I could go into how much time has passed since my mother’s initial diagnosis or her successful Whipple procedure, but everyday gets celebrated because the overcast, while not as dark and gloomy, still casts a shadow. It’s being grateful, feeling thankful for each and everyday; every moment while at the same time being reminded of why you are actually more aware and in tune; present in each day and moment, whereas before, like most, you just live your life not really reveling in your existence.
We went to Florida. A week prior, my mother was able to have the port removed, which felt like another step away from that overcast that came storming in so abruptly. As her C19-9 number stayed steady in 9-11 range and all her blood work came back normal, we were elated and excited to go relax and celebrate with the white sand, rolling waves, angels being cradled by a sky that’s painted in watercolor. We had stepped out of the shadow and were etched into a beautiful, serene painting that we reveled in.
October 2018, follow up visit as scheduled c19-9 number was 17. While dr. wasn’t concerned and said it was normal, I was walking away with angst digging a hole in my stomach. Still, she didn’t have any problems or symptoms, so another follow up appointment was scheduled for January.
November 28, 2018 One year since her Whipple procedure. She experienced severe upper stomach pain on the right side, nausea, vomiting, which later (when morning came) was determined to be gastritis. I should add that her digestive system has vastly improved by this time, and she was able to add a few more foods once in awhile without problems.)
January 16, c19-9 elevated to 46. Dr. proceeded with follow up questions regarding any symptoms or problems that she might be or have been experiencing. CT Scan scheduled for January 21. Liver enzymes and all other blood tests were normal.
Results of that CT scan: Found a a spot on her liver less than the size of a penny. Liver biopsy ordered and scheduled for January 29.
I realized as I was writing, that I felt like I was a med student writing notes on a patient that was unfamiliar to me. I guess I just feel so numb from all the anger. And although I feel th, I also feel Florida.
I guess it takes awhile to get the results, but we’re all hopeful that it’s nothing serious. However, and of course, I took to the internet to try and summons up what Google could offer me and decided to go the route of research articles (granted I don’t have full access to a lot of the articles based on the topic of liver lesions and Whipple Procedure) I read an article Case Report Asymptomatic Liver Abscesses Mimicking Metastases in Patients after Whipple Surgery: Infectious Complications following Percutaneous Biopsy—A Report of Two Cases (I read more, but this is just one)
Of course, I’m not that naive to rely on the internet for a medical diagnosis or answer, especially when you have to actually be a doctor to access a lot of the research sites. However, one thing, I do feel angry towards the doctor who I feel should’ve ordered a CT scan sooner. I have notes saying CT scan follow up 4-6 months from the date of Whipple procedure, but I guess they’re going based off the cancer marker number and her symptoms. I think I’m always to have this major distrust towards doctors. I’ve come to feel that they don’t try to stay ahead of any health matter; there’s no urgency unless you are your own advocate. And even then, between insurance companies and various medical hats in the ring, are you really your own health advocate? However, I also realize that since this extremely personal and important to me, you know, because it’s my mother, that I’ll never believe that they are ever doing “enough”.