Tuesday, June 23, 2009
AE's Cancer Update
From an email sent to a huge list of people, so I feel okay sharing with you all:
Dear Loved Ones,
As most of you are aware, Bat had a follow-up appointment at Mayo Clinic on Monday, June 22nd. In the morning, there were the usual blood tests followed by an MRI scan. Late in the afternoon, Bat and Christa saw Dr. Pitot, who reviewed the tests and MRI scan. The blood tests were generally good and revealed no appreciable changes. The MRI scan was compared to the MRI scan taken at Mayo Clinic 6 months ago, and the MRI scan taken at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay approximately 5 weeks ago. The scan showed no change from 1 month ago, but there has been definite progression of the tumor in the liver compared to 6 months ago.
At this point, it appears that the monthly injections Bat has been receiving are no longer sufficiently effective at slowing the tumor growth. Dr. Pitot feels that Bat is definitely a candidate for further treatment, and has explained 2 possible treatment options.
The first option would be to re-embolize the liver in an attempt to cut off the blood supply to the tumor and thereby temporarily stop or slow it's growth. It would require 2 or possibly 3 trips to Mayo Clinic, each spaced about a month apart, and would require hospitalization for 2 to 4 days, maybe slightly longer, at each session. Bat had this done 7 years ago and had good results. Dr. Pitot did emphasize that repeat embolizations are usually not as effective as the first embolizations, but he felt it was definitely worth considering. He believed that the risk of serious complications, such as liver or renal failure, to be maybe 5 to 10 percent, which he thought to be acceptable in view of the serious nature of Bat's disease.
The second therapeutic option would be to start chemotherapy, which could be administered here in Green Bay by the local oncologist, Dr. Winkler, in collaboration with Dr. Pitot. This would require intravenous administration of probably 1 or 2 chemotherapeutic drugs on 5 successive days as an outpatient, followed by a 3 to 6 week rest period. The cycle would then be repeated for as long as the regimen was effective. Bat would probably experience the usual side effects such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss, loss of appetite, sores in the mouth, and diarrhea, and these would occur following every successive round of drug administration. Dr. Pitot believed that the risk of serious side effects requiring stopping chemotherapy completely would again be approximately 5 to 10 percent.
Dr. Pitot was unaware of any investigational drugs or therapeutic trials for which Bat would qualify.
Overall, Dr. Pitot believes that either therapeutic option would have the same probable effectiveness in controlling the growth of the tumor. Bat and Christa were urged to consider the options, and make a decision as quickly as possible.
After much prayer, and with God’s guidance, Bat and Christa have decided to proceed with re-embolization as soon as possible. Hopefully, they will have a date scheduled for the procedure by the end of tomorrow.
If anyone has a question about the medical and/or technical aspects of the above information, please feel free to email Gary Miller at: firstname.lastname@example.org..
Please pray for Bat .