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Update from Judy about Don

Posts: 191
Joined: Nov 2011

For those of you who do not have facebook, Judy posted the following today (this was following an MRI and an ultrasound of the kidneys)

"We received a lot of information today - almost too much to process. The surgeon called a family meeting at 2pm today. A family meeting? Hmm. He came in and brought the medicine doctors with him. He has asked them to take charge of Don's case and coordinate all the information being passed from all the other doctors. That makes perfect sense. There is now the liver doctor and a kidney doctor and pulmonary and the surgeon and there will probably be at least one other specialty doc in a few days. The MRI showed a thickening of soft tissue in the middle of the abdomen behind the trachea which sits just in front of the inside of the ribcage. That could be 1) cancer or 2) some rare case of sclerosis of the mesentry (sp?)
The kidneys are only working at the most 10% they are not completely shut down but close. The liver has improved ever so slightly. He is in critical condition and in most other hospitals he would be in ICU but he is doing pretty
good where he is for now.
Don has multiple systems not working very well. They are going to leave the ng tube in and try him on some clear liquids tomorrow to see if his digestive system can handle that. They are continuing with the fluids in hopes that will stimulate his kidneys to work. If they do not respond over the weekend they will start him on dialysis Monday which may or may not be a permanent thing.
Don has gained about 42 lbs of fluid in the past three weeks.
We also discussed quite a few other matters that the doctors felt needed to be discussed but they stressed they are hopeful.
It was kind of strange to have THAT conversation today because Don looks better today than he has in many days. He is weak but determined and he fights like a true warrior. We are praying for things to turn around in the next couple of days. This medicine team is quite experienced with esophageal cancer cases and that will be very helpful.
They cannot do a needle biopsy of the thickened soft tissue because of the danger of bleeding internally due to the heparin he is taking for the blood clots and they cannot do an exploratory surgery because his system could not tolerate that. Again, this is another of those "between a rock and a hard place" issues. This is the lymph nodal system around the gastric artery just below where his original tumor was. Again, we are very hopeful for things to turn around this weekend. Thank you all for the prayers and good wishes. Will update again when we have some news."

As I said to another CSN friend earlier, it all sounds quite terrifying but at least they seem to finally have a good medical team in place which will hopefully give them the means and the strength to win this fight. I am awed by what a gutsy pair Judy and Don are - I'm not sure how I would be coping at this point. Though I guess, as we have all learned the hard way, you do what you have to do (and then fall apart afterwards sometimes - I know I do).

Big {{{Hugs}}} to everyone on this forum. We sure need them once we start this journey = I know i do.


Amjosmom's picture
Posts: 231
Joined: Jun 2012

That phrase is common in EC, I think. Hoping for the best outcome for Don. Hang in there, Judy!! Sending MANY prayers your way this weekend for strength and healing. Also, prayers for Don's medical team. I hope that God's hand will be on them and guide them in healing Don!

Lots of love!

Posts: 191
Joined: Nov 2011

Judy posted a couple of brief updates on FB today. Don was supposed to have dialysis but they could not complete it because of the blood clot problem. They also drained some fluid and are testing it. I just can't imagine what can be going on in his body that so many different organs are having problems.

Here are Judy's FB posts
"Diagnostic fluid tap of abdomen yesterday afternoon. Maybe results tomorrow at earliest. This morning a tunnel catheter was put in and dialysis started at 12:30. Will only do 2 hour treatment to remove 1 liter of fluid today. If all goes well he will have the standard 4 hour treatment sometime tomorrow." then
"Did not get thru dialysis today because of clotting. Tomorrow they will run heparin with it and it should go better. They did get his potassium to a normal level and that was one of the goals of dialysis so that was good. "

Hope they get good news tomorrow

TerryV's picture
Posts: 916
Joined: Jul 2011

are all headed toward Don & Judy. She must need as much strength as he does by now. I can't imagine how worn out she must be from the past 3 - 4 weeks.

All I can say is FEC!

Love and many, many {{HUGS}} to all,


don't know how I missed this thread. Didn't spot it until today. Freida - thank you, as always, for updating us!

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