HIPEC/Shake-N-Bake surgery went well. I spent the week in Houston/Livingston recovering and I’m now back in Charleston. I have a little residual muscle soreness but, overall feeling great.
Surgery: During the surgery, they did a few things- took biopsies of the peritoneum wall (that’s outside the actual stomach, inside the stomach cavity), biopsied the outside of my stomach, did a saline flush to see if cancer was detected in any of the fluid around my stomach, then washed the area with the HIPEC/hot chemo.
Findings: The doctor said that I have responded very well to the chemo that I’ve received this far – he took pictures of the area and we can see where cancer was previously but has receded. However, they still found small bits of cancer in three areas outside of my stomach. The hope is that the HIPEC treatment I received will help with this.
Next steps: I’ve been presented with three options moving forward: 1) Do nothing 2) Have additional chemo, in Charleston, or 3) Move forward with the gastrectomy.
Clearly #1 is not an option. As presented, #2 would work to keep the cancer from spreading for a year or two before it stopped working. For example, I was receiving FOLFOX (chemo), but I’ve reached the end of that treatment being beneficial. If I went the chemo route, I would have a different regimen and eventually the cancer would begin spreading again.
Option #3, gastrectomy, is the direction I am currently heading. This is the full removal of my stomach along with another HIPEC wash of my peritoneum. This surgery is major and requires me to be in TX for around 4-weeks and on a feeding tube for 6-weeks. After surgery, they’ll monitor the area every 4-6 months with CT scans. Tentative surgery date is set for 11/30 – I’ll update with any changes to this plan.
Thank you again to everyone for your continued thoughts, vibes and prayers!
Much love to you all,