I figure some of you may (or may not) be curious as to exactly what was done to me. Here are some of the stats:
Sixty percent of my liver -- my entire right lobe -- was surgically removed, along with two lymph nodes that were enlarged. Those were the ones my surgeon, Martin Hertl, could visualize. My common bile duct was also removed, and my left hepatic duct was connected to a loop of my small intestine. This is called a hepaticojejunostomy. My friend Shelley thinks this would make a dynamite National Spelling Bee word!
Personally, I think that Dr. Hertl, who hails from Germany, put on his lederhosen and performed a Bavarian shoe-slapping dance in my guts, but that's me.
My scar is roughly eight inches long, and starts just under my sternum. The remains of Hurricane Hanna blew through last night, and in typical barometric style, my incision/scar nearly drove me batshit. How can something be numb, ache and itch all at the same time? And since it still has about 3,285 steri-strips on it, and is only two weeks old, I can't even scratch my itch. Maddening.
There is some good news in all of this. I saw Dr. Hertl on Wednesday, and he declared me 99% cancer-free! He demurred about only being the surgeon, and that the oncologist could give me more details, but he was very optimistic and brought up again that he has a patient who had the same course of treatment and is still doing well five years out. Five years is not enough for me -- I am thinking more in terms of decades. I have no choice. Five years from now, Anneke will be 10 and Fritzi the Wonder Boy, will be 7. And I will still need to be here and be well. The doctors and the cancer have no choice but to bend to my will and just go away and stay away.