Posts Tagged ‘surgery’

Santa is coming …soon.
December 20, 2013

Icould not believe the year is almost over.  Our Christmas tree is up and the gifts under the tree are growing.  My grandson, Ethan, still has no notion of what Christmas brings, Santa, or Christmas wishes.

Ah…wishes.  I have a few of those.  I am sure you have your own list too, but have you been naughty or nice?  I look forward to Christmas because it is one of these events that bring my family together in the spirit of renewal.  Thanksgiving was about the blessings, while Easter might be about rebirth or renewal as well, Christmas brings a different feeling.

Love.  Sharing.  Giving.  These are what Christmas evokes for me.  I have received many things, more than you can think of, especially this year.  The year started with a bad prognosis and I had to claw back every second of my life.  You were there to help me by giving time to visit, prayers to comfort, and food to nourish.  You gave and I responded.  That’s the reason why I have often said all of you have become part of me.

I wish I can give more, more of myself, more of my time, etc., as a way to express my gratitude.  Since there is a only one of me to give there are limits; instead, I try to live a righteous life and be an example to my family and friends.  However, I still have many faults I have to iron out.

So for this Christmas, my wish is to be given more chances to correct myself so I can be around to give more.

Happy holidays!

Happy holidays!

Happy holidays to everyone.


P.S.  As a cancer update, Dr. G of MD Anderson called last week to give me news on the option for surgery.  He said their surgeons are not recommending surgery to remove the lesions in my lungs.  They are many and if done, I will not be able to run or do marathons.  I also started chemotherapy again to keep my cancer in control while I look for other options.

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It’s complicated*

April 12, 2010

(*Footnote: The title of this post reminded me of the 2009 movie ‘It’s Complicated‘ starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. Most often, it is also used as common American expression to describe a difficult predicament/situation.)

As if saying why does life have to be complicated?


ast week Monday (April 5), my wife and I found ourselves in the patient room waiting for Dr. A, the liver surgeon (see related post ‘Meeting Dr. A‘). This appointment was already set several weeks ago to assess the resectability of my liver. The previouls week (March 31 and April 1), I had a series of scans of my liver, chest, and whole body (PET).  The PET scan came out negative with no cancer cells detected, soI was curious to find out what Dr. A would recommend.

“Wow. You look burnt, Dr. A. I hope you had fun!” I jokingly said upon seeing him walk through the door.

He smiled and said “I took in too much sun while on vacation in Arizona.” I suppose you forgot to put sunblock. 🙂 We exchanged further pleasantries and then he got down to business.

“As I had previously mentioned in our last meeting, we have a surgical review team that go through all our cases every Friday, and your case was among those reviewed.  For your case, it was reviewed by the radiologist, oncologist, and surgeon. They reviewed the results of your scans and medical background, and came to the conclusion of surgery to resect the tumors in your liver.”

There it is again. Reality looking me in the eyes. I could not reconcile in my mind why these learned doctors would recommend resection of my liver when my scans were negative. Why? Seeing my apprehension, Dr A. continued.

“I understand that the PET scan shows negative presence of cancer cells. To me this is the litmus test of the resectability of your liver.  The negative PET scan, tells me you have responded to your chemo treatments. If you did not respond to your treatments or your PET still showed positive presence of cancer, it is useless to resect your liver. No point in opening you up when you don’t respond to chemo.  It does not buy you anything.”

Ok. That make sense.

“Also, the negative PET scan results does not mean that your cancer is not going to come back.  For now, nothing can be detected or identified.  A resection of your liver would increase your chances of remission or the cancer not coming back. I know this is a lot to absorb, so you might like to think this over before deciding.”

He gave me other details of how long is the recovery period and if it will be partial or full resection. Right now he is looking at an open surgery to take out the right lobe of my liver. Gulp! Recovery is about four weeks in order for the left lobe to grow and take over. I would have to give up drinking or drink in moderation since I am left with one lobe.

This is complicated, but if you think about it I am being given an opportunity to increase my chances of remission. My right lobe for a better life. It is no different from the choices given up by other cancer patients, like LisaK, a breast cancer survivor of 11 years. Lisa is my yoga-mate and I recently got to know her more.

She is a graphic artist and entrepreneur with her own company (Pisa Design).  Eleven years ago, she was in the same predicament I am in now.  To increase her chance of remission she had a double mastectomy; moreover,  she even went further to have her ovaries removed. Now, how does that compare to me giving up drinking and her giving up up the chance to have kids of her own?  Cancer makes give up things for a sliver of hope of remission.

You have to give up something in order to get something of value. Sounds familiar. It happens everyday, like paying for goods and services; but put this into perspective of something of real value.  It is like giving up something for a chance to smell the roses for many more years, hold hands with your wife or love ones, a chance to see one more sunrise, or a chance to stand at the starting line of the NYC marathon or London marathon. Would I give up a liver for that?

Yes, I would.  It is not complicated.


PS: I would know in the coming days when my liver surgery will be. For now, I being weaned out of chemo toxins in my body. To help in getting rid of the toxins, I am running, cycling, cross-training, and doing more yoga.  Hopefully, I will have an easy recovery from surgery, as well.  I will keep you posted.

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