A routine MRI of my liver on 11th October revealed a 30 x 11 mm lesion (still small) on the remaining anterior (outside) part of my right liver lobe. My previous surgery removed 60% of the right lobe and 10% of the left, as well as my gall bladder. My bloods also 11th showed CEA markers at 3.1, < 2.5 ng/ml being normal. This news has obviously come as a huge shock albeit I was not entirely surprised because stage 4 metastatic cells lay dormant and can often wake up. I am just happy it isn’t on the ‘fresh’ liver! That is why we raise awareness about symptoms and a healthy lfestyle because if you catch this cancer early enough, it is very treatable or better still prevent it (and, yes sometimes it comes regardless of what we do). When cancerous cells travel (metastasise) then it becomes more difficult and a longer road but never impossible!
Long story short, I will have the lesion surgically removed on Wednesday 20th October by Professor Ramos (he did my previous surgery) at Donald Gordon Medical Centre. He will remove less than 10% of my liver and there should be no effect on the liver function. My liver is actually very healthy and all the numbers look great which is why cancer can be so sneaky. He expects me to be in ICU for one day/night and discharged by the Sunday or Monday.
That is the practical stuff but how am I feeling? I was angry and irritated for the first couple of days and I felt very numb. Currently, my mind is mostly blank and I am blocking my thoughts – survival mode. I have asked myself, ‘Why is this happening?’ Asking too many questions won’t help me though. I don’t know the answers, nor does anyone else. All I can do is focus on preparing for the surgery and making sure Arabella and Damian are OK before I go into hospital. Arabella is being brave but she told me that she’s sad that I am going to be in hospital and away from her but she understands that it must be done. That is the hardest part, being apart from her and worrying about how she feels. She is so young, yet I am so proud of her courage and resilience every time. She is an extraordinary child and I am so blessed; she will be just fine. Daddy already has lots of fun plans with her and luckily she has a school holiday from the Thursday! Perfect timing! We are level one also, so they can visit me!
I also dislike ICU so much as I always react very badly to opiates, and I will expect plenty of vomiting! I will have an internal pain blocker like last time which is a vermicelli type tubing linked to the internal wound area and the obvoius things scare me; the wound , drain and pain. ICU is quite a traumatic place with the noises, beeps and constant disruptions but like I said, it shouldn’t be too long this time. I don’t sleep well in hospital, even on the wards so I am going to try and read more and use sleep meditation this time round. Physio and lung work are the norm after surgery BUT the most important thing is that surgery is possible and the lesion is being removed! We CAN do hard things!
That’s about it from me for now, I will update as soon as I can.
Take care, lots of love, Jojo xoxo