Who needs a gallblader anyway?


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There’s a few ‘G’ items to talk about so here goes……


There wasn’t really anything wrong with my gallbladder but it had to go.  You may have read previously that I receive a monthly injection of a ‘snazzy’ drug which keeps me well.  However, long term use of this drug has certain side effects, one being the risk of gallstone formation in up to 50% of cases.  Gallstones can not only be very painful but they can potentially be life threatening. On top of what I had already endured, future surgery to treat gallstones or to remove my gallbladder could be riskier than it might normally have been, so it was conveniently removed during a second major operation on my liver (the gallbladder is located very close).

The gallbladder plays an important role in the digestion of food by storing bile produced in the liver until it is needed for digesting fatty foods in the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).  Bile now flows down the bile ducts from my liver into my duodenum. Clearly this isn’t as efficient as using the gallbladder with ‘on-demand’ bile and so produces its own side effects.  In my own experience, this can be offset to a certain degree by making minor adjustments to diet.

Gallium PET Scans

One of the difficulties with Neuroendocrine Cancer is actually pinning down the precise location of the tumours as they can be small, they can hide in awkward places and sometimes they can be difficult to display correctly on conventional scanners.   Previously the gold standard of scan for Neuroendocrine patients is the ‘Octreotide’ Scan which can ‘light up’ neuroendocrine tumours on a gamma camera.  However, the Gallium PET scan, which works in a similar way, is even more sensitive and its better results can affect a doctor’s decisions on how to treat patients.   Despite this, there is only one hospital in the UK (in London) which has the license to use it.  Please sign this e-petition and share widely to address this lack of access to a potentially life saving diagnostic tool. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/56106


There are few events I would describe as a milestone in my lifetime.  Without doubt one for me is becoming a grandfather!   I’m now a very proud and doting grandfather to 4 boys – Ben (10), Sam (8), Thomas (5) and Charlie (1¾).  When I see them, the feeling of pride, emotion and love is like the first time, it never seems to subside.  I intend seeing them grow up, finish eduction, get jobs, get married and have their own kids 


One thought on “Who needs a gallblader anyway?

  • Stephen McKechnie

    I love your comments about your Grandsons Ronny – I also have 4 grandchildren and they are such an immense source of love and enjoyment. Yours grandsons are, and will continue to be a great spur on this journey of yours.

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