We checked in at 5:45 this morning. Dr S (the surgeon) came in to see us almost immediately to give us the update and talk surgery.
With regards to the PET scan, he said that in fact the lung lesion(s) did light up on the PET scan, which is usually indicative of cancer. Having said that, the original bone scan did NOT light up so we briefly thought it had not metastasized to the bone, when in fact it has. My point being that Dr S is still not entirely sure if the lesion on the lung(s) is cancer or not. Either way, he is not concerned at the moment as he says that can be dealt with later.
The PET scan also showed something “suspicious” in the pelvic area, however he physically looked in that area himself during surgery and could not see anything suspicious. He called it a red herring. Maybe there is something there, and maybe there is not. We’ll hope for ‘not. I’m quickly learning there is little about this disease that is certain. The scans – good or bad – are not always correct.
One of the things we didn’t discuss a lot before the surgery was the fact that Ben was carrying around a blood clot in the vein leaving his kidney. That was very frightening for us, because if it had freed itself before or during the surgery it would have been fatal. So there were two anesthiologists who met with us before the surgery, and who worked together during the surgery. They explained that they would be inserting a camera down by his heart so that they could see if a piece broke off and if so they would do “their best” to stop it. That was rather horrifying. Dr S said that the clot was the first thing he would be going after once he opened Ben up. Needless to say, I spent the first hour of the surgery on pins and needles praying that the surgeon did not walk in the waiting room to talk to me.
As you have figured out by now, the amazing Dr S got the clot out without any issue and all ended well. There is no further concern there at all.
I spoke in person with Dr S after the surgery and he was very pleased with how it went. Ben lost very little blood and did not require a transfusion. There was quite a bit of cancer in the tissue around the kidney – more then they were aware from the scans – and also in the lymph nodes, but I believe he was saying that he got it all. There was also a lot in the vein leaving the kidney – but I also believe he was successful in removing all of that.
What remains of course is the cancer in the spine / sacrum, but as far as I am aware there has been no negative progression since the ct scan. Dr S said that Ben should just recover (about 6 weeks) and then we will go to the oncologist and discuss next steps.
I hugged Dr S – he was very reassuring and extremely caring. He talked about our kids and really cared about keeping Ben healthy for our family’s sake. He seemed to be saying that despite the fact that the spine can’t be operated on, he expects Ben to carry on and we will just deal with the rest in good time. Like I said before….treatment until there is a cure.
As I write this, I am with the girls at my sister’s house for the night. Ben is still completely out of it and extremely medicated. His blood pressure is way too low and his heart rate is too high, but he has been through such a trauma I don’t think that is a surprise. He is being closely monitored and they will call me if necessary. I will go back in the morning but probably without the kids this time. Jaime was extremely upset when she saw her Dad – she found it shocking to see him like that.
Unfortunately Zak has not been able to see Ben yet as he had to leave right after the surgery to go for his University interview. And….he is in! So that was great news I was able to pass on to Ben…he will probably not remember by morning. Lol
In any case, I am exhausted and am going to sign off. Ben does not have any means of communicating right now as he needs to sleep, so he won’t be returning texts, and he is not in a position to see anyone.
As usual, my family was amazing and have pulled through in ways too numerous to mention. Zak was a rock, and also a huge thank you to Colleen, Martine and Michelle for sitting with us and just being there. Thank you to everyone for all the texts, messages of encouragement and love, and for all the prayers that were clearly heard. The Saint-Onge’s are very blessed.