Thursday, June 13, 2013

Yellow Shell-o

What a week.

I found out early in the week that insurance approved treatment for me to get the DTIC chemo. That's the medicine my doctor recommended, based on the results of my genetic test. It's a chemo not normally used to treat colon cancer. But there's a decent shot it will work on me. It's exciting and surprising that the insurance approved it, since it's not "standard therapy" for my type of cancer. Insurance can really suck. They can't, how do you say it in English, "think outside the box". That's another story.

My son graduated from preschool Wednesday. (Adorable! They wore yellow graduation caps and collected a diploma while "Pomp and Circumstance" played.) My daughter finished up kindergarten today. (Heartbreaking! How she cried! She loves that school.)

I was scheduled to start the new chemo this Friday.

But-- I felt a little "off" last weekend. And itchy. All over. My upper right side was a little sore. I thought, wait a second. Bilirubin makes you itchy. (Bilirubin is a pigment found in bile and blood, I think. It's supposed to drain out of you via your liver's bile duct, but if it stays in you and doesn't drain, you turn kind of yellowish, and you feel itchy.) I called my doc. He ordered a liver ultrasound on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, I got a call from the hospital to pre-register me for my "procedure on Thursday". A procedure at the hospital? What a fun surprise for Shelly!

So, I am going to have a little surgery this very afternoon. The common bile duct in my liver is being squeezed because of that tiny tumor outside my liver, the one that recently grew a bit. So the bilirubin isn't draining, and I'm turning a little yellow. They are going to put a stent in my bile duct to open that sucker up. Then, the crap will drain as it should, and I will turn back into my all-American, peaches-and-cream self.

They aren't going to cut me open (for once!). They put a scope down my throat and can reach my liver that way. Amazing, isn't it? But I will get general anesthesia, and I do have to spend the night in the godforsaken hospital, so they can monitor me in case I develop "pancreatitis".

Also, hopefully, this side ache will go away. Have you ever felt liver pain before? Probably not--I hadn't! It's not the best. Not awful, just a dull ache, like someone socked you in the gut and it doesn't ever ease up.

I won't start chemo this Friday. I'm going to reschedule it for next Wednesday.

Think good thoughts for me at 4:15 PST.


  1. Oh man Shelly, the hits keep on coming :( I will be thinking of you tonight, sending good thoughts your way. I miss you!

  2. Can they lop off that asshole tumor while they're down there? Be safe. xoxo

  3. Shelly, we are thinking of you and sending strength your way! You are one tough woman!! Much love, Em

  4. hope it goes well today and that you are back to your peaches and cream self.

  5. Thinking good thoughts! T minus 5 minutes..... Go Shelly!

  6. So glad u listened to your intuition and your symptoms Shelly!! Get that crap out of you :)- love u! Heather

  7. Thinking great thoughts for you, Shelly! Hope you're resting comfortably and all that bilirubin has drained as it should. xoxo, Jen(ny) from VT

  8. I love that in a moment of heightened anxiety, you went to the beach. That is a great lesson for me. Thank you.

    I am sending you lots of good thoughts and continued healing and positive wishes....and also a story about bilirubins:

    When my niece was born, she was jaundiced. The doctor explained to her brothers (age 8 & 10) that she had too many "Billy Rubins". The kids developed a business plan to sell the BillyRubins to other babies who didn't have enough (they are always looking for the next big business idea), until they learned that they come out in baby poop...and then the business plan was flushed. ha! True story!

    Hope the procedure went well! Love to you!

    Jill Hoppenjans

  9. Wow, good thing you put two-and-two together on this one. Hope you are recuperating nicely and on your way to peaches instead of bananas. Can't wait for you to begin the treatment next Wednesday. Rest up and take care of yourself, and let us know how you are doing when you feel up to it.


  10. Shelly, glad to see you are out of surgery. Tell that nasty bilirubin to get to steppin! Pack it on up and get on out. On the upside,you were able to match Rhodes' (sp?) graduation cap this week! Glad you are back to peaches-n-ream now. Not everyone can pull off yellow like you do, though, I'm quite sure. Love you and sending prayers!

  11. Good job knowing something was wrong and being proactive. I hope you are recovering well, Shelly. As you are recuperating on yet, another procedure, please feel the love of all of us who care about you. You are very loved and we all look forward to many good times together this summer. xoxoxxoxoxo, sarah b.

  12. Thinking good thoughts for you always.