Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Surgery before Christmas?

Karen's doing well. Earlier this week Karen managed to get a cancellation at the surgeon's so we met with Doctor Chamberlain today. We are a few steps closer to a concrete plan.

The location of the tumor is above a critical vein in Karen's liver. Normally you'd have 2 or 3 veins going in and out of the liver but because of Karen's resection she has only 1 left. That's not a big deal but the location of the tumor is fairly close to this vein and that makes surgery very difficult.

Our best option is Radio Frequency Ablation which involves burning the tumor with radio waves. The radio waves must heat the tumor to 70C for a 14 mins in order to get a good kill. The vein will act as a heat sink since blood is flowing through it, cooling the cells. It is also likely that the radiologist will not want to burn that close to the vein.

To get the remaining cells we'll resort to Cyberknife which is targeted radiation. This can get close to the vein which will tolerate the radiation pretty well. On the flip side the liver doesn't tolerate radiation very well so we're trying to minimize the amount of radiation by using the RFA first.

The game plan is yet to be confirmed but Chamberlain is trying to get us in next Monday or Tuesday (21st or 22nd of December). The RFA would involve a night or two in hospital but overall be non-invasive. The Cyberknife would not be done until a few weeks into January.

Appointments are still being made and hopefully we find out tomorrow what the schedule is.


Anonymous said...


Teresa Loughnane said...

We'll be praying that all goes well next week so that you can all have an extra special Xmas and that God will grant you the gift of good health for 2010.
Teresa xx

Melanie Walker said...

I saw a Dr. Schwartz for my radiation treatment almost 10 years ago. In January in will be 10 yrs since my surgery! Is your Dr. Schwartz at Overlook? He was good!
I wish you all the best with your upcoming hurdles. I think about you every day!
Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Karen and Frances,

I wish you all the best, a Christmas miracle and a happy....healthy long life.

I hope and pray to God that everything will be good for you Karen.


Colm said...

Our thoughts and prayers for for to have a wonderful Christmas and good health in 2010
Michael and Joan

Don MacLeod said...

Certainly I understand we don’t always control when treatment opportunities align. God Bless you and I wish your family together & joyful for Christmas.

Hold Fast
Don MacLeod & Family

disease awareness said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Suzanne said...

Dear Karen, Just read the blog- I haven't checked it in a while and I am speechless and so sorry. Needless to say, we will boost up our prayers for you- if you need ANYTHING- please e-mail or call- Rachel babysits if you need that, or really anything. I'm so sorry my friend- may Jesus hold you close.


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