Saturday, October 24, 2009

Update Overdue

Well when we went to Stanford I took down some notes as I always do, and wouldn't you know it, I can't find them. For what it's worth, there really isn't a whole lot of change. The CA-19 count is down in the 400's again which is awesome. The tumor, on some scan, appeared to be larger, but the metabolic activity of it has not increased. My understanding is that the apparent increase in size could just be scar tissue or something similar. She has a fluid build up around her liver. It doesn't sound like anything to be overly alarmed about at this point. I may be drained in the future if it presents an issue. It may be caused by something as simple as not having enough protein in her diet, which apparently may allow excess fluid from the blood vessels out because the molecular structure is actually smaller than normal and is therefore allowed to slip out of the vessels and into the interstitial fluid area. Or something like. This is all of the top of my head from two weeks ago, so I get a little slack here. The other possible cause of the fluid build up may be simply that the ducts from the area of swelling are simple pinched/clogged/blocked by something, possibly the tumor. Let me see if I can remember from anatomy class... Basically you organs are surrounded by a very thin sack. On your heart it's called the pericardium I think (I may be way off here, I'm sure my heavily overeducated, overachieving East coast family will correct where needed). Anyways, between the given organ, in this case her liver, and the "sack", there is a layer of viscous fluid. This fluid is basically lubrication so that the layers don't rub together. I'm sure there is much more to it than that, but I'd have to turn all the way around to get to my old books, it's too late, and it's really not an anatomy lesson. So, you get the point. The fluid in this layer is generated on a regular basis. As it is made, the old stuff needs to get drained and done away with. If it doesn't drain away, it just pools up because your body keeps making the new fluid. For now it isn't a problem with mom. They could drain it but that doesn't fix the underlying issue it only relieves the symptoms. For now it's not bothering her.

The other minor issue is a new abdominal hernia. Anyone who knows my mom knows that she would never let a little pancreatic cancer, or the plague for that matter, slow her down and keep her from doing everything she would otherwise normally be doing. The hernia is probably from doing a little too much and tearing part of her incision from her exploratory laparotomy she had when first diagnosed over a year ago. Of course there is nothing they can do about this and it should heal over time. It kinda goes without saying that it is really the least of her worries right now.

Other than all this, things are good. She continues to somehow go to work, clean the house, and everything else she always does. She is looking forward to Matt coming home this weekend and is excited about me getting ready to close on my first house.

Shameless plug time. If you are in the area, click here.

Thanks for all the continued prayer and support for mom. She appreciates it always.


Nancy Ann said...

Waiting with bated breath...thanks Mark for keeping this up! Also want to hear about the house!

Nancy Ann said...

Thanks Mark. You have the fluid thing right, dont underestimate your vast knowledge! Really! I thought your mother had her belly open. Yes, that is the cause of the hernia. Hernis smernia. There is much good news her Auntie. I am happy. A while back my radiology colleagues all said...."at some point her tumor will look larger. There is scaring that is hard to differentiate form the tumor." Good news all! I have been trying to reach you by phone unsuccessfully....will keep trying xox Nancy Ann

Anonymous said...

Mark - I just now tripped over you on facebook and so glad to find your mom's blog again. I have know Lorraine as long as I have lived in town (you were a baby) and pray for her all the time! At the same time the blog about the loopyness reminded me of how silly we could all be. If you see this please tell her Mikelea sends her love!