Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kickin' Barrett's ***

We've lost count, but we think this is surgery #10 for the Hubs since he was diagnosed with "Barrett's Esophagus with High Dysplasia" a few years ago, coded as "carcinoma in situ". Fun times. Through all this though, we are thankful. Thankful the Barrett's was diagnosed vs. moving forward as a silent killer, thankful the leader in treating this was just up the road at VCU, and thankful that something is working.

We returned to VCU earlier than planned since the Hubs was having some flare ups/complications and his surgeon wanted to figure out what was going on. We arrived to our FAVORITE pre-op nurse, Emily, who makes the day brighter and much easier- she was excited to see us as well (and gave me a tip on 1/2 price Danskos :) It is definitely a comfort to know a friendly face.

The time in surgery was longer than expected, but went well. The Hubs was injected with dye that fluoresces and allows for micro-cell examination while M was under. He did not have RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation) today but rather multiple biopsies. Here is what we learned (beyond the fact that he's going to have neon urine for 24 hours):

M failed as a RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation) candidate because it did not eradicate the dysplastic cells, HOWEVER he was included in the clinical
trial for "cryo"- freezing the cells and that did seem to have had the intended effect over the last two visits. VCU is still one of the only centers in the nation to use cryo for Barrett's. While this was surprising news, it was good to know something appeared to be working.

What's next? This is the FIRST time we've left the hospital with papers that did NOT state "carcinoma in situ"! M's doc is cautiously optimistic. What we are hoping to hear is no dysplasia, no carcinoma. We know he still has Barrett's and that will require close monitoring and medication the rest of M's life. However, if it's come down from dysplasia, that is a big victory!

M's doc thinks the flare up and issues may just mean an adjustment in his proton pump inhibitor meds, which he adjusted today. IF clear pathology reports come back next week, M wins a whole year before he has to return! We're hoping and praying for clear reports next week.

We are so thankful for the support and care of our friends. Your calls, texts, and emails were greatly appreciated throughout the day, as were your prayers and positivity. We are blessed beyond measure, and a shout out to my parents for helping with Fudge and getting him to soccer.

M won't let me post a hospital pic of himself (wouldn't even let me push him in the wheelchair), so I've included a pic of his awesome surgeon, Dr. Z... who recently had a wing of the hospital named after him- love this guy and his bow ties. We're home, M is sleeping, I'm exhausted. Good night all!

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