Sunday, September 9, 2012

That takes a lot of gall...

Lord have mercy. IT WAS NOT AN ULCER. I just returned from a long weekend at the hospital, because I have somehow developed GALL STONES. I need to get my gall bladder removed.

Are you kidding me?

This isn't even related to cancer, just a neat coincidence! Just a chance for me to spend more QT at the hospital. Say hi to some old friends. Check out the updated cafe menu.

The pain I have been feeling for the last few weeks was a large gall stone making its sluggish, clumsy, jagged attempt at exiting my body. The GI doc said my bile duct looked like a freight train ran through it. I'm pretty seasoned and stoic when it comes to pain, but this experience was up there among the most challenging. And, I'm a lovely, jaundiced shade of yellow as a result.

Normally, a person with this condition would be forced to part ways with the offending gall bladder immediately. But I have "special circumstances" (not my words). I have to wait SIX weeks, until the chemo drug Avastan is no longer in my system. (Avastan makes you prone to bleeding. If you're a bleeder = No chance at surgery).

So in my 12th consecutive month of chemo, I now look ahead to gall bladder surgery. I say, if you're going to get medical procedures, go big or go home. Pile 'em on, high and deep. And who knows what next month will bring. Appendicitis? Root canal? Giardia? Tapeworm? Dengue fever?

I may just get rhinoplasty for the hell of it. I think we just might have hit our insurance maximum by now, anyway.


  1. SHEL, and in the midst of it, what's MOST impressive to me is that you were able to throw DENGUE fever in the mix?! WHAT IN THE WORLD? Never heard of it. Do tell. And in the meantime, as I think about this stuff, I'm trying to find ways to make today extraordinary. Thanks for continuing to teach us, and SO PSYCHED that mercer island (in the midst of the gall) is turning out splendidly.

  2. "I'm pretty seasoned and stoic when it comes to pain..." Shelly - You might be the only person on the planet who can rank the relative levels of pain for back labor, a nipplectomy, colon cancer, a lung tube, an allergic reaction to chemo pre-meds, and a freight train running through a bile duct. I wonder if the insurance company thinks you're a complete fraud by now...spying, parked in a white florists' van nearby, shooting footage of you schlepping boxes. I hope you get a break from chemo, and I hope your mom has a way of making you relax despite your need to unpack.

  3. This makes my upcoming gum graft seem like a breeze. Hang in there Shelly, you are one tough cookie!

  4. For the record, I did not lose a nipple.