Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jeanine's latest prognosis

Jeanine has asked me to let you know that we went to see the Oncologist today. Jeanine has had several tests and has had severe pain in her liver for about 3 weeks. As I explained in an earlier post, she went to see the office PA when it started. The PA put her on Vicodine.

We spent some time talking to the Oncologist and going over her diagnosis with him. The cancer in her liver and nearby lymph nodes is growing. It has not spread anywhere else at this point. He explained that the pain is coming from that growth. Her liver is functioning fine and will continue to do so for some time since it needs very little mass to continue to function. She will continue on Vicodine as long as she is in pain and it is effective. It is managing her pain well at this point.

On Friday, she will start on Torisel. It is administered by IV and she will receive it once a week. It is hoped that it will stop the cancer from growing. The doctor believes that there is no drug that will make her cancer-free. He says that this drug has the fewest side effects, the most prevalent being a red rash that will spread over her body. She will be on this drug until it is no longer effective. There are a handful of other drugs that they can try if Torisel does not work or if (when) it quits working.

Jeanine and I were surprised by some of the things the doctor told us. He said that her hair loss is caused by her cancer and not the drugs she was/is on. Her hair has gotten noticeably thinner, but she does not have bare spots as of yet.

He also told us that the cancer in the liver will not kill her. It will be the side effects of the cancer. The cancer will weaken her immune system and make her susceptible to infections. She may lose her appetite. She may start to get weak.

Lastly, she asked the Oncologist what she should expect her life expectancy to be. He stated 1 or 2 years.

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