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Surgery 1.1

Well, it has been far too long since I have updated this blog. This is probably reflected in the large number of questions I keep getting on how I am going since the information isn’t present here.

Since the surgery, I have been doing really well. The biggest challenge has been largely regaining strength back to normal levels. My gastrointestinal function has returned to normal, my diet has returned to normal, and my weight loss has plateaued. At its height, I had lost over ten kilograms, but now that has settled out to around seven. The first outing outside since being discharged from hospital was to the Wynyard quarter with Hannah’s parents and a lunch on the waterfront. The lunch was delicious, but I was exhausted from the endeavor, and had to rest up afterwards.

Compared to today, where I am about 60-70% back to normal, and can easily sustain most things. I still often need to rest during the day, but that is steadily improving. Hannah and I were able to get away for a week visiting friends down in Palmerston, Taupo and Rotorua, and then were able to get up to a wedding up in Russell last weekend. I was able to drive to all these places, which was a nice escape from our apartment.

The only major medical update to give is that the histology has come back from the resected nodes. The para-aortic node (behind the left renal vein) and the retro-crural node were both well demarcated and encapsulated on histology. The node between the IVC and the aorta however had unclear margins. Basically, what this means is that we can’t be sure all the cancer was removed. We knew this was likely to be the tricky node based on pre-op CT scans, so it really comes as no surprise. During the surgery, the surgeons told me that they were confident they were in the right tissue plains, and felt the node came away really easy, which reflected the decision not to resect and graft the aorta or IVC.

What happens next is the big question, and the more than likely answer will be that I will need a course of radiotherapy to the region where the troublesome node formerly resided. I will have more answers in a week or so, but at this stage, a few weeks of radiotherapy and then recovery is likely to be in order. I’m yet to be sure of the effect on my health since I’m only familiar with the chemo and surgical varieties of treatment, but there is a real possibility that it will delay my return to work. This aspect is a little frustrating.

I will keep you all updated as things progress, hopefully a little more comprehensively now that I am feeling better.

Until next time…

Categories: Blog, Cancer Update
  1. jonathan homer
    April 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Hey dude it hasn’t stopped you kicking my wife and my asses in Scramble with Friends!!! Stoked that your back on your feet and getting around! I hear the good Dr has prescribed a trip down to Wanaka!

  2. Dyana Parore-Connell
    April 4, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Pleased surgery went well for you and that you and your family have been able to get away for a break visiting friends etc. Hope your next lot of treatment does the job for you and that you get some respite..Take care.

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