Saturday, August 21, 2010


It was an incredibly long day... I was exhausted... we left at 7 AM yesterday morning for a 8:30 home about 6 PM.

We saw the Liver surgeon around 10 AM .. he took a look at the CT/PT scan from last week along with the report.

The news took me a bit by surprise! or maybe it didn't.... I was trying not to read or talk to anyone about this but I couldn't help it!  I wanted to at least be a little bit prepared for what he was going to tell me.
I knew this was serious when the first thing the surgeon said as he sat down was "You do know that the liver grows back? it rebuilds itself."

"I can take a look at your time of colon surgery and if it looks good, with no complications I can do it then."

As he sat with me and told me that the three spots they found are all on the right side, he told me that they will take out the RIGHT side of my liver! A whole side???? really??? I guess I was thinking he would go in with something like a melon scoop and just scoop out real nice the three spots, but no~ they want the whole side!

As I sat there trying to process this information so many questions came to mind: do you do it at the same time as the colon Doctor? do you just stand there scalpel in hand hovering over until the colon surgeon gets done? what? how? and namely why?????

He was calm, good & prepared to answer all my questions.

They won't know until they open me up if the liver operation can be done at the same time, he told me that these are BOTH two very serious operations by themselves and it would depend on a number of things, my health, can I be under anesthesia for that long a time, probably 3 to 4 hours for each operation. Also there has to be NO complications what-so-ever when the open me up. The scar will look like a hockey stick... from my groin to under my breastbone and then across to my side and around. WOW!~ a hockey stick.. my grand kids will be thrilled! How big is my liver? I asked "As big as a football" wow this guy is really into sports!

He wanted me to have another CT Scan as soon as possible this time one in 3-D so it would give him a road map of my veins and arteries, as they slice and burn as they go along. He told me it would be like a big bad scrape on your arm when he finished...OK

Now comes the good part~when I asked about recovery his response was serious as he looked me right in the eyes "No dieting!" yea like I was thinking of going on a diet! those of you who know me know I hate that word diet and anything low fat!!!

He told me that the liver takes a lot of energy to rebuild, so along with plenty of rest I need to consume a lot of carbohydrates~ eat pasta & bread my two favorite things to in the world!!! I am looking at the good side!
If the liver operation cannot be done at the same time as they take out part of my colon... the next step would be to recover from the first operation for about 8 weeks and then have the right side of my liver taken out.
My poor liver, I took such good care of my liver, never taking so much as an aspirin if I didn't absolutely need it, never drank myself into oblivion ~ although that sounds like a good idea now!

And so I was able to schedule my 3D CT Scan for 2 PM, we had 2 hours to kill, Wow! We can have lunch!!! always thinking! but no I had to fast for this test, so Clint &I drove around town in bumper to bumper traffic at noon in center city to try to pass the time.

I had my test which included a series of waiting in different rooms for about 3 hours total. We headed home around 5PM... what a long long day.

Another issue that came up, my bilirubin, (sounds like a country western singer to me) ~a liver function indicator is high... high enough to want me to go see a liver specialist before the operation is scheduled.

As I called to break the latest news, first to my kids, then my Mom & Dad and my brother & my sister,  I was OK. Still joking and looking at the lighter side.

I didn't break down until later that night, sitting with Clint in our darkened bedroom, the tears came then.  Fear is peaking out of the edges of my mind, nibbling at my confidence, shaking me to my roots.

It is hard not to think about what will happen, how I will feel, how long will I not feel like myself, how long will I be the hospital? how long to recover, how long with a bag attached to my side, how long ~why? how did this happen to me? all questions with no answers.

And so this morning I woke up .. took a deep breath and I will do what I have to do .. I am strong ... so many people tell me this each and everyday so it must be somewhat true. I have to believe this .. it is all I have.

So keep those good thought, prayers, good energy coming~~~ I need them! and a Martini!!!
(Jeeze I'll be an alcoholic before this is all over!)


  1. No more bikini worries. Now, onto the the pasta and bread! Italy awaits you, my friend! When this is all over I'll make you a big bowl of pasta alla carbonara.
    Piero and I wish you love, confidence, and courage.

  2. Pasta and bread! Does this doc know you or what??

    Susan, I am so sorry that it seems like they keep throwing bricks at ya. It does sound like you are in the best of hands, though. I will pray that both procedures can be done at once so that you are looking at one recovery period and not two.

    Many prayers will be sent your way over the coming days.

  3. Susan, You don't know me, I've been to a few of your cooking classes and I loved them and your personality because you are so inspirational, grounded, and upbeat. Now when you're getting hit with the worst, when it would be understandable for you to crumble, you are still a "breath of fresh air"'re direct and honest but so insightful and funny. You truly are an inspiration and you touch people that you don't even know by your honesty and zest for life. I will be praying for your continued strength and for successful surgeries. I look forward to the day that I can come to another of your cooking classes and be inspired by you. God Bless You. Beth

  4. Thanks so much everyone for the words of support... it means so much to me that you are there for me!!!!!!!