Monday, December 7, 2009

Update on mom

December second was the day mom went in to have her whipple procedure done where they were to take out the tumor at the head of the pancreas as well as some other organs. When Dr. Traverso opened her up, he discovered some flecks of cancer on her liver so they decided not to do the whipple anymore, but rather a double bypass around the pancreatic tumor and they took out the gall bladder that had stones in it.

The next day he talked with her and told her she does not have pancreatic cancer, which is a very aggressive cancer, but another slower moving cancer. They called it the, neuroendocrine tumor metastatic to liver islet cell tumor. Currently, mom is still in the hospital recovering from the surgery but she is doing very well and not feeling any pain(because she has an epidural. Bless whoever's heart it was who came up with epidurals!). The doctor says she should be able to go home Wednesday as long as she can meet what requirements they have in place(ie. walking up stairs, getting along with just some pain meds and not the epidural etc.).

They are going to try and stop the growth of the tumor but Dr. Traverso is not going to start anything right now but will refer her to an oncology team. Mom would like to try some natural treatments which the doctor is not opposed to as long as they do not thin the blood or make it clot easier...it has to keep her blood clotting factors the same or he doesn't want her doing them.
They will combine the natural with his recommendations. And other than that, they're kind of in a 'wait and see' period where they will have regular checkups to monitor what's going on inside. But things are feeling a little better, I think. The discovery of the cancer on the liver though, means she's now in stage 4 which is not good, but the doctor says it's slow moving so let's pray that's the case and that we can get it to stop progressing. Mom is very optimistic and has a lot of faith. And there are (and have been) many, many people who are praying for mom and Dr. Traverso....in fact, the day before she went into surgery, mom told Dr. Traverso(who is not LDS) that many people were praying for him and that his name was in two temples at the time and that she knew he'd have a really good/lucky day, come surgery day. She's a courageous, clever and sweet woman! Just a few more days until me and the kids are with her and the family!

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