Something seems to have changed since my CT or the quality difference between that and the MRI.
I had the MRI done and the results were pretty positive. Dr. Sielaff said he was very happy with what the scans showed and what the chemotherapy had done. The scan showed that the tumor had shrunk vs. what the CT had shown. But still not enough. Also, the PET scan basically showed that there was little to no cancer activity going on inside the tumors!!!
But there is still that 1 tumor in a bad place. There is now some separation between the tumor and the bile ducts. But the tumor as he says, “is still in a high rent district”. What he wants is enough separation that he can get clear margins (i.e. when he does the surgery he not only takes out the tumor but also some healthy tissue surrounding it). If I was out of options he could try and do the surgery now, but I still have options. Dr. Sielaff called Dr. Duane(my Oncologist) and they felt my body was getting too toxic from the chemo., so no more chemo for the time being. Dr. Sielaff then explained that it was now time to try some radiation. So I was quickly whisked out of his office and over to the Radiologists office. They recommended SIRT (Selective Internal Radiation Therapy) for my tumor. What they do is go up through an artery in my leg and drop beads of radiation in the blood stream that goes up to the liver. The beads of radiation apparently attack the cancer cells further breaking them down. This type of radiation is given to only people with disease on their liver and only if they don’t have too much disease. The first step is an initial evaluation of blood work, scans(MRI/PET) and general health. The second step is an angiogram in which they analyze the flow of blood between the liver and the lungs. If the liver is sending the lungs too much of its blood then they can’t do the procedure as the radiation will damage the lungs. The third step is the actual procedure. The procedure takes about 90 minutes but there is prep time and recovery time, so that the whole process takes about 6 hours. I am only partially put under for the procedure-similar to a colonoscopy. The side effects vary widely from feeling nothing the next day, to others who get a fever and feel like they have the flu for most of a week. Then they wait 3 months before they do a scan to see what the results are. If everything goes the way Dr. Sielaff envisions it will, then he would be able to remove the last tumor(s) sometime in June.
One very interesting note came out during the evaluation by the radiologist. She said they usually have a target amount of radiation they administer based on the PET scan results showing how much cancer the patient has. She said colon cancer cells really light up PET scans well, but mine really didn’t light up. She then said, “your PET scan basically shows no sign of disease.” I am still in shock of that statement. The MRI and CT still show that the tumors exist, but they seem/appear almost dead.
We still move forward with all the procedures as the concern is that the tumors are not completely dead and their may be newer/smaller cells growing next to them.
It was a very positive/overwhelming day. I still haven’t fully processed it myself but wanted to share it with you. It is only by God’s Grace that I am where I am now. Still a long road ahead, but Goliath just took a whipping today and it had nothing to do with me…
Be blessed for your faithful prayers, comments and thoughts.
p.s. Keep those prayers coming. If you didn’t get a chance, read Vicki’s comments from that last post.