

So sorry to hear of this complication and barrier to Kay feeling better. What a blessing, Ed, for her to have you by her side to decipher all the medical jargon and advocate for her. Praying for a successful procedure tomorrow.

Karen Gustafson said...

Mary Rose said it all. We love you guys.
Kay, whenever you want to talk about walking in shoes like mine, please let me know. :)