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.



Anonymous said...

Hang in there Karen, your're doing a great job.
Your friend,


Lena Antaramian said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks so much for the update - we've been waiting to find out the results of your scans. Sorry that it is not a great news but seems like there are good treatment options out there... We will continue to follow you on your journey and please let us know if you can help with ANYTHING.

And good luck with getting Syndey and Ethen settled in school/pre-school - I can't believe how grown up they already are!

Anonymous said...

You guys are in our thoughts and prayers always.

Bea and Robbie

Don MacLeod said...

Hey Karen..

Not Great, Not Terrible but You're certainly the Best..

Hold Fast
Don MacLeod

Anonymous said...

Hey Karen,

You are an amazing person and you have the absolute best family anyone could hope for. Focus on the positives and kick that cancers butt! A new treatment is a new front of attack.

Looking forward to catching up with you guys again soon.

Love Declan, Jacqui and Kaia

PS - We still read the Fuzzy Bee to Kaia every night!

K.M. Camiolo said...

We have scan & plan on gratitude for science & folks working tirelessly to figure out options is unending. I hope your are super refreshed and strengthened by the chemo break, and that you have a great September getting the kids back to school!

You are in our prayers, always.
The Cams Crew

Jessica said...

Much love to you & your family, Karen. We are still praying for you. Kick that Cancer's butt!!

teresa loughnane said...

Hi Karen,Apologies for the delay in responding to your post but just caught up with it now as Eoghan started school on Wed also. Sorry to hear the scans are not great but as you said they are not terrible either. God bless Dr Moriarty as he continues to offer you viable options for treatment and God bless you and your fighting spirit Karen. Great to hear you all had such a good summer, North Carolina looked fab! Hard to believe Sydney is starting first grade. We still have her baby photo stuck on our fridge, alongside the pic of Eoghan and Ethan playing ball when you were home. Thinking of you all, you're always in our prayers. Love you loads
Teresa and co xx

Donna R. said...

Sending blessings and healing energy to you Karen. Thanks for the update.

Donna R.

Mike Loughnane said...

Good to hear you had a great time in North Carolina. The chemo break seems well timed for the kids start-up for school/pre-school as well as just being welcome. Best of luck with the 'spheres' treatment. Hope they eat cancer cells for breakfast.

Mickey said...

kick cancers butt karen.

Mesothlelioma Symptoms said...

I know this sounds cheesy but optimism sometimes is the best medicine.