Through the Keyhole is a Panel Game Show on telly originally hosted by Lloyd Grossman (who?) and then Sir David Frost. It was resurrected last year hosted by Keith Lemon.
Sorry to disappoint you but this blog is about a different type of keyhole. Today I’m on ‘K’ words (I drew a blank on J).
After I had major surgery in Nov 2010, I left the hospital knowing that I’d be returning later for another but I needed to be fit enough first. This took some time but in Apr 2011, I returned for further surgery, this time on my liver to remove several secondary tumours. I was told it would be done using ‘keyhole’ surgery. Fortunately for me, Neil Pearce is one of the world’s most experienced keyhole liver surgeons and has been responsible for training consultant surgeons from every liver unit in the UK in these techniques since 2007. I was in safe hands.
Keyhole or its correct term ‘Laparoscopy’ is a minimally invasive surgical technique allowing a surgeon to access the abdominal area without having to make large incisions in the skin. Interestingly the abdomen is pumped full of gas to give the surgeon space to work. I actually had 3 holes for 3 ‘Labrascopes’ and a 3″ inch incision in my lower abdomen where the ‘bits’ were removed. The surgery removed approximately two-thirds of my liver! It’s difficult to find any scars or marks today. I was home after 6 days and back to work after 3 weeks. The liver is an amazing and important organ and I may cover a section on that later.
All malignant tumours have to be graded (not to be confused with staging which is concerned with spread rather than aggressiveness). There are simple descriptions (e.g. low, medium and high or 1, 2 or 3). All of my biopsies (either diagnostic or post surgical) have been given a Ki-67 score. Ki-67 is a proliferation index that is detected by a process called ‘immunohistochemical staining’ – this is calculated by a Pathologist. When a tumour cell tests positive for Ki-67, the tumour is actively growing. My scores were low but different in each part of the body. My primary actually tested <1 which is very low but preceding that, my liver biopsy during diagnosis was listed as 5+ indicating a medium grade for Neuroendocrine disease. My left armpit nodes tested <5 indicating a low or medium grade.
Some of you may now be noticing I’ve become a bit ‘geekie’ on medical matters. Correct!
If you have any questions about my cancer, how my life has changed, my experience since diagnosis or any tips for dealing with it, then please let me know as this will provide me with ideas for future blogs.
Actually, I’m happy to cover my views on any matter except football, religion or politics!