"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rescheduled Surgery: Multi-issue Update

There are many different issues in development. We are trying to funnel and coordinate into one surgery; one surgery with multiple procedures. We want to unravel the mystery of Mom's symptoms and address the issues at hand. Doing it all at the same time can be a daunting task but what choice do we have? I thought it would be helpful to write this out and organize my own thoughts while explaining Mom's current situation as best as I can.

* Gallbladder Removal
* Kidney Stents/Infections
* Bloating/unusual weight gain
* Spots/Lumps

Surgery has been rescheduled to the 28th with Dr. Icaza (Mom's main surgeon) for removal of the gallbladder. Previous abdominal scan from October 2nd looked good but did show some mild issue with right kidney recently confirmed during changing of left kidney stent by Dr. Severino (Mom's urologist). The 2nd Kidney stent (right side) will be placed on the 28th if Dr. Severino still feels this is necessary. I'm sure they will coordinate with Dr. Icaza.

Mom is bloated and somewhat extended in her lower abdomen area and feels pressure up under her rib cage mostly on right side where the gallbladder is. Let's hope removal of the gallbladder will solve most of these issues. We just don't know.

Last but not least are a few spots or lumps that will also be removed and margins cleared during her gallbladder and stent surgery. These lumps will be sent out to pathology and their results determine if the cancer is back. If cancer has returned it might determine additional chemotherapy. The doctors plan thus far seem to first remove it, clear the margins, scan and then determine if they really need more chemo. The trick in chemo is catching cancer while it's in an active stage. Otherwise chemo is pointless, especially if you've already removed the bad cells.

So the good news is that Mom's been under the care of some really great doctors and she has a very positive outlook even during her disappointments. We just take one day at a time! Keep Calm and Kerry On!


  1. Hi Kerry,

    We are sorry to hear of all your recent setbacks. I have been fighting a 1.3 cm kidney stone for over 2 months. First, the lithotripsy failed to completely break it up. I then had three fragments get stuck in my ureter, which necesitated a second surgery. Since then, I've been fighting to get the fragments out, and I have a nasty infection which is still causing problems. I had a stent, but accidentally caught the string with my thumb and ended up pulling it out myself as per the doctor's instructions on 12 Nov. But, enough of me...

    It is possible to replace the ureter with a section of the ileum (small colon) in some cases, but this has its own set of problems. A physician in New Delhi, India, recently obtained a US patent for growing new organs using "steam" cells. He has perfected the technique on monkeys, but it is not approved for people as yet. The technique can grow new kidneys, ureters, gallbladders and other organs.

    I want to caution you about the gallbladder. When I had mine out almost 11 years ago, it created a lot of digestion problems, and resulted in a gastroentrologist giving me a powdered drug called Chlorestramine to solve the loose stool problem. You may want to ask about it.

    Funny thing, there was a song by Badfinger called; "Carry on Till Tomorrow", that was used in the 1969 film: "The Magic Christian", starring Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers. I was also thinking about the 1966 Hollies song; "Kerri Ann". Of course, no one plays these songs any longer. I'm sure they can be found on Youtube.

    We wish you the best of luck. Ironically, my leukemia is cured, but I have been having serious neurological problems and anemia because of the chemo. The end result may not be good. So, I understand how you feel.


    W., D. and B.t.B.

  2. Thank you so much for this information! I will make sure Mom gets this update and you will be in our thoughts also! It seems you and Mom have some very common issues going on!


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