Cancer Surgery On Oct. 16

Last July I started losing weight for no reason. I went to VA Hospital in Pineville, Louisiana on September 28 and went to emergency room. I had been throwing up blood at home for about two months. The nurse inserted an NG tube in my nose on that Friday, then stayed overnight at the Pineville VA. It is called the Alexandria VA hospital, but it is actually located three or four miles from Alexandria.

Doctor sent me to Houston, Texas VA hospital, via ambulance on an ambulance ride of about 250 miles. Arrived in Houston late that Saturday night. I had no idea at the time, that I would be in the Houston VA hospital for 31 days.

Residue from a barium x-ray in Pineville VA hospital, prevented the Houston surgical team from getting a readable CT scan, thus delaying the surgical team’s decision on if there was cancer in the duodenum. The doctors knew there was a blockage, but didn’t know it was malignant till a second endoscopy revealed, that it was indeed cancerous, after the pathology report was released to the surgical team. The first endoscopy failed, since it was unable to reach the entire blockage, so a longer tube was used for the second endoscopy, which was successful in identifying the cancer. It was cancer of the duodenum.

The decision was then made by the surgical team to operate, but because it was major surgery, it was not easily worked into the surgery schedule. I spent my 68th birthday with family on Oct. 14, just two days before the cancer surgery.

Can remember well going into the surgical room for the surgery. The anesthesiologist proceeded into giving me anesthesia, but was alert for a while in the early stages of having anesthesia applied and can recall it being very painful with a burning sensation. While this was going on the surgical team and/or teams were busy making preparations for the surgery and I could see the nurses getting setting up for the surgery.

Can’t recall much about being in the recovery room, before spending two days in ICU, but the ICU was a beehive of activity. Was sent to a step down unit room next, before being sent to another room. Spent time in six different rooms during the 31 days at the Houston VA hospital.

Found out that most if not all cancer was removed and that chemotherapy would be needed, as a precaution to make sure there was no cancer left.

The surgical team watched my progress, after the surgery closely and I want to thank them for checking on me daily. They were very informative when they made their rounds. I also want to thank the nurses and other staffers in the hospital. Won’t mention names, since don’t know most of their names and it wouldn’t be fair to those not mentioned.

I was released from hospital on Monday night, Oct. 29. We returned home to Louisiana two days later and will return to Houston on November 21, to have the 26 staples removed and being making plans with oncology for the chemotherapy.

It has not been determined, whether the chemotherapy will be done in Houston or Pineville, but am hoping most, if not all of it will be done in Pineville, which is about 80 miles from here, compared to the 160 miles from here in Deridder, Louisiana to Houston.

Not sure when regular posts will return. Main objective now is to recover from surgery and see how the chemotherapy goes in the coming weeks.

Sorry to have not posted for over a month, but hope to be writing regularly in the next two months, depending on how the chemotherapy goes.

Thank you to the readers for understanding, why I have not been posting.