Things did not go as planned today. We were called back to talk to the surgeon after he had been in the operating room for just two hours, and we knew the news wasn’t going to be good. After making the incision and looking in his abdominal cavity, he found more disease than expected. The one tumor that was causing the blockage symptoms was pressing against his bowel in several different places, so he wasn’t able to remove it. Had he attempted to do that, it was very likely to cause irreversible bowel damage. He did remove two liters of fluid (ascites), and that should make Brandon a little less uncomfortable as far as bloating, but he wasn’t able to remove the cancer.
The recommendation now is to move forward with systemic chemo to shrink the tumor and enable him to eat solid food again, which will be the first step toward getting stronger and fighting this disease. He said Brandon will need about two weeks to recover from the actual surgery, and then we need to get started right away on the new treatment plan. He is going to bring in a GI oncologist who has experience with both chemo and immunotherapy in treating cancers of the stomach. We will look into as many treatment options as possible and get him started as soon as possible. He will have to stay on the IV nutrition (TPN) until the tumor shrinks enough to let food pass through comfortably and without making him nauseous.
Brandon is holding up as well as can be expected. He’s ready to get on with this and stand up to cancer, as we all are.