the worst kind of surgery

9 Apr

It’s when you open someone up who has started to have symptoms of the cancer he’s been carrying around for over a year.  And then you find it much worse than all the CT scans and biopsies could have led you to believe.  And so, after discussing the options with family for an hour while he’s lying open on the table you do what is likely best for him, for what he would want, and that is to do nothing but close.  It sucks.


4 Responses to “the worst kind of surgery”

  1. ericrosoff April 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    Knowledge isn’t nothing! I’m sure your presence and contribution meant a lot to him and his family.

    • annaojesus April 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

      You’re sweet; I wasn’t the one talking to the family…I was keeping him company in the OR, getting pimped on anatomy. But thanks.

  2. Calie (Broussard) Garrett April 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    My grandfather had his bladder removed about 9 years ago because of bladder cancer. About 4 years later, he was sick again and when they opened him up, they realized the same thing that you’re describing, so they also simply closed him up and did nothing. About 6 months later, he had passed out in his house and was rushed to the hospital–everyone was thinking he was about to die because of how bad the cancer must have become. They ran every sort of test and scan and there was no evidence of any cancer in his body anywhere. He was only malnourished and dehydrated! Crazy!

    All that to say… this is not necessarily “the end” for your patient. 🙂

    • annaojesus April 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

      Wow! Callie, thank you so much for sharing this story. I’m so glad your grandfather did okay, and I hope he is doing well. Yes, you’re right about our patient, and I am certainly hopeful…very very much so. Thank you.

      By the way, your family is beautiful!

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