Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Scan News - Not Great, Not Terrible

Greetings ya'll! I hope everyone is enjoying the end of their summers.

I had an MRI done on Monday to see the progress of the last 5 months of treatment and Fran and I met with Dr. Moriarty this morning. The tumor is, of course, still there in my liver. It did grow but not by much.

My last scan was March 18th 2010, but that was post cryoablation and there was still inflammation and swelling so the measurement of that tumor would not be accurate. So since last Oct/Nov the tumor was 1.6 by 1.3 cm., and this measurement was 2.9 by 1.9 cm. There was no new growth found in my liver or elsewhere. The MRI didn't scan my lungs and I am very paranoid about having tumors there, so I asked Dr. Moriarty about that and about getting a CT scan done. He said he doesn't and isn't very concerned that there is tumor growth but he has scheduled one for me regardless.

He also wants to take a different treatment plan approach. It is called SIR-spheres, or (SIRT-spheres) and is another targeted, localized therapy like ablation but it involves radiation without damaging healthy liver tissue.

Dr. Moriarty wants us to see a Dr. John Nosher out of Robert Wood Johnson in New Brunswick, so we will be setting that stuff up over the next week or so. Since we are looking at a different treatment option path I get a bit of a break from chemo and erbitux Hurrrrrayyyy!!! That made me very happy to hear, part of me didn't care what the reason was, I am just so happy to get a break, give my family a break, and be able to focus on getting Sydney settled into first grade, and Ethan into his last year in preschool, or rather pre-k (just to be official).

The reason(s) Moriarty is changing things up, is, to my understanding,
  1. because the spheres work by flowing through the blood vessels feeding the tumor - and a major one (the inferior vena cava or IVC) is. I am a good candidate for this procedure,
  2. it gives my mind and body a break from chemo, and if it's successful will give me more time with a hopefully dead tumor until some new treatment comes down the pike.
I do have chemo options (thank God), but this is just another treatment we can use to get this tumor defunct.

So it's kind of a mixed bag of emotions. At the end of the day it still rots to have cancer. But I am grateful that being someone that has stage 4 CC, has it in one localized area and that in the past year it hasn't grown much or anywhere else due to the different treatments I have been able to get.

I am also very grateful to have Dr. Moriarty as my oncologist. He has never been idle in treating me and this stupid disease. I know I wouldn't be here if it weren't for him.

When we get the full picture of what's going on next I will definitely be updating. I hope everyone had a great summer. We had an awesome time going camping, going to Texas and we just returned from an amazing time in Topsail, North Carolina playing on the beach everyday. The summer went by so fast, but I am looking forward to the fall and some cooler weather, and seeing what the next few months hold for us.

God Bless.