Dear friends and family:
Elaine just finished her 2nd procedure in as many days and the news is much brighter than yesterday’s message The interventional radiologist inserted an “internal/external” drain through her skin and through her liver, then threaded it into the bile duct, reopening the passage so the bile could drain. (Elaine was mildly sedated but awake through this, and watched on a monitor.)
Over the next few days, her pallor, which has been the color of a ripe banana, should return to normal. As the bile flows freely again, her ducts, which have been swollen and dilated, should subside. Things should get much better.
The question now is what caused the blockage. The team was unable to take “brushings” of the cells for evaluation during this procedure, because the site is inflamed. They’ll do this when the drain is removed. Elaine’s history means that the top candidates are metastatic tumors. But her PET/CT 5 weeks ago was negative, and the CT done a week ago showed no masses. So there could be other explanations: scar tissue, a stone that nicked the duct as it passed, or some completely new condition.
Elaine’s physician team has agreed that the best path now is to let her bile ducts “cool down” over the next couple weeks before the next step of trying to determine the source of the obstruction.
The good news is that Elaine remains in good spirits. She is alert, mostly comfortable and, other than being horrified at what’s coming out of the drain, in good shape. It appears now that she can go home tomorrow afternoon.
Thanks again for hanging in there with us.