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Good thoughts for my mom

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I guess most of you know my mom is fighting Stage IV colon cancer. Here's an email I just got from her. This isn't lung cancer related of course, but we could use some good thoughts, and maybe it will help some folks understand why I'm so tired and stressed . . .

(this is from Karen - Karen's mom):

"I went to see the liver surgeon, Dr. Brown, today, at the suggestion of

Dr.Schwarz, to discuss my recurrent liver tumors.

I will be having major liver surgery sometime in the near future. I

have to wait a week after I stop taking the blood thinner, Coumadin, for

the current blood clots in my right leg. My prothrombin time (Pro Time)

was okay today, so I won't need any more shots of Heparin (Lovenox) at

this time.

I am scheduled to have a PET Scan (full body) on Monday, May 2, at

Henrico Doctors Hospital - Forest. After the surgeon and the oncologist

review the results, they will set up the surgery date.

Dr. Brown told us that this will be extensive major surgery, and I will

likely be in the hospital 7 - 10 days. He will do a laparoscopic

procedure first to view the area, then will do regular surgery to remove

part of my liver in two separate places. (He said removing enough of my

liver won't be a problem, as it regenerates quickly and also you can

have up to 50% removed without creating a problem.)

This isn't my ideal way to spend the summer, but if it must be done --

the sooner the better. I'm not totally surprised, as he had told me

that liver tumors have a tendency to recur because the liver is so

spongy that cancer cells are impossible to detect before they become


In addition, during surgery I will have a screen inserted in a major

vein to prevent clots from traveling to my lungs/heart in the future. I

will probably also have a pump installed (through a new, larger port in

my abdomen) to dispense chemo directly into my liver.

We'll let you all know when a surgery date has been set up. There are

many risks for all of this, but the success rate is high.

Pray for strength and courage.

Love, Mom"

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Boy, Karen....your mom is impressive. She sounds fully informed, matter of fact about the details and I'm sure she'll do very well with this surgery. There isn't a bit of worry or fear that I can detect in her email...and her strength will carry her thru this.

But you can bet she'll have all my best thoughts and vibes winging her way anyway!

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Yeah, she's pretty articulate for 72, that's for sure. OK, 72 isn't old at all. . . . anyway, I forgot to write the appt. down, I was going to tag along, and she didn't remind me, intentionally I am sure, and I'm glad, because I definitely have a full plate AND my mom and dad seemed to make all the right decisions.

I'm just a little skeptical about the liver infusion pump. Our onco doc says very few surgeons are doing them any more, they haven't proved to work any better than regular chemo, BUT, since my mom is not tolerating chemo very well, maybe a dose directly to the problem area will give her less general side affects. Dr. Brown, the liver surgeon, seems to love these infusion pumps, he really pushed the idea last summer when she had the first liver met.


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I think I have told you before that we have a friend with one of the pumps. He was also stage 4 colon cancer and given 3 months to live about 3 years ago! He is doing very well with it. I hope your mom has good results. I am glad your mom is having the surgery...she sounds like she has a good attitude.

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Hi Karen,

Sorry to hear the news about your mom, but it certainly sounds like she sure is on top of things.

Also, what Ry said is very encouraging.

I will be thinking of your mom and wishing her a speedy recovery.

Like you said your plate if full right now, but I would say overflowing. Hang in there. Thank G-d for your dad, as Iam sure he is taking care of her.


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You and your family are always in prayers, your mom too. God is good. When we feel we can't go any more, God gets us through, day by day, sometimes hour by hour, minute by minute, always there, guiding and encouraging and holding us close.

take care of YOU too, Karen.

I was reading another post of yours, wish we lived closer and could go do lunch or something. :)


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:) karen-not only are you a very wonderful support for your mother and caregiver for Dave --but now i know where your angel wings came from. Your mother sounds so sharp and has things "together for 72--and can handle stress great. God bless you, hugs for Mom!!!
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Thanks. I don't always give my mom the credit she deserves. she doesn't handle any drugs very well - I'm talking about aspirin, antibiotics, antihistamines - imagine what chemo does to her . . . but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, she faces realty and marches forward with her head up. she really is a good, sweet person who absolutely always looks for the positive in everything. I can't say that I do that, in fact, sometimes I wish she'd stop being so NICE, ha.

Ry, I do not remember about your friend with the pump, but you probably told us and I've forgotten in all the flurry of things going on. That is good news to hear. I'm thinking more and more that in my mother's situation, that pump may be the best thing after she's all healed up after surgery.

well, gotta get to work, thanks for all the words of encouragement!


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