An "adhesion" is a bit of stuff or scar tissue that forms as a result of surgery or radiation treatments. Think of adhesions as the body's attempt to secure stuff in place after a trauma.
When the doctor opened The Boy up, he found a lot of adhesions - as one would expect, considering that he's had three surgeries (counting today's) and radiation treatments. He spent the first part of the surgery cleaning up the adhesions in between the incision site and the spot. When he cleaned the adhesions and moved the liver over to get at the spot, the spot wasn't there.
His theory, based on what he saw and subsequent surgical ultrasounds, is that the spot was caused by a little bit (about a quarter to a tenth the size of the CT blip that got us scared) of vascular scar growth - think of a keeloid-type scar growth on your outer skin. The adhensions caused the rib cage / kidney / liver to fold over on itself and make that spot look huge and scary instead of the benign scar that it seems to be.
The surgeon removed a square of liver tissue which included the smaller spot and sent it to pathology. We'll get results on that in a couple or few days. The remainder of the surgery was spent cleaning up the adhesions that remained, as far as he could reach. My Facebook status / Twitter update has it about right - think of cleaning up those cobwebs and dust bunnies that appear in every corner, no matter how hard you clean.
This seems to be (we always wait for pathology before making definite proclamations) the best-case scenario. The Boy is resting in recovery right now, with no nose tube, no Foley catheter, no drains. It looks like this will not cause a major disruption in his chemotherapy regimen, and this should not cause a significant rescheduling or reformation of treatment.
Before we jump for joy, we always wait for pathology's report. But, BOY, this is a whole hell of a lot better than anything we expected. It's G-d damn nice to get some good news for a change. Lord willing, 2010 will, as the baseball guys say, make the worm turn.
Grandma just went home, leaving The Wife and me here at the hospital. The Boy should be awake within an hour, and we'll be with him through recovery. I'll be at the hospital tonight, to be relieved first thing in the morning for one more attempt to get a cavity filled. Double episode of Heroes tonight; here's to hoping that The Boy lets me watch it.