Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thanks for your continued prayers for my brother

My brother had surgery yesterday for Pseudomyxoma Peritonei, a metastasization of a cancer of the appendix that affects the whole lower abdomen. It begins in the appendix and basically is just a slow growth of gunk, which frequently lasts over a period of years. It is not an aggressive cancer, but it is persistent, and it does damage in two ways, first by affixing itself to organs and hardening into them, and second, just by simply taking up a lot of space and squeezing a person to death from the inside.

Surgery yesterday lasted about 11 hours; the doctor said they took “buckets and buckets full” of the stuff out. So it had been building up for a while (he was otherwise in very good health). In addition, they removed his appendix, spleen, gall bladder, nerves around his stomach, and parts of his diaphragm, all of which had become affected by the material. Along with the surgery, they irrigated his internal tissues with a heated chemotherapy. If any of the cancer cells remain alive after this process, they have the ability to start the whole thing all over again. The bottom line, however, is that now that they know he’s got this, they can monitor him (the disease is apparently detectable via CT scan), and smaller patches of it can be removed over time.

He is awake this morning, and seems to be in good spirits. He will have to spend a few days in the ICU, but it seems possible that his life can be back to normal in just a few weeks.

Psalm 139:14: I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

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