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surgery date set

Posts: 1223
Joined: Jun 2008

Hi everyone, after much deliberation and prayer, I opted to do surgery. I have 6 tumors, all operable, according to my doctor in CA. Date is set for August 31st. I fly to Seattle on the 25th, drop off my son at uni and then off to CA to surgery. I am at peace about the whole thing, but was pretty much a mess for a couple weeks. My doctor will have a chemo essay done, and chemo will be decided then. Just crossing my fingers that it is something I can get here in Japan, so I can come home and do surgery here. If not, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying pool time with my kids and all the wonderful summer celebrations Japan is good at. We will drive to the country side today to see the most amazing fireworks show ever. It takes place in a valley between two mountains and the sounds echo off the mountain, so that you actually can FEEL the sound. So cool.

I hope all of you are doing what you can to enjoy this summer season, whereever you are.

Hugs all around,

Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1217
Joined: Sep 2010

Glad to hear you made a decision. I know that sometimes that can be the hardest part. It sounds as if your doctor is outstanding and he will be able to do what is best for you. I hope all your travels and medical stuff goes smoothly.
We have fireworks in a small town here in Colorado just like the ones you are describing in Japan. Enjoy the show.

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

I know it wasn't an easy decision for you. But I'm happy to hear that you've made a choice, and you seem to be ready to move forward with it. I will pray for a successful surgery, speedy recovery, and minimal chemo required.

Enjoy those fireworks!


clamryn's picture
Posts: 508
Joined: Jun 2010

Oh Kathleen I know that you have probably had the roughest couple of weeks trying to decide but reading your post I feel that you are ready now to get it done. You and your doctor have the plan of action. I will be praying for you on August 31 for good news and an easy surgery. Just get those nasty stinking tumors out. Once the surgery is done... YOU get well.

Enjoy the fireworks for me.... That is one of my favorite things. Would love to see it.


poopergirl14052's picture
Posts: 1185
Joined: Nov 2010

It must have been a tough decision for you to make. Wishing you the very best and your md gets every last tumor out. I will be praying for you, for now enjoy your time with family and friends and us. We are all here for you my friend...val

carolenk's picture
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

Dear Kathleen

The good news is that your tumors are all operable. Might as well go after them before they wrap around your aorta or some other important blood vessel. Is this considered to be a second de-bulking surgery?

Best wishes for a smooth recovery.


joan60's picture
Posts: 90
Joined: Sep 2010

will be with you and will hope all goes well for you!!!

jloe's picture
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2010

I know this was a tough decision but you seem to have really good medical care and a good surgeon. Big hugs to you and continue to enjoy the simmer. OXOX Joni

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

No decision regarding surgery can be made without a lot of soul-searching, especially when you've been through surgery before and know what the recovery time can be like. ((((Kathleen)))). I'm glad the decision is behind you, and that you have chosen to fight on. I remember the surgeon who put in my port telling me during that insertion so long ago, that people with cancer early on "choose LIFE" or "choose DEATH", and that those who choose LIFE from Day One will do just about anything to remain here on this earth. This same surgeon is the Radiation Interventionist that did my radioembolism June 1st, and who is considered "overly agressive" by my chemo-oncologist. But you reach a point where "overly aggressive" is your best shot. And I know that we are both at that juncture. Big Move time. I knew you'd "choose LIFE" again; fighters fight on. (((Kathleen)))

I've been told by my gyne-onc that my cancerous paraaortic lymph node is in too tricky a spot for surgery. Back when it still looked like chemo was an option for me (before we'd tried a bunch of chemos that didn't work), I got a 2nd opinion at Fox Chase about surgery for my cancerous lymph nodes & they agreed with my medical team at home that surgery was not indicated for me. But once I recover from getting the other half of my liver radioembolized later this month, I'm going to have a new CT/Pet scan done and have my "overly aggressive" radiation interventionist give me his opinion about surgery for me. My chemo-onc said that "he does things I would NEVER do", and right now, that is a big part of his appeal! HA!

Meanwhile, during this short lull in the action, I am so glad that you are enjoying some good times, at peace with a decision well-made. hugs, girl.

kikz's picture
Posts: 1346
Joined: Jun 2010

Wishing you the very best outcome and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.


Cafewoman53's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Jul 2010

You are our international teal warrior ! Wishing you the best possible outcome with your surgery and whatever the next step is, stay strong !

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

I am so happy you have a plan. Once you choose the path, the journey becomes much easier.

I am praying for total and successful removal. Be gone, tumors!


Cindy Bear
Posts: 570
Joined: Jul 2009

I too am glad you have a plan in place. I will be thinking of you on the 31st... Hope you enjoyed those fireworks, they sound incredible.
Big hugs and prayers,

Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2010

all the luck in the world Kathleen, and a speedy recovery from your surgery.

childofthestars's picture
Posts: 250
Joined: Jan 2011

Wishing you all the luck in the universe and for a speedy recovery too.
Michelle x

vj1's picture
Posts: 151
Joined: Jun 2010

Hugs, prayers and only positive thoughts coming your way. Enjoy that wonderful Japan celebration, sounds great! Keep in touch.


Mwee's picture
Posts: 1341
Joined: Nov 2009

I'm so very glad to hear that these pesky tumors are operable and that you are at peace with your decision. I could picture those wonderful fireworks as you described them.... we fight on for those wonderful times.
(((HUGS))) right back at ya Maria

Posts: 1223
Joined: Jun 2008

It looks like my hospital room has wifi now (didn't use to) so once I'm able, I will update. The worst part of surgery for me is the day after. I get really weepy and strange. I feel like the world is upside down and nothing is right. Then the next day, the nausea kicks in from all the pain meds. The third day I get irritated because I just want to pass gas, so I know the bowels are ok. The fourth day, I get angry because I hate all the soft food (jello, soup and more jello) I have to have beacause I haven't passed gas yet. The fifth day I'm starving, and very grumpy. The sixth day I'm ready to jump out the window, if they don't let me go home. Well, at least I know what to expect after surgery, from doing it so many times.

Actually, having internet is going to make everything a whole lot better!!

hugs to all,

Mwee's picture
Posts: 1341
Joined: Nov 2009

will make things much easier for you. You'll be able to keep in touch with all your family, including us!
(((HUGS))) Maria

Pesky tumors BEGONE :)

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I'm having my SIR-Spheres radioembolism next Friday, so I will be just a few days ahead of you in the 'recovery misery' calendar. You are having bigger surgery than I am, but I also go into this knowing what to expect,....not sure that's an advantage! HA! & I'm guessing this time the recovery may be harder than last, as I am now having symptoms from the liver mets that I didn't have at the time I had the other side of my liver done (June 1st). Last time I was throwing up bile the 1st 2 days, had tons of back and shoulder pain from the 7 hours of complete immobilization with this procedure, and lost 10 pounds in 3 days. But 7 to 10 days out I was back almost 100%. I have to stay at least 10' away from everyone for 10 days because of the radioactivity I will be emitting, and sleeping alone and the absence of hugs is the hardest part for me! If misery loves company (& I hate to think that it does!), just know that I am holding your hand across cyberspace.

I will be thinking of you & hope you will post updates when you feel up to it. Because chemo affects my blood counts so drastically, I've been on a 4 month break from chemo to have these 2 surgeries this summer. As scary as it is to be 'out of treatment' when you are NOT in remission, a big part of me is tempted to turn my back on chemo and "what will be, will be". This 4 month break (almost as long as my two remissions were!) from constant 'doctoring' has been so wonderful, and the last 4 chemo drugs I tried allowed disease progression anyway. But I also know I'm a fighter and that I still have Gemzar and Topotekan to try once I recover from this radioembolism, and I can as easily see myself battling on. But these decisions get made in their own good time. And we've made ours for the near future, and HERE WE GO!! ((((Kathleen))))

Lisa13Q's picture
Posts: 683
Joined: Jul 2009

Good Luck to you and I'm glad you have an aggressive doctor.....same with Linda....Why not? I wanted my mother to have the radioemboliostic thing and the other and doctors said, "no"...instead, what? Let it grow? crazy thinking...so you go girl and cut those nasty nasty tumors out......keep us posted and get as grumpy and irritible as you want!!!

carolyn45's picture
Posts: 100
Joined: Apr 2011

First of all, Kathleen, heartfelt congrats on making such a courageous decision. I'll be beaming light to CA on the 31st from the west Highlands of Scotland. From the description of your post op difficulties I'm wondering if you are super sensitive to opiates. I am!! My first surgery was an emergency from a tumor perforating my colon (during a colonoscopy). The surgeon couldn't even see my colon due to all of the cancer, so he gave me an ileostomy. Fortunately for me my blood pressures after surgery were in the 70's/30/s range, so I was only given half the usual amount of pain meds. Even THAT much made me nuts--weepy, strange, and also terrified. I'd hear the IV machines spouting weird words, and I couldn't sleep. I came off the opiates as fast as I could, as hurting was a much better option than pain relief. My second surgery was the debulking and ileostomy reversal, and this time I came with an "instruction manual"--ie, NO opiates if possible, no Compazine, no Tylenol. Luckily my surgeon was in total agreement with this. I had an epidural put in pre-op which was used to administer anesthetic AND Torridal, which is basically IV Ibuprofen. My surgery was on a Thursday, and the epidural stayed in until the following Monday. I could press the button and get a blast of Torridal whenever I needed it. It wasn't quite as effective as opiates, but I could sleep and not be crazy. Could that be an option for you? I'll be wishing you and your surgical team Godspeed and great success.

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