Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sixth Chemo - Pump Removed

Karen's exhausted today, primarily from chemo. Generally when she's tired it's either from chemo or from the drugs she takes to ease chemo, all of which make you drowsy. Today it's from chemo alone.

She had her pump removed and as always we got a CEA reading. Unfortunately the CEA has stayed roughly the same as last time. I spoke to the nurses and they assured me that this is still not a bad thing. There will be disappointments along the way with cancer and this is just one of them. The fact that it's dropped so much since we started is still a good thing.

I've also had conversations with our insurance as Sloan Kettering (our preferred location for surgery) is out of network for us. They've initiated the process of obtaining a case-worker to be dedicated to our case and will see what comes of it.

We will know more after round seven but for now I'm gritting my teeth and adopting the McCloud motto: Hold Fast!


Julia said...

Karen, Francis, & family:

I've been thinking of you since our emails. I'm sharing your story with friends, considering how alike our cancers are.

Sloan-Kettering is THE place to be in your part of town. Many Drs at The City of Hope only have awesome things to say about treatment there. I think they are sharing info back and forth in regards to their clinical trials. I am in Phase II, clinical trial 06060 at The City of Hope, Duarte, California. When you get into Sloan-Kettering, ask about it. It's still the standard chemo given to colorectal cancer paitients, but 1 extra drug in addition. You get extra-special attention with many more Drs at your call. You will be closely monitered if accepted into this trial, well, any clinical trial you would.'s a link:,

With Wamth,


PS: Don't let your insurance company bully you. FIGHT for Sloan-Kettering!

Anonymous said...

MSNBC.COM posted article: "Updated: 6:37 a.m. MT June 5, 2007
CHICAGO - Scientists reported promising gains Monday for treating colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver, showing that chemotherapy before and after surgery to remove liver tumors can help keep the disease in check....." Article titled "Treatment Helps Stop Colon Cancer Spread"

marc said...

Keep forging on Francis. We in ASAP are pulling for Karen and you!


Don Macleod said...

Hey Francis

Hope Karen got some rest. BCBS provided a case worker for both my surgeries. Their service helped & they shared some good insights. Karen’s blog will certainly help get yours up to speed.

Hold Fast

PS, The oncology nurse is right; chemo shifts most things from what might be normal. Don’t over think any single measurement. I had a problem with that……

Kristin C. said...

Just thinking of you today...

Hoping you feel stronger each day, in body & spirit.

Good luck on the insurance front. We had a full bore linear panic in January when Dave's company changed insurance, it looked like our neuro-onc & hospital weren't covered...but they were. Yikes. I hear you on the cost front. Each scan G has is over $7,000...and in 2 weeks we'll be on scan #15. Add in 2 shunt surgeries, 1 craniotomy, 2 port insertions, one heart catheterization, 2 port removals, 2 years of chemo, 1 ambulance ride to Philly (that one hurt on the $ front), 3 years of clinic visits...and a partridge in a pear tree, we're ever grateful for insurance.

And we had a "complex case manager" for a while...which was kind of helpful, except that I kept having to explain & spell so many things about diagnosis, etc. But she was helpful.

I hope that everything gets worked out pre-surgery, and you can be at peace with the details.

hang in there...YOU CAN DO IT!

Kristin & the G-Force! (well, Genna and the rest of the family)