fredag 26 januari 2018

Second week - tumor in my liver

The test results show that I am not an alcoholic.
Well that is good to know!
Day by day summary of the second week after I got to know that I have a tumor in my liver. This week had high highs and low lows.

Part of a series:
Another reminder of mortality
Day 4 - Tumor in my liver
First week - tumor in my liver
Second week - tumor in my liver
Third week with liver cancer
Liver cancer, surgery
6 weeks post-op, news time

Saturday:
Shopping groceries for my wife's birthday dinner on Sunday. Have started to feel stuff, mostly ignoring it but it is there. Ordinary day for the most part.
42 minutes on trainer, mid tempo

Sunday:
Families visiting, lots of fun and lots of food as always! People are worried but will not show it in front of the kids.
42 minutes on trainer, treshold

Monday:
I call my hospital to tell them that yes, I do feel something so that they have that as input to the decision meeting later in the day. I am told by the nurse that the last results from blood samples are in and that they show no signs of over consumption of alcohol. So not an alcoholic!
I leave work early and sit on my trainer for an hour before the doctor calls and tells me:
Blood samples show no sign of tumor but the different x-rays show that it is cancer. They will cut it out, a doctor from Gothenburg will call Monday or Tuesday to give more info. I should be in Gothenburg on Thursday at 10 am. Not a consultation.
Discuss with wife and write down a lot of questions.
Organize house and cat sitters etc. Inform family that it will be surgery.
42 minutes on trainer, low intensity


Tuesday:
Going to work. Waiting for the call, hard to concentrate. Tell my boss at lunch. Tell my team etc. Faith in the Swedish system, it can act fast!
No call after second afternoon meeting so I decide to call hospital in Gothenburg myself. After 10 minutes of detective work to find the correct department I finally get connected to the liver surgery and their response is:
No, we can't find any booking for surgery. A booking for consultation only on Thursday at 10 am. Didn't you get the reservation by mail?
I'm like, eh no? I got a call 24 hours ago telling me that there would be surgery.
Oh, no your doctor should know that there is a process where we will book you for a full day in Gothenburg in preparation 2 weeks before a surgery when you can meet the team etc. 
At this point I am pretty upset, need to tell my boss that I have been misinformed and that I will continue to work as normal but need a day off on Thursday instead. Same information to the team. Call wife (who has take 2 days off to be with me during surgery) so that she can tell her boss that there has been a fkup as well. No one is in their best mood at this moment.
Need to decide if I should call my own doctor or not in the morning and ask her if I misunderstood things or what went wrong with the call on Monday.

Get home from work, and a letter has arrived from hospital in Gothenburg. Booked for a consultation. And a lot of paperwork to fill in.

I sure hope that it is not 10 minute consultation. As it is 2 hour drive one way. But I guess we will see on Thursday.

Faith in the Swedish system, not there at the moment.....

Wednesday
Ah, screw it. Everybody makes mistakes, not to mention during handover from one instance to another. Not going to pursue this. I want to focus on getting well, not angry. Looking forward to Sahlgrenska tomorrow. I want to get a time plan now so that I know.
45 minutes on trainer. Intervals, intensive.


Thursday
Cancer.. First time a doctor actually named it...
So, not only a consultation in Gothenburg. Turned out that it would be the preparation day. We met the surgeon, contact nurse, anesthetist, physiotherapist and run some extra tests.
Surgeon: It is cancer, we will cut out 1/4th of the liver containing the tumor and send it for analysis. Continue training and eating as normally until the operation. 4 weeks after the operation, analysis should be completed as well as you should have healed enough for decision if we need to put in chemo or antitumor medication depending on where the tumor originates. If it is from liver cells it will be antitumor medication, if it is from the bile ducts we will put in chemo. At some point you will need a liver transplantation. 3 days before the operation, you will stop with Xarelto and take fragmin syringes instead.

Anesthetist: You will receive a pill to calm your nerves the day before. When you arrive in the morning we will put in spinal anesthesia that you will get for 2-3 days. If you are nervous at any point in the process, just tell us and we will give you some more stuff to calm you. 

Physiotherapist: Once the operation is done we will get you up on your feet the day after and make you walk on the spot to prevent blood clot. The next day you will walk in the corridor and the day after we will take some stairs. There is a 24/7 gym room in the hospital unit to get you moving. If at any point you feel pain, it is better to tell us and we will give you some pain-relief so that you are able to move. Movement is important. 
We will also make you breath through a mask 3x10 times every 2 hours for the first 5 days to try to prevent pneumonia.

Contact nurse: Write down questions, and do not hesitate to call me. Make sure you call on Monday to get hold of the surgery coordinator who can organize hotel etc for the night before surgery and your wife during your stay. You will undergo a short fasting period before the operation meaning that you can eat normally until midnight the night before. During the evening you need to drink two protein drinks and in the morning before you arrive you need to drink a third protein drink. Also you need to use these special sponges when showering the night before and in the morning to make sure that bacteria is killed.

Received a go-bag containing all things that I need before surgery: Fragmin syringes, protein drinks and sponges.

If it wouldn't have been for me eating Xarelto, they would have done the surgery tomorrow, Friday. But damn, this will happen within 10 days maybe 11!
Overall impression: impressed. Damn, I have no worries. Wife is a little bit more worried now but I still feel calm.
No training today.

Friday
Back to work. Normal day, a lot of questions from coworkers in the morning but otherwise quite ordinary.
Bought new wireless headphones (SONY XB950BT EXTRA BASS™ Wireless) so that I can focus on music and watch Netflix during the hospital stay, you know ignore that I am at a hospital.
1 hour 40 minutes low intensive trainer.




Why I am writing this? Not to feel sorry for myself, but as a way to handle the situation and hopefully someone else out there in a similar situation can find this helpful as well. The human body is strong and hopefully I'll come out of this stronger as well. Plan for the worst and hope for the best!

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