Dr. Gamblin is a very nice, VERY experienced liver surgeon who saw us yesterday. He believes that he can operate on Butch and will do a liver resection on July 15th. He will remove the entire right lobe of the liver, which contains the tumor and the malignant bile ducts. He will then take the bile ducts which come out of the right side of the liver, which are not malignant, and attach them to the left lobe of the liver, which is already growing to compenstae for the bad right side - the liver is an amazing organ, and can regenerate itself. The tumor has grown only about a centimeter since we left Mayo, Thanks be to God, and the small amount of chemo that he had - combined with the new healthy eating habits we have adopted , have kept it in operatable range. It is about 8.3 centimeters, which is quite large - about 3 1/2 inches - they like to operate when they are under 5 centimeters, but - doable. He will also remove the malignant lymph nodes in the diaphraghm, and Butch will have chemo when we come home to catch any microscopic nasties that are floating around. We talked about radiation in the event of a recurrence, and he is going to leave "markers" in there for a guide in the future (where the malignant lymph nodes were), for radiation, further surgery, etc.
I am not sure of the length of the operation - quite lengthy, I do know, but , if everything goes well, he will be in the hospital 7 to 10 days. We can come home - hopefully - after his two week check up, and do follow up here. We will have to go to Pittsburgh every 3 months for follow up - CT scans, etc. Dr. Gamblin and his 2 associates did 2000 liver oeprations last year, so - he certainly has a lot of experience. This includes the liver operations for the liver transplants - there were people staying there at Family House who were waiting for transplants - you have to be within 4 hours if a transplant comes up for you.
The picture of Butch is in front of Family House - we were waiting to catch the free shuttle to the hospital yesterday. After all the preop testing, we left and came home - got home around 1:30 this morning - drove thru some pretty bad thunder and lightning storms but - ther's no place like home!
If you look at the picture of Butch - you will see he has gained weight - up to 166 pounds - low point was 155 - usually weighs about 180. We are very happy with the weight gain - he will lose about 20 pounds during the operation, so - weight gain is very important. Needs to do strength exercises in the next two weeks also , along with walking, etc. I think this includes painting the shed!