Friday, August 21, 2009

An Unwanted Journey: Day 1368 - “It is what it is…”


I am having M write this blog because of my extreme fatigue and increased confusion these days.

The palliative care doctor was in today to review the results of the hospital procedures earlier this week. He had been in consultation with the general surgeon who had  tried to perform the ERCP, without success. They had reviewed the other option of a drainage bag but the risks involved outweighed any of the short term benefits. We will be trying a course of steroids for a few days. If any of the blockage is due to inflammation, it may allow for a bit of natural drainage of the bile.

There is no further treatment available and the prognosis is now a matter of days or weeks. I cannot commit to any further blogs or tweets. Family members will do what they can. 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

An Unwanted Journey: Day 1360 – “They Call Me Mellow Yellow”

LIVESTRONG bracelet M. asked me this afternoon after I had spoken to the palliative care physician, “Do you feel scared?”

“No. You and I have been through all the scenarios and considered the consequences. I just wish we had a better schedule. Everything is happening just a little too quickly now.”

The CT scan of 17-Jul and the blood work from that period were, in general, unremarkable. But then, about 8 days ago, I started having jaundice symptoms. So we scheduled an ultrasound which, unfortunately didn’t give us much more information. Then, we scheduled another CT scan about three days ago for the 27-Aug.

To me, the delay in test dates meant that there was less urgency. But then, my palliative care physician called Monday of this week and had me get the blood work done earlier. The next day I had the test done and then heard back from the palliative care physician today with news that we were accelerating the CT scan. Evidently, the bilirubin and liver enzymes were all very high, demanding immediate attention.

So next Monday I will have another CT scan followed Tuesday by a procedure with a general physician called an ERCP (depending on the results of that CT scan). The hope is that we can use a combination of a an IV and the endoscopy to ensure better drainage out of the liver thereby eliminating the jaundice and giving the kidneys a better chance at eliminating the bilirubin.

Obviously, I’m not a specialist and much of what is being proposed is mysterious. All I know is that I am extremely tired all the time, that my skin is turning yellow at an alarming rate, and that I and my family are very concerned at the turn of events. We all know that the progress of metastatic colorectal disease will eventually lead to loss of liver function and death.

Because we really don’t know how the timetable will sort itself out, I will contact those who have recently tried to arrange visits.