Monday, June 18, 2007

OK, folks. The vote is in and it is to tell you what's going on. Apparently there are a lot of family and friends who do want to know and it will save me from writing 17 emails a day. Here's the story so far:

The Bear had cellulitis (an infection under the skin) in March and was in hospital for 5 days and on antibiotics after that. He never was himself once leaving hospital. His not very illuminating symptoms were lassitude, fatigue, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss because he wasn't eating much. Then he began to complain of back pain on top of the other. The second time he went to the GP about his cellulitis (which had not completely cleared up) I went with him and asked the dr about his back pain. The doctor ordered an ultrasound and an X-ray. Within hours of the ultrasound, the GP told us to go to emergency and admit himself. Waiting. Waiting. Finally admitted and finally after 4 hours we finally found out the results of the ultrasound: a tumor on his liver, nodules in his lungs and a growth on his 14th vertebra.

Unfortunately for us, It was a long weekend and no cytology staff were available to run tests on any blood or fluids (he has a large amount of fluid in his abdomen because his liver was not functioning. He was a heavy drinker but has quit completely 3 years ago. He smoked 25 years ago. Eventually it was decided to do am MRI which had to be done at the bigger Hospital in the south of Canberra. He was taken by ambulance because he could barely walk. I went with him. Another exam and history, waiting waiting, waiting. Eventually they decided to admit him there and the MRI was done that night.

The worry at this point is the growth on his spine. It is not totally clear whether it is a hematoma or cancer but some of the doctors are very worried that it could grow or shift and press on his spine. The neurologists believe they need to operate on it and find out what it is. The oncologists are worried about the effect surgery would have on his liver. There was no neurosurgeon in Canberra who could do spinal surgery at that level so he has been air ambulanced to Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital which everyone says is the best. I did not go with him because my own health has been taking a real pounding and I have been exhausted and in such pain that sleep is difficult to get. I have now missed 2 weeks of work and the worst is yet to come.

If he is scheduled for surgery I will go up to be there as he recovers. As soon he is healing and mobile, he will be sent back to Canberra for radiation and chemotherapy. So there it is folks, we know a little but not a lot and now the oncologists and neurosurgeons will battle it out for what happens next. Let it be a lesson to all that your past may still catch up to you. Although I know it won't work, tell your family and friends not to drink alcohol too much, that smoking is killing you (although I didn't listen either).

Once again I hope I can go to work tomorrow, but I didn't make it today. This was not the master plan. He was supposed to take care of me!

1 comment:

Taueret said...

Carol, I don't live *in* Sydney, but only a half hour's commute away- if that helps and you need somewhere to stay or whatever.