Thursday, October 28, 2010

Simple Ghosts

I was blog-hopping and found a simple project that I loved. I can't find the site that I saw it on, but here is where she said she found it.

I found LED Christmas lights at Walmart, followed the instructions and here is what I got. I still love them!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Oncologist and liver surgery

Jeanine went to see the Oncologist today. He told her that since the Liver Surgeon thinks the liver is operable and that they think they can remove all of the cancer in the liver, he has taken away his objections to her surgery.

He wants her to have a PET scan, if the insurance company will ok it. He says that the kidney cancer does not always show up on it, but if it does, they will be able to tell if her cancer has spread anywhere else. If she has the PET scan and it shows other cancer spots, he will meet with her and explain her options. If the PET scan is not approved or if it shows no other cancer, he says that she can have the surgery. He also told her that liver surgery is a very, very difficult one. She is willing to go through the suffering for the chance to have years (hopefully) of remission.

She was so happy to hear that he had taken away his objections. It's a wait and see game again. We do know that if she has surgery, it cannot be before the 15th of November. She has to be off Avastin for 28 days before surgery.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Liver Surgeon

Jeanine went to see the liver surgeon this week despite objections that her Oncologist expressed to her in a phone conversation the previous Friday. Her Oncologist told her that her chemo was working so there was no need to operate.

She got mixed results from the surgeon. He told her that he could see no reason that he couldn't remove the right lobe of her liver. It would be a very major surgery with a significant recovery time, but he could do it. But... he also told her that he would not do it without her Oncologist's approval. He told her that her Oncologist was a great doctor and he must have a good reason why he felt she shouldn't get a portion of her liver removed. He told her to go back to her Oncologist and find out why. He suggested that there might be other indicators of her cancer having spread beyond the liver that she has not heard about.

For the first time, we also heard the reason that no one has suggested a PET scan, a major indicator of the presence of cancer cells through out the body. We were told that kidney cancer does not react to the radioactive glucose that is the major part of the PET scan's ability to diagnose cancer.

So... Jeanine has an appointment to see her Oncologist next week. We'll see what he has to say. In the meantime, her pain is lessening and she finds herself able to cut back on her pain meds. Hopefully this does mean that her chemo is working.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Interventional Radiologist

Jeanine went to see an Interventional Radiologist today. He went through the scan that she had last week and told her that there were a couple of things that he might be able to do for her, but he would prefer for her to go see a doctor who specializes in liver surgery first and explore her options there. Jeanine already has that appointment scheduled for next week.

While we were there, though, I got to see for the first time how much of her liver is cancerous. About 2/3 to 3/4 of the right lobe has cancer running throughout. Her left lobe, though, seems to be clear.

On the report from her scan, it says that the cancer is less dense even though it remains the same size. It was explained that this was necrosis, the death (in this case) of cancer cells in the middle of the tumor in the liver from lack of a blood supply. Because Jeanine is receiving Avastin, this could mean that her treatment is working. According the the Radiologist, it is also the norm that in such a big tumor for the center cells to die from lack of blood flow. It could be just the normal progression of the cancer.

So, for the time being, Jeanine will continue with her therapy and pain meds and we'll see what she finds out next week.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fun? over the weekend

Jeanine had her second dose of Avastin on Friday. She called me in a panic on Saturday morning. She had just taken her blood pressure and it was 178/128. I thought it was a good reason to be worried.

She called her oncologist's office and told them of her issue (this was just the highest of the fluctuating blood pressure numbers.) The on-call oncologist returned her call an hour later and told her to go get checked out. He didn't say where, so we headed to an Urgent Care facility. The doctor there talked with her for quite a while, but what he basically told her is that her treatment and her health issues required advice from the oncologist, not him. He told her to go home and call her oncologist's office again and tell them where she had gone and get some answers from him.

When she got home, she called the oncologist's answering service and it was obvious that they immediately talked to the doctor. She got a return call in just a matter of a few moments rather than an hour later. The doctor told her to double up on her blood pressure medicine and come in to see someone on Monday. Her blood pressure did not go up to the same levels again, but she has run around +/- 150/100 since her visit to Urgent Care.