Thursday, November 6, 2008

To Live Without

***Today's post is rate MA for mature audiences only.  It may contain emotions and facts not suitable for all readers.   Reader discrection is advised.***  

While sitting at my colorectal's office waiting for the doc, I found myself fascinated with the poster of the digestive system.  I ended up playing a game of seeing if I could locate the organs that I might lose if the endoscopic specialist at Mayo can't help me.   I decided that my insides would be pretty empty.  I've already lost my colon and rectum (and appendix of course, can't lose the colon and keep the appendix.  It would be like amputating the foot while keeping the big toe).  I tried to picture what my insides would look like if I lost my duodenum, gallbladder, part of the pancreas and part of the stomach.   Then I found myself concentrating on the digestive organs that would be left, it didn't seem like much.  Amazing that we can lose these organs and still manage to live.   
On a related note, I am heading back to the hospital tomorrow AM.  Doc wants to have another look around the pouch and possibly do another dilation.  We believe the lovely stricture that landed me in the hospital a few weeks ago is starting to reform.   We are hoping this procedure will help to get rid of the abdominal cramping and help regulate the number of times I go.  Right now, I vary from not "going" for a day or two to the dam breaking and going well over 30-40 times.   FYI both extremes are VERY uncomfortable in their own way.  


Paula said...

Steph, My neighbor who is 50 years old was diagnosed right around Thanksgiving last year with some sort of cancer, not sure what kind but he had most of his insides removed at University of PA. From what I remember him telling me was that he had his gallbladder, pancreas, a kidney and his prostrate removed- and he is alive and kickin. He does have quite a scar though. He returned to work part-time this past summer and fulltime in the fall. Modern medicine can do amazing things. I don't know if his condidition is as complex as yours - but he is living proof that we humans can live without some of the organs we have.
Keep on truckin!
Love Aunt Paula

Becca said...

Miss thang,
Dont you know i've envisioned my own empty cavity of a torso more times than i care to admit to.
The more recent developments with me where the surgeons wanted to do a PELVIC EXONERATION (as a brief overview, gutting me like a fish) I was none too pleased to think about the fact that i would have NOTHING but a small intestine and stomach in there.

That all being said, I had cancerous polyps in my duodenum removed last september by Dr. Parsons at northwestern. Also one of the supposed 'best' at doing this "ampulectomy" (doing it endoscopically) I had a nasty GI bleed right after but other than that, it was pretty uneventful. I also am glad i could avoid the whipple for awhile (i know just as well as you what the whipple means. and i never could understand why such a major procedure would be given such a whimsical name as whipple)

BUUUTTT I wanted to mention that I know a young woman, our age, she doesn't have FAP, but freakishly she was diagnosed with duodenal cancer at like age 23 or 25 or something. and had to have the whipple. She's awesome to talk to about it b/c she's a total hottie and you'd never know a thing by looking at her. (as most wouldnt' know about us)

i'll hook you up with her info if you'd like. she's in chicago.

Mike & Darlene Pitcher said...

Wishing you luck with your problems. I am still in chemo and it causes me chronic diarea. Been that way for 3 months now. I also miss alot of games but mine are the games that my kids play in. Its is tuff but I think we are both fighters. Keep up the good spirits. Your dog is cute
Darlene fellow FAPer