We had a consultation with Dr Moriarty last week. He had reviewed the results from Karen's colonoscopy biopsy and was very up beat. The colonoscopy on visual inspection revealed that Karen's primary tumor had disappeared. The biopsy results revealed even better news; that the cancer is not detectable at the cellular level in her colon. We asked if this was good, he said "yes, VERY good". In Dr Dan's words "she has had a 'complete response' to the chemo".
Surgery's job will be to remove the remaining tumors in her liver.
Dr Dan gave us the following tidbit; The percentage of people who's tumors disappear from chemo is small. Maybe less than 10%. Of those people, the percentage of who's tumors are no longer detectable through biopsy is less than 5%. So like I always knew; Karen is very special.
When Dr Moriarty started in 1985, the percentage of people who were chemo resistant was about 95%. Only about 5% of folks actually responded to chemo. These days, with Avastin and other drugs, things have improved substantially. These developments are so new (Avastin is only on the market since 2003-4) that the statistics have yet to be adjusted to reflect these improvements.
On the insurance front; after many phone calls and back and forth with the insurance company and our surgeon it has been determined that Dr Ravikumar is out of network. This would ordinarily leave us footing a 5 to 6 digit bill. By some miracle, Dr Ravikumar has agreed to accept the out-of-network payment offered by the insurance company and waive the remainder. God is sending us the help we need.
Between now and the surgery date Karen has a number of pre-admission tests to do, including various scans, X-Rays, blood tests, MRIs and so on. We also have to squeeze in some Christmas shopping. This year my list will be short, but I know exactly what I want.
Before we left we asked how Dr Dan felt about the surgery. He said "I'm excited".
We are too.