Surgery today

by on August 17, 2011
in Books

Today I am scheduled to have surgery to remove the “scar tissue” from my previous radiation treatment in 2009. (Just to refresh your memory, my stage 4 anal cancer in 2007 had returned as a metastatic lung tumor in 2009. The tissue is now blocking the airway to my left lung and it is completely collapsed.  I have had two previous bronchoscopies but this is different because I will receive anesthesia instead of mild sedation.  The doctor will use a rigid scope instead of a flexible one so he can use different tools and techniques as he sees fit.  The procedure can take between 1-4 hours.

He said to plan on a chipped tooth and then if it doesn’t happen I will be pleasantly surprised.  They use a tooth guard and gauze to protect my top 2 front teeth where the tools will rest but there is no guarantee that one won’t get chipped or even knocked out.  The side effects should only be a sore throat but this is a rare procedure and a higher level of risk than I realized.  This area is very vascular so bleeding can be a serious issue.  They use strong suction so minimal blood gets into the lung.  (Did you know that you can drown in only 150 ml?  I am at greater risk of drowning than in bleeding to death.  Wow!)  I just signed a release form for my information to be entered into a world data bank to hopefully help others in the future.

The doctor may decide to put in a removable stent which I have already consented to.  It looks like a tube of chicken wire.  This requires high maintenance of 2-4x daily inhaling saline solution that is unpleasant along with other prescribed things to keep it clean etc.  Sometimes it can be coughed up which would be very embarrassing at a restaurant with friends.  The worst part is the need for additional bronoscopies every 2-4 months.  UGH!  I am already a high-maintenance girl in following the Gerson therapy the last 18 months.  It is hard to imagine I could add anything more to my schedule but I will deal with that later if I have to.  I well have the stent removed if the lung continues to collapse over & over again.  So please pray that I don’t even need a stent because I need another miracle!

I have to spend the night for observation which isn’t typical for a standard biopsy bronchoscopy.  This is considered pulmonary intervention although they will still biopsy the tissue on a regular basis.  I haven’t had measurable cancer for over 16 months which is wonderful but this issue is rather scary.  If my lung does not re-inflate then it will stick together permanently.  I don’t want that because the quality of life is so diminished.  I know already, because I have been doing it for the last 3 months or so.  My oxygen levels are still good and the right lung is a little larger as it is compensating and trying to fill the empty space.

I can’t have any food or liquids for breakfast or lunch because my surgery is scheduled for 3:30 PM.  I am so thirsty and I miss my juices and oatmeal already.  I am taking a few juices and packing my dinner in hopes of enjoying them in the recovery room or whenever they allow me to drink again this evening.  I had my morning enema and whenever they release me tomorrow I will hurry home to do another one and get back to my hourly Gerson juice schedule.

I will post the results of the surgery as soon as I am able.  Thanks for your prayers and support.    The thought I am taking with me into surgery is: “It is I, be not afraid.”  My Savior has walked every step of the past 4 1/2 year journey with me and I know he will continue to succor me.     Cathy


2 Responses to “Surgery today”
  1. Marsha says:

    Our love and prayers are with you always and especially today.

  2. Jessica Sorenson says:


    I am constantly amazed by your strength and perserverance. I hope your surgery went well and you didn’t need a stent and your teeth are in tact. I was glad to read you have been cancer free for 16 months.

    I pray that you will continue to have the strength and peace you need to continue to endur this journey.


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