Saturday, November 14, 2009

The next steps...

Cytoreduction surgery, and HIPEC treatment, hopefully in early 2010. Cytoreduction is removing any remaining tumors from the abdomen. The doctors "open you up from stem to stern" (thanks, doctor-who-shall-remain-nameless, for that folksy description), basically from your pelvis bone to your sternum, to remove any remaining tumors, tissue connected to tumors, any affected tissue or parts of organs, etc., as needed. Since my tumor was caught relatively early and my diagnosis runs to the less invasive side of the PMP spectrum, I'm hoping the procedure as performed on me will not be as extensive as some I have read about.

After the surgery part of the day, the doctors close you up and pipe heated chemotherapy solution through your abdomen for an hour or so, jiggling your belly around to get the chemo wash into all the nooks and crannies, thus killing all the bad cells that weren't physically removed by the surgery. HIPEC, it's called.

Cytoreduction and HIPEC go together, like cookies and milk. The completeness of the cytoreduction surgery is very, very, important, from what I have read. If the cookie is bad, the milk won't make your snack any better. You can see video of the procedures in the links on the home page of this blog. But don't be eating cookies and milk while you watch them.

I guess I stand a good chance of losing my bellybutton due to the surgery. If anyone has any good ideas what to do, tattoo-wise, for a reverse "L" shaped scar covering my bellybutton-less abdomen, let me know in the comments section. But I may run a contest on that later, so maybe you should hold on to your best ideas for now.

I'm still deciding where to have the surgery, more on that later too.


Rachel said...

love your posts!

Did you know that the medical community lovingly calls the HIPEC or IPHP surgery "Shake and Bake" ??

And I helped. :)