Posted 12/1/15 @ 10:30 a.m.
The biopsy is done. They got her in early and the interventional radiologist said it went well. I’m with her now. She’s asleep. She should be in recovery for a couple of hours then we can go back to the room. We likely won’t get the results today.
Posted 12/1/15 @ 10:19 p.m.
They’ve switched Ana to oral pain medication so she can be discharged tomorrow and I’m very happy to say her pain is finally under control after several dose increases to get it right. She was in tears several times because of pain + the stress of wanting so badly to perform this weekend (“how can I perform if I can’t even stand up straight?”) If all goes as planned (fingers crossed), she’ll be discharged at around 9 tomorrow morning.
They took samples from tumors on both sides of Ana’s pelvis for the biopsy but she doesn’t have any pain from that. She still has pain on her left side so I asked the oncology resident who was on the floor today why that side is so painful. Do they know what’s actually causing the pain? The resident explained that the issue is that the tumor is close to her colon and they think the added pressure in her abdomen is contributing to the pain (kind of like when you’re constipated and pressure builds up).
So, her meds are a temporary fix because the source of the pain isn’t going away without further intervention. Her discharge is only temporary too. Dr. Yamashiro (who I spoke with earlier today) wants to schedule exploratory surgery for next week. The reason they can’t just go in and remove the tumors (easy breezy!) is that they are close to her intestines and bowel. They can’t tell from the scans how involved the tumors are with her organs, and the implications for removing intestine or bowel tissue are, well, they’re pretty serious. We’re at a crossroads. We need to weigh the benefits of putting Ana through a potentially debilitating surgery versus managing her pain without further surgical intervention – and so I am hoping with all of my heart and soul that these pelvic tumors can be removed effortlessly, with minimal collateral damage.
I’m not expecting a cure for Ana’s cancer, but I still have hope. Even as I typed that last sentence, I felt a strong urge to erase it because I’m not ready to accept – at this moment in time – that there’s nothing more we can do for her. I want more time with her. I want more life FOR her. I want, selfishly perhaps, to continue treating tumors individually through surgery, radiation and medication until treatment becomes more harmful than doing nothing at all.