Sunday, September 07, 2008

An Unwanted Journey: Day 1019 - Left Lateral Segmentectomy

image

That's where the liver resection will occur for this first operation. The Google online book search has one resource called Contemporary Issues in Colorectal Cancer: A Nursing Perspective (2001) with a summary view of the contraindications for surgery, long-term disease-free survival, etc.

The first 24 hours are critical for post-operative nursing care because of risks associated with hemorrhage, bile leak, obstruction of the portal vein, hepatic failure, abdominal pain, even mental confusion.

There is a lot more to it, of course. But, like the pre-surgical consultation, there isn't much that I can do as an active participant. When I wake up, there will be things I can do, perhaps even while in the ICU - things like deep breathing, coughing, and leg exercises. I can gauge my pain levels on a scale of 1 to 10 and relay that information to the nursing staff (0-1 is no pain, 2-3 is mild pain, 4-6 is moderate pain, 7-8 is severe pain, and 9-10 is the worst possible pain).

Then, assuming no complications, I will be moved to the surgical ward for follow-up for another week or so.

Interestingly, in 4-6 weeks, much of the liver excised will grow back, although the shape and anatomy will probably be slightly different.

***

So, what am I going to do in hospital, besides enjoying the wonderful food and opportunity to sleep? Some family, friends, and colleagues may visit. I'll have my computer to do a few blogs. I'll have my hand-held devices for email and book reading. I'll have my iPod for listening to music, podcasts, and watching some TV episodes, listening to audible books, and reviewing some digital photographs for the past several years. And, if I'm truly ambitious and coherent enough, I'll start doing some compatibility testing of the new Internet Explorer 8 browser. That's the plan.

2 comments:

Ken Coe said...

It has been inspiring and informative to peruse your blog, Don, over the last couple of years. It has shown many of us the the glass is not half empty, or half full, it is constantly being replenished by hope, courage, support and professional care.

We look forward to day 5000's post and then somewhat later, to that of day 10,000. Each one will provide some further insight, more about humanity and allay some of the fears and concerns of those following behind in your footsteps of your unwanted journey.

The very best to you, Don, your boys and Marg--our thoughts are with you.

Don Spencer said...

Thanks Ken. I appreciate the support. Marg has been and will continue to be my touchstone. She is strong...certainly stronger than me. But you know her well.

Thanks again for the well wishes.

Don