2009 – June – My Dad’s Surgery

My father was diagnosed for the second time with liver cancer in May. His first bout, he chose surgery and had 60% of his liver removed; it regenerates. The doctors said at that time though that the type of cancer he has is very likely to recur. His chances of developing it again would be 85%. His recovery from the surgery was turbulent. He had fluid develop on the lungs, problems with his blood pressure, etc. It all got to him and he lives his life being terrified it will happen again. So it happened again.

He chose to meet with a specialist in Gainesville, FL at Shands Hospital because the tumor was close to two of the main vessels feeding the liver and his doctor at home was not at all comfortable with doing surgery. The doctor at Shands felt certain he could do the surgery with no problem and that it should be simple. He was wrong. He was to be in surgery for about 4hrs but after about 6hrs, we get a report he was having complications. I was at Shands with my sister Kelly and my step mother for the surgery. He finally made it out of surgery and was moved to the surgical intensive care unit where he stayed on a ventilator and suffered complication after complication until June 17th when he was finally removed from life support by my step mother. My sisters and I could not be there that day as we were all back home just waiting for some kind of improvement.

I’m so thankful I went down for the surgery. Kelly and I along with my step mother were able to take my father out to dinner the night before surgery to celebrate his 75th birthday. I wouldn’t trade that for the world. He was so terrified of this surgery and I hate that so much for him. But he wouldn’t have wanted to live if he was an invalid. And he wouldn’t have lived happily again even if he made it through…cancer terrified him daily and he was never the same happy-go-lucky man after his first diagnosis.