Back to Reality
Today was the first day after mega-super-monster-storm Sandy that wasn’t also one of my children’s favorite holidays. So, technically things are back to normal, particularly because we didn’t lose power or Internet.
And Ana as Katniss (she trick or treated in New Paltz with her friend Natasha):
So today I should’ve been able to get back into some sort of groove, I suppose, but when I sat down to work, I found myself unable to concentrate on anything other than insurance issues and medical stuff. I think this was triggered by a phone call I received yesterday from Dr. Kato’s office (Dr. Kato is the liver surgeon at Columbia Presbyterian). He’s one of the surgeons we sent Ana’s scans to when we were getting all those second opinions. I guess he had a back log of intake forms and finally took a look at Ana’s scans and was very interested in her case.
Dr. Kato is famous for performing a procedure called ex vivo resection, which is a very complex surgery that involves literally removing the cancerous organ and operating on it while it’s out of the body, then putting it back in the body. I’ve read some articles on this surgery, and it’s very new and extremely complex. It’s not something we will necessarily put Ana through if the safer course is getting a liver transplant. But even knowing about it, even being presented this option, puts us in the position of making more hard decisions.
And what the hell? I mean, what the HELL? I don’t want to be in this position. I’m tired.
Anyway…we will likely meet with Dr. Kato at least once to get more information on what would be involved with Ana’s specific case (he has done very complex resections involving removing multiple abdominal organs and repairing blood vessels as well).
This new possibility, ex vivo resection, brings with it new choices and new fears and also brings the seriousness of Ana’s condition into stark focus for me. The surgery that she’s facing is huge, and terrifying and maddeningly inevitable. Trying to save her liver either by ex vivo resection or by regular resection (e.g., removing the tumor and the diseased part of her liver) and cleaning the tumor from the affected blood vessels is risky. A liver transplant is risky and the subsequent recovery and lifelong dependence on anti-rejection medication is risky.
These choices are unbelievable. I don’t want to make them. What if I make the wrong one?