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October 30, 2008 by 8junebugs

So, Mom’s having surgery today. Her chemo appointment this week became an ultrasound to see if some obstruction was blocking liver function. If not, then the theory was that her liver was too sick to take any more chemo and it was time to stop treatment.

Lo and behold, there’s dilation in the bile duct, which indicates a restriction of some kind. (I KNOW this doesn’t seem to make sense. The more I deal with medical professionals, the more I think they purposely give words meanings opposite their real meanings just to be a pain in my butt.)

They’re putting in shunts to relieve the immediate pressure. Best-case scenario, it’ll be a perfect solution and she’ll be able to get back to chemo. Worst-case scenario, it won’t do a damn thing.

Even if it relieves some of the symptoms, the problem itself is indicative of just what ChemoDoc said — her liver is too sick for chemo and it’s time to talk about oxygen, morphine, and hospice.

UPDATE: They could barely find a place to put the shunt. If you think of a liver as a tree with a main trunk that has big branches, small branches, and leaves, they were able to see the main trunk and a couple of the big branches, but that’s it. They almost gave up, but a few seconds after thinking it was hopeless, they got the shunt in. It doesn’t sound like the really think it will work.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be researching how long you can live without a functioning liver before you poison yourself. Offhand, I’m guessing Christmas is a long shot.

I hope they’ve got some really, really good drugs for this.


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