Monday, April 1, 2013

Because I'm too lazy not to steal the already-written summary from Mom's email....

It's been over a year since Bryan's hernia started causing him some pain and enough bother to tell Dr. Baltz that he wanted to take a break from Avastin so that he could get it repaired. If you read you know that the good doctor said, oh no you're not. So, trusting in the wisdom of experience and medical school, Bryan has just lived with it. He says he's used to it now. No complaints.

Then his blood pressure began to creep up again. Dr. Heifner, the nephrologist, added more and more meds. One he tried was Rogaine which was originally approved as a BP reducer. Now it's used to induce hair growth. That's one side effect he really doesn't need. It didn't work anyway; it just made him retain water. It was decided (by doctors huddling) that Bryan needed another break from Avastin.

On his most recent scans, everything was stable, except the hernia. This time the radiologist mentioned bowel herniation. We weren't really alarmed until Erin gave us a heads-up, using her Google doctorate to tell us that he could be looking at a colostomy if things got worse. So, I made an appointment with a surgeon so that we would have another doc on our team who would be focusing on the hernia, etc. Dr. Tucker was calm and professional (of course) and recognized the balancing of the risks. Stop taking the drugs that are suppressing RCC and risk disease progression. Don't repair the hernia and risk having to have a COLOSTOMY BAG! "This is not a hernia you want to be carrying around." Being careful isn't sufficient. He says some folks have crises in the middle of the night. It just happens.

Next chapter-- Drs. Baltz and Tucker conferred. Tucker must have convinced Baltz that the risk was pretty severe. Plus, Bryan wants it fixed. Tomorrow will be six weeks that he has been off of Avastin, Interferon-A, and those pesky steroids. He's lost the water weight, and my charming husband is back. It's like April after a cloudy winter. Nice.

Wednesday, he'll be at Baptist for the surgery. They'll probably keep him a night or two to watch for bleeding. He'll have to be off the anti-angiogenesis (not growing blood vessels) drugs until he heals, another 4-6 weeks. Then he'll be due for scans again.

For three years and nine months, Bryan has dealt with his diagnosis and treatment with optimism, but he's also said that if his side effects became "too bad" that he would choose a shorter life over one that prevents him from working and being somewhat active. I think this choice to have the surgery fits that view. Take the path that gives the best hope of living more years the way he wants to. We continue to be hopeful for good outcomes. I'll keep you posted on his recovery and whatever-comes-next!


And now because no story is complete without a picture

Dad- you don't have the swagger of this dude, and I think you'd have to take another drug break to get a rad tat on your pec.

:) EO

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1 comment:

Rachel Silvestri said...

Maybe an ART tat on his right pec? Or a left kidney on his lower back?