Looking back, I was so nieve. Hell, we were both still in shock. The gravity of the situation hadn't settled into the full depths of our minds and hearts just yet. How could it? We were fresh off the plane from our honeymoon, still, on a high from our wedding, the thought of cancer seemed absolutely preposterous. There's no way my brand new husband has cancer. Even as a nurse, I truly believed this was a mistake and that all of this could be fixed within the week. Surely, there was an explanation or at least a quick fix to all of this. The sheepish looks on the surgical team's faces told me otherwise. They had less than ideal news for us.
The liver is a tricky organ. The bile ducts, even more so. We've been told that the location of the tumor is "problematic". The tumor has settled into the left hepatic duct occluding it so completely that the left lobe of the liver has already shrunk significantly. His right lobe has grown in an attempt to compensate. The tumor is rather large, roughly the size of an egg. This evil egg has decided to nestle itself at the bifurcation of the right and left hepatic ducts and is potentially invading the right hepatic artery.
In order to completely resect this tumor, the entire left lobe and corresponding bile ducts need to be removed as well as the right hepatic artery.
This is impossible.
I will never forget the look Cody turned to give me when those surgeons told us they couldn't help us. I've done my research. I know the life expectancy of this cancer. I know the likelihood of a response to treatment. Simply, the prognosis is poor. I chose to keep that to myself; this knowledge didn't exactly promote hope. When Cody would ask me how bad this was, I kept my response light, explaining that we had good news as long as the surgical team kept seeing us. Surgery was our way out of this nightmare. Co looked at me and I had no words. I couldn't even look at him. I felt so defeated.
We were transferred to the Medical Oncology team at MDA (aka: across the hall). We weren't sure what was in store for us, but we tried our best to remain positive. The surgical team wanted us to meet with a new team and they hoped they would see us again soon. We did too.
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