Tuesday, July 1, 2008

June 30 - 2008 - The Doctor's Opinion

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!


Sharan said...

Glad to hear ya'll are home safe and sound; I'm sure Flashy is excited. Weight gain is good news; sorry about the bad weather though - makes for difficult driving. The mountains look so pretty; such a beautiful part of the country; reminds us of the simple beauties of this country. And everything sounds like its moving along at Pitts. The "marker" that they will leave behind sounds interesting; would love to know more about it - it's amazing how quickly things change in medicine. We love you both - Sharan

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you made it there you look good butch, hope you took your clubs.don't see any pics of you joyce make sure you put some of you on here so we can see you are doing ok too,You have to stay strong to We are all praying for you 2 down there sounds like he will make it to 80 missed seeing you sunday but you are were you need to be right now and Im glad you went to church down there talk to you later
Love from the family
Bob and Kristina

Anonymous said...

What encouraging news! Guess the trip to Pittsburgh was worth it, huh? Now all you two have to do is get rested up and ready to go back.

You know I'll continue to pray for both of you. So glad you have this blog to keep all the people who love you up to speed.

Love, Loma

Sharan said...

I just looked at the px of Pittsburg; how beautiful! I love the yellow starburst in the desert portion. Good to see a px of you this time. We love you. Sharan

Anonymous said...

Hi Joyce and Butch
Mary send me a link to the blog, glad to hear things are looking up and butch is going for the surgery. Good luck, you are in my prayers and thoughts. If you need any help around the house or yard call.

Alex's birthday - slide show