Wednesday, March 22, 2000
Well, we had our big meeting with the liver specialists yesterday and then Vinny had his endoscopy # 8.
Actually, the news was surprisingly GOOD. Although most of Vinny's liver is shot from the Cirrhosis, the little that is left DID responded rather well to treatment, and for now, is doing the stuff that livers need to. This is rather unexpected and quite a relief. He's still getting those potentially life threatening Esophageal Varices and related bleeding, but those too are still patchable.
Yesterday, they didn't want to risk using the larger "banding" robot arm, so they used the "old fashioned" endoscope with chemical injections that cortirized the sites of the potential bleeding. it's just as effective a treatment (which is what's really important) but it hurts a lot more.
We talked at length about having a liver transplant or a partial transplant -- certainly an important process for us to start, with lots of groundwork to do, but its not the NEXT step. Actually since things are going so well where we are, we'll just keep patching for now -- with an endoscopy every month and a doctor's visit and blood work every month, with those two cycles staggered, so Vinny is looked at every two weeks, so we hopefully catching anything early enough.
When the patching stops working, we'll next go with a "shunt" which is basically a liver bypass to relieve some the backed up pressure behind the liver. Unfortunately, it also bypasses some of the filtering process that the liver does. At that point, we re-address the transplant issue.
Thanks for all your love,
Mark & Vinny