Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cleared for Surgery on the 26th, November

Karen's doing well. She has recovered from last chemo and working on building up her strength for surgery. The surgery itself has been scheduled for the 23rd 26th of November, Friday the Monday after Thanksgiving. This doesn't leave much time and the few weeks we have are literally flying by.

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.


Anonymous said...

I found your blog through a search engine on the internet. I am 26 years old and was diagnosed with state iii colon cancer on Oct. 31, 2006. I had six weeks of chemo and radiation, followed my surgery, and just finished my 8th chemo treatment (of 12) for what is hopefully on my last round of chemo. I am married and have a three year old daughter. I am praying for you and your wife as the surgery approaches. Good luck


Don said...


I'm dancing a happy news jig…

Hold Fast

Don MacLeod

Scott said...

I'm so happy to see the good news. Fingers crossed and good vibes for an smooth surgery.

marc said...

Citi Equities Tech is with you guys!

Anonymous said...

YEAH! That's what I'm talking about! Way to kick arse, guys. Sorry I missed you this weekend, but I hope that you and Karen had a GREAT Saturday!
Talk soon.

vasantha said...

Here's wishing karen a successful and uneventful surgery and speedy recovery. I will pray for you and your family.