CSN Login
Members Online: 2

You are here

Liver resection Is a GO!~ New York Here I come- UPDATE, Now what should I do?

pluckey's picture
Posts: 484
Joined: Jul 2009

March 17th, 2010 - Confirmed Liver resection surgery date. Not only is it St. Patrick's Day, it is exactly ONE day to the year that my world changed forever, the day I was officially told of my cancer.

This past Monday, My husband & I met with Dr. Yuman Fong at Sloan Kettering, to see if he deemed my case as resectable. He said I met the criteria for surgery- excellent response to chemo, tumors calcified, gained 25 of the 50 lbs I lost since original colon surgery.

I will be in NY about 3 weeks total.

I've posted before my frustration in trying to get 2nd opinions, in trying to get a "PLAN" of attack on my cancer fight. I told my surgeon I was going to see Dr. Fong, whom she studied under. She was happy for me going to him. Part of me wonders why she didn't step up and say "Hey, let me re-look at your scans, talk to a radiologist and present you with my findings/my opinion on surgery for you" My surgeon said to me "Peggy, I CAN do surgery on your liver, I don't know if we SHOULD"

Now that I know I will be operated on - be given a chance at hope and cure, I wonder if I would have pushed surgery with my local surgeon or just blindly stayed on chemo for another 12 cycles.

I now know that I don't want to wait for the chemo to no longer work- for the cancer to come back...I believe I am in a particualr sweet spot right now- no progression of disease thus far, and stronger than I've been in 9 months. I'm back from an abyss -I was so sick for many months, doctors and nurses wondering if I'd ever make it thru chemo.

So, now, for the next few weeks I must tend to the details:

Find affordable accommodations in NYC for me and my family
Airline reservations
Fill out FASFA forms for college aid for Colleen
File Taxes
Tackle Insurance and Hospital bills Nightmare

I bought a 20-class pass to Elmhurst Yoga Shala and plan on taking all the classes I can. I need to get my mind and body strong for this next stage of the fight. I'm not the "yoga" type - calm and centered and peaceful - but I could really use the ability to meditate and focus my mind so I don't flit and fly all over the place when I'm awake at 2 in the morning. The nightly rambling of my brain is getting annoying - I can't turn it off.

I'm soooo happy that Dr. Fong will operate on me. I'm scared, anxious, and excited. But I know I have all of you to keep me going!


Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

You go get em girlfriend...It sounds as if you took it into your own hands and getting things done..Good for you...

As far as plane fare, go to expedia or Orbit or Cheap flights on the web . Any time we travel we use these sites and the earlier you can confirm the cheaper it is. Look for the non stops also. If you look long enough you can find great deals....Good Luck and we will be rooting for you.....Hope and Love, Buzz

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

It is wonderful that you are feeling better and stronger and ready for surgery - and that you found a skilled surgeon that will do it!

Keep us upated, and when you brain is rambling, sign on here and ramble all you want! We're here to listen.

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

That's great! I can't wait to hear updates of how it goes.


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

That's such good news, Peggy!

Wow, what a plan...you sound so good and positive...you got me excited this morning!

I can't wait to hear how this all turn out...we gotta' have our Peggy :)

-Craig :)

pluckey's picture
Posts: 484
Joined: Jul 2009

thanks everyone. I'm actually at chemo right now using my Mom's netbook. My port won't kick back any blood so they have to give me some drug to get the draw...

anyhoo..Sloan Kettering already contacted my Docs in chicago and told them of his recommendation for surgery. My Onc asked me if I would consider doing the surgery in chicago with my original surgeon, now that a respected 2nd opinion came in.

Damn, more decisions. Of course it would be easier to stay in chicago, cheaper, and near my kids. But I feel like I gave my surgeon a chance to make a plan, and Dr. Fong is the one that handed me Hope...so he should do the surgery, right?

i don't want to second guess my decision to have a different doctor do the surgery. My chicago surgeon studied under Dr. Fong and spoke to him after my consultation. So I'm sure with his blessing, she feels she could do the surgery as well.

What should I do????????


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009


You may have just answered your own question here :)

I'd go for the big gun - you gave your surgeon the opportunity and it passed. She could now do it, but she wasn't thinking this before. We don't get too many good chances at this thing, so go for the teacher instead of the student.

If you don't go with Fong, you just might wonder IF. Even if your current surgeon did a great job, you would be like well...why didn't you think this could be done?" He did show you the light - I'm a loyal person, but sometimes during our battle, we have to make a change and not be afraid to do so. If Dr. Fong thinks you are a go, I personally would feel more comfortable going this way, since he is familiar with your case and gave the "thumbs up."

In the end, go with your "gut instinct." Go for what you know and feel is right. You are right, that there are many factors to consider. I think you'll just know what is right for you after some careful deliberation. I'm so happy that you are qualifying for the surgery.

Thinking of you :)

thready's picture
Posts: 475
Joined: Sep 2009

To Fong, or Not fo Fong- you are funny, (the situation is not funny) but I like the humor, (I think she should Fong)

kimby's picture
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007


Congratulations on the resection you have planned. That is a very big step to 'cure'. How do we choose a doctor? Don't choose who you "like" the best. Choose who you know to be the best. You need the big guns for this kind of surgery. You need a surgeon that does transplants and knows what needs to remain for maximum regrowth.

It sounds like you've got two good surgeons. Which one is great? Which one would you want to operate on your daughter? You know the answers in your heart and you can make a good decision for yourself. Cost and convenience are important. Very big issues. The bigger issue is your health and your life.

Let us know what you decide. You have my prayers and good thoughts.


Fight for my love
Posts: 1530
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Peggy,you are really your own advocate.It sounds like everything is working out.I am sure you will be NED soon. I hope nothing but the best outcome from your surgery.Best luck with the surgery.

Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2009

You have no idea how lucky you are to have Dr. Fong agree to do your surgery. He is a god. I'm serious, he is the most skilled and wonderful surgeon and person I've ever met. I can't say enough good things about him. He is a genuine human being who feels your fear and pain, and he takes all the time you need to reassure you and answer all your questions. He saved my life and he will do the same for you.

The staff at MSK is wonderful. The nurses are caring and skilled. Do what they tell you and you'll be home before you know it. That was my experience there three years ago and I've been NED ever since.

Best of luck,Peggy.

thready's picture
Posts: 475
Joined: Sep 2009

I think you will know what is best, but to have a recommendation by someone who has been there is so meaningful.


maglets's picture
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

I had to travel to my liver surgeon too Peggy and I absolutely think the world of him. He gave me a fighting chance when everyone else including 3 other surgeons said no. In fact i had a teeny spot of reoccurring cancer on the liver and he operated again using the same incision. My family found a nice place to stay with the help of the hospital....yes it was expensive but I was only in hospital 5 days with both re-sections

best of luck Peggy

good for you


Posts: 638
Joined: Dec 2009

Also ask the hospital where you will have the surgery done if they have a hospitality house some large hospitals do have and rooms are like $10.00 a night if not ask if they have a contract with a hotel there close to the hospital some times they do corprate lodging contracts . It won't hurt to ask ....good luck and praying for you.

robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Great News Peggy! St. Patty's Day in New York!

Peace and blessings... Rob; in Vancouver

“Life is short,and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel the way with us. So let us be swift to love, and let us make haste to show kindness.”
Henri Amiel

Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008


Check out this blog: http://www.cancerguy.com/blog/

This young man had Dr Fong do his liver resection a few years ago. If I were you I would definitely go with Dr Fong. I think I would feel more confident in someone who says "I can do this" rather than someone who says "I can do it if someone else can..."

For affordable housing check out the Hope House in NYC. They provide free housing for you and a companion (and your companion only if you are in the hospital). They don't allow anyone under 18 and allow only 1 caregiver per patient. You will need to schedule ahead but it's a wonderful place and they do wonderful things. I went there to visit a friend while she was recovering from surgery (at MSK) and I was really impressed.

All the best Peggy! Keep us posted on your decision and plans! I am praying for you.


Subscribe to Comments for "Liver resection Is a GO!~  New York Here I come- UPDATE, Now what should I do?"