Yesterday we arrived at the surgery center at 8:30am. The waiting room was PACKED! We waited and waited and waited... Don was called in just before 10am. He was prepped for the procedure and an IV line was put in. I sat next to him and we made small talk until he was taken back. I returned to the waiting room. It was done and over in 20 minutes. I was called into a room designed for consultations and waited for the doctor. He walked in still dressed in his scrubs and extended his hand towards me. I shook it and smiled.
"I heard the great news!" he said. "About Don's Viral Load count being zero."
"Oh yes." I responded. "When they told me yesterday, I had to ask the nurse to repeat it. I was beside myself and scared that I had not heard her correctly. He went from over 8,000 down to 0 in the last 8 weeks and now his specialist is going to keep him on chemo another 9 months."
"How low is his platelet count?" He tilted his head inquisitively.
"Pretty low. Don has been dealing with nose bleeds, his gums bleeding and he easily bruises too. I think he stayed in the low 30's...right on the border! Now tell me about the scope results." I smiled nervously.
"Well, Don does have verices. It is graded 1 to 4 with 4 being the worst. Don is at a 2 and a half. There is a procedure we do to help this - much like banding hemorrhoids, but we do not consider it until the patient is 3+, so we are just going to have to monitor Don. You know that if he ever starts to cough or vomit up blood, it is an emergency and he will need to get to the hospital?" He questioned.
I nodded silently.
"He also has some scaring on his esophagus, probably from acid reflux. I could not take a biopsy though because the scaring was right in between 2 verices veins. It was too dangerous. I did take a stomach lining biopsy and his stomach was in an irritated condition. He will need to start taking 20mg of over the counter Prylosec every morning and that will help his stomach." He rose and again extended his hand to me.
The doctor who did the scope was our first Liver doctor, not the specialist who has been in charge of his care for the last 3 months. They work closely though as a team.
After another hour, I was allowed to go back into the recovery room. I told Don everything the doctor told me. We both agreed that the news could have been better - but certainly could have been worse as well! This did not over shadow the GREAT news about his zero viral load count.
While we were in the recovery room one of the nurses confided in us about her neice who had accidentally discovered she was Hep. C positive. She asked us several questions. I got her e-mail address and send her a lot of information that has helped us to understand this disease.
It took so much longer to complete this procedure that poor Don was forced to go to my pre-op doctors appointment. He slept in the truck most of the time though. I had chest x-rays, and EKG, and a basic physical done along with some blood work. My surgery will be Monday morning. I do not think I will be posting for at least a week, maybe longer depending on how I feel and how long I stay in the hospital..so God bless you all. Thank you so much for all of your kind support and please don't forget to keep Don in your prayers. Not only is he still sick ...but the poor guy has to do ALL of my chores for at least 4 weeks!