Another milestone crossed. I had my diagnostic laparoscopic surgery yesterday (10/01/10). Everything went smoothly. Good news – there doesn’t seem to be any peritoneal spread of the cancer. Just the lovely tumor. Dr. Mansfield was gracious enough to provide me with photos. However, Dr. Mansfield did a biopsy wash which consists of injecting fluid into the peritoneal cavity, recapturing it and examining it for microscopic cancer cells. This will help determine the type of surgery I have next.
If there are no cancer cells, indicating no spread of the cancer, Dr. Mansfield will just take the remains of the tumor out.
If there are cancer cells in the biopsy wash (which would indicate some peritoneal spread that may or may not be seen), Dr. Mansfield will remove the tumor and perform the HIPEC procedure at the same time. This is known as “MOAS,” the “mother of all surgeries” for good reason. You can read all about it here.
Obviously, I’m hoping that there are no cancer cells in my peritoneal cavity! I should find out the results of the biopsy wash sometime early this week. Dr. Mansfield will also present my case for discussion at the next appendix conference this coming Thursday. He will let me know his recommendation that afternoon. If I do need the HIPEC surgery, Dr. Mansfield is one of only a few doctors in the country who have extensive experience with this procedure. It pays big time to have the MOAS done at a ‘center of excellence’ like M.D. Anderson Cancer Center where not only is the surgeon experienced but the support team is experienced as well.
I most likely will have either surgery on Friday, October 15th.
I must tell you again how incredible it is to go to M.D. Anderson. Everyone is extremely professional. My doctors are fantastic. The facilities are beautiful. I am blessed to be getting my treatment at the best cancer center in the world.
Please say your prayers, cross your fingers, give out that positive energy, send good vibes, whatever your style and hope that there are no microscopic cancer cells floating around. It definitely makes a difference to know you all are there. Never underestimate the power of human connection.