On September 6th, Brent was admitted to Emory Midtown in Atlanta with symptoms of constipation, loss of appetite / rapid weight loss, and yellow / jaundiced itchy skin. After a CT scan the evening of the 6th the doctors informed Brent on the morning of the 7th, that he has Stage IV colon cancer which started with a large tumor in the colon and has now spread to the liver and the peritoneum (the membrane that surrounds the organs). At this time the tumors are not able to be operated on without first being shrunk by chemo, radiation or other options.
One of the more urgent issues that doctors discovered is that the tumors in the liver were enlarged and were pressing on the bile ducts, that allow the liver to drain properly and play its proper role in the digestive process. This is what had been causing the yellow skin, itchiness and possibly constipation as well. On Friday September 8th, Brent underwent a minor surgical procedure to have a biliary drain installed in his liver which allows the liver to properly drain bile into the small intestine where the bile plays a large role in the digestion of fats. The doctors were able to place the drain, providing Brent the option to drain bile internally or externally through a drain port in his abdomen into an exterior collection bag. While the surgery was a success, it was not without its complications. Over the past few weeks Brent has been dealing with Pancreatitis which was irritated by the surgery, fevers and an infection from a more permanent IV line that the hospital had installed, and general sickness that the doctors are still trying to diagnose e.g. high white blood count even after the infection is gone, high bilirubin levels despite the liver having a new port etc.
Moving forward the plan is to do abut 6 months of aggressive chemotherapy with a break around the 3 month mark to operate on the liver tumors. They are too big to operate on now, and the liver couldn't hold up to surgery after 6 months of chemo. So most likely the doctors will start scanning around mid-December and operate just after the new year. All that is assuming that Brent gets well in the next few weeks so that he is able to start chemo soon.
We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting our CaringBridge website. We will continue to use it to keep family and friends updated on Brent's progress.