O.K. lets see if I can get the chronology of this right.
5 years ago I was diagnosed with colon cancer and ended up having a right hemi-colectomy
Thatís where they remove part of the colon to get rid of the cancer. My dad had this and it
Eventually killed him. We thought it would be a good idea for me to get checked early on,
And sure enough, they found that I had it as well. Luckily the Cancer hadnít spread and the
Doctors were able to get all of the cancer. I have had a couple rechecks to confirm that it hasnít
So 2 years ago (2008) I had Bariatric surgery. I have been obese my entire life. I actually canít
remember a time when I wasnít fat. The heaviest I can attest to is 441 pounds. Itís possible
that I weighed more at some time, but that is the heaviest weight I have a record of.
During the whole surgery process (pre-diet & post surgery) I have lost 250 pounds. I have
Completed several sprint triathlons, a couple 10k races, 2 half-marathons, and several shorter
distance races. I have been feeling great. Maybe a little disappointed that things havenít come
as easy as I thought they would. I seriously thought that when I dropped the weight, exercise
would be easy, that the only thing holding me back was my weight. I had always played sports,
but I had never been physically fit.
Well things had been going great. Last year I had some really bad abdominal and back pain
It was so bad that I thought it was going to make me throw up. I went into the emergency room.
They gave me an I.V. with some morphine to kill the pain. They also did x-rays and a C.T. scan
to see if they could figure out what was happening. It turns out that I had gallstones. But more importantly
they found something with my liver. There was what looked to be enlarged veins on my liver. It
apparently is also causing varises in my esophagus due to the increased pressure. So now Iím
having to take a beta-blocker medication and an anti acid medication.
Well this kicked off a whole bunch of testing. I had no history of hepatitis, or alcohol abuse or any
other liver disease, so they didnít know what was going on. I had to have my gallbladder taken out
because of the stones, so they did a liver biopsy while they were in there. The biopsy came back fine
no problems or liver disease that they could find. The next step was referral to a specialist at
the University of San Francisco.
Dr. Bass is the head of the liver transplant team at UCSF. So this had me freaked out that they were
sending me to see the head of the transplant team. Iím thinking that my life as I know it is over.
Iím starting to generate my own depression and anger over this. WTF Cancer, then I try to get myself
healthy and I end up with some liver disease or abnormality. I was feeling pretty down.
Dr. Bass didnít have any answers for me, but he did recommend some additional testing. On the good
side, he didnít think that my liver was failing or that I was in any immediate danger of falling over dead.
He was actually a very pleasant man and I enjoyed my visit with him. I wish all doctors took the time to
have the educational conversations, Q&A session we had. I think anyone who has him for a doctor is very
So out of this visit with Dr. Bass, I returned to Kaiser with a whole boat load of additional blood work tests
another C.T. scan, and an Angiography.
The C.T. scan once again confirmed the enlarged varices. I was scheduled for the Angiography. With the
Angiography they put a catheter into your femoral artery in your groin and then inject dye directly into the
Areas they want to view. This dye shows up on the x-ray equipment and they can actually follow the flow
of the blood. They sedate you for this, so you really donít feel anything, I was constantly fading in and out
of a twilight type sleep. This test confirmed that the there is a blockage of the mesenteric artery and it is
causing the blood to back to have to use alternate pathways. This peripheral circulation is causing an
increase in pressure known as portal hypertension. The auxiliary pathways are enlarged and under stress
the issue with this is it could cause internal bleeding. They also placed a catheter in my jugular vein and thread
it down into the area being tested to check the amount of pressure being created by this issue. Even though
I didnít feel either of these procedures, it still makes me squeamish to think about it.
The $100,000 question is why? They donít really know. They sent me to see a hematologist, and he doesnít
think it is a blood clotting issue. I do have two genes that are mutated and say Iím predisposed to clotting issues
but none of the testing they have done actually show that I have any clotting issues. Additionally he said that this
has been going on for a while, because it takes time for the peripheral circulation to get to the condition it is in.
He thinks that it is more likely to have been caused by one of the abdominal surgeries I had. Either the cancer
surgery or the weight loss surgery. He is leaning towards it being caused during the weight loss surgery, as they didn't see it on an earlier CT scan done during the time between the cancer surgery and the WLS but it does appear after the WLS. The good news is I wonít have to go on blood thinners, at least not at this time.
So now Iím waiting to hear whatís next. The doctor who did the Angiogram said they may want to put a coil
into the area of they portal hypertension to try and reduce the pressures. So anyhow thatís what I know so far.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 08:37:30 AM by Seht »
"The one thing I want to leave my children is an honorable name." "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."
T. Roosevelt April 10, 1899