The results are in…

Finally, after a week of never parting from my phone, hoping to hear some news from my Shands’ doctor, I received a call from him today. I love how he always finds the positives and always remains optimistic. He repeated many times, that we have been doing a “fantastic” job at controlling the cancer in my body. So the good news are that 1) the results from the PET scan showed that whatever is on my lungs has remained stable. He didn’t even want to call it “cancer” as we will never know if the spots are cancerous until we biopsy them, but at this time, they are all too small to biopsy. Nothing lit up on my lungs on the PET scan so yes that is good news. 2) The left side of my liver is showing “No Signs of Disease”! To me this is a bit surprising as it was my right side that received the radiation beads. The left side was not treated. In any case, he seemed pretty excited about this, well I guess I am too!. The not so good news is that there was metabolic activity in the right side of the liver. The radiation beads did not completely do the job they were supposed to do. My doctor discussed that despite these results, he still thinks that the radiation beads helped reduce the tumor burden on the liver and that as unfortunate as having my gallbladder go bad, we made the best out of surgery and got the tumor in the colon out at the same time, so that is a “plus”! He indicated that the colon resection was healing well and there was no sign of cancer in that region. So the biggest concern is the right side of my liver that has either stopped responding to this chemo or never really responded to it. They discussed my case with a multidisciplinary team at their tumor board meeting yesterday and apparently, everyone agreed that I should go back on the initial cocktail that I was on called “Folfox”. They will also put me back on an angiogenesis drug called “avastin”, we had decided to hold off on taking it to see if that could help the blood vessels in my liver and give a chance to the hepatic artery to open back up (it had been dissected during the radiation beads procedure). Unfortunately, the artery is still closed and they don’t believe it will re-open so this means that we will never be able to treat the liver with the beads again. On the up side though, when I asked my doctor how many active spots we were talking about, he mentioned 4 that he could see on the PET scan. I am not sure how accurate that number is, but it is definitely better than hearing “too many to count”. I asked him if we could do a micowave ablation of the spots and he told me that if I only had one or 2 spots that he would be in favor of doing this but since I have more, he is concerned about the potential complications and even said that in my case it seems like “if something can go wrong it will” lol! so he is not willing to take the risk at this time because a complication would mean being off chemo for a chunk of time, something I can’t afford for the moment. He also explained that chances are, there are more tiny seeds of cancer in the liver and he wants to target them ASAP. He also said that we could reconsider this option after Folfox and that hopefully there won’t be anything to treat then.

So my next infusion shall be Folfox. It was definitely a harder cocktail than the one I have been on so I am bracing myself for the next wave. This cocktail causes permanent neuropathy which I have to some degree in my feet already from the first time I was on it so they plan on monitoring me closely. Because of this, they will “only” do 6 rounds of it, every other week, covering a span of 3 months and then we will re-scan. To look at the bright side, I like the idea of having a set number of rounds as opposed to being told that I would be on it until it stops working. The scary part though is that as of now there are only 2 “big guns” chemo for me and we know that the one that I was currently on is not doing it for me. I asked my oncologist if it was better to save Folfox for later when we really needed it and he said no, he said something like it is my best chance at being here “later”. He mentioned for the first time a clinical trial that he thinks would be good for me but said that in 6 to 8 months this trial would be even better so he prefers that I wait…

I can’t say that I am super excited about re-starting this chemo but it is true that it is the treatment that gave me the best results so far, I will do anything and everything that I can but you all know that already…

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2 thoughts on “The results are in…

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