Hey guys, I hope you don't mind me posting this here, I just need to get it off my chest, and I guess here is as good as anywhere?
The last few years have been kind of rough for me and my family, I am a man in my 40's now, in January of 2010 my father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer caused by chronic acid reflux, throughout the same year my wife was going through numerous medical test to try to find out what was causing a range of visual and nerve related symptoms, then one Friday in October of 2010 she received a diagnosis of MS, the very next day I fell and broke my back (L2 split compression fracture) in a freak household accident, I spent 3 days in the hospital followed by 4 months in a full turtle shell like back brace , had numerous X-rays, CT scans, etc (thankfully I had no nerve damage, it continues to slowly improve, but still my back hurts most days). In Feb. of 2011 my father lost his fight to the cancer, radiation and chemo got the primary, but it was too late and had spread to his lungs and liver. While in the hospital with my broken back I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, so a year ago this week in May 2011 I went in to see my doctor to get my blood pressure medication RX renewed, that was when I just happened to mention to him that I had been experiencing some itching in the week or two leading up to the visit. This of course started the great roller coaster health adventure of the summer, with blood test, ultrasounds, various specialist, MRCP, ERCP, spyglass ERCP, biopsies, drains, a week in the hospital on IV antibiotics, and then the big Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy surgery to remove my bile duct (thankfully benign tumor) and gall bladder with gallstones, and of course the long recovery process afterward.
There are not words to express the range of emotions I have felt through this whole process, ranging from depression, to hope, to dispair, to joy to be alive and so on. I guess I am at some type of milepost, a year out from the doctor visit that started the events that dominated my life for so many months, the first three leading up to the big surgery, and the next 3+ getting back to a semi-normal life. I am now faced with limitations on what I can eat, the good side is it forces me to eat healthier, and I will have to go for checkups and liver tests every 6 months for the rest of my life, sure these are minor compared to what it could have been, but everyday I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. If I wake up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach, I wonder if I should go to the emergency room, every time I find myself scratching I wonder if I have an obstruction in my reconstructed duct. I try to look for the good things, enjoy life, etc. but still there is that nagging feeling in the back of my head, just waiting for the surprise of the year this year.
Anyway thanks for listening, and I am hopeful 2012 will be better than the last few years, or at least will have fewer surprises.