Monday, July 21, 2008

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0969 - Our New Treatment Plan

My wife and I met with the oncologist today who specializes in liver surgery.

On the diagnostic side, he confirmed that there were three, not two lesions, two on the left lobe and one on the right. It is the one on the right that is the difficult one since it sits adjacent to both the biliary duct and the hepatic portal vein.

So, among the several options we considered, I chose what I think offers the best survival odds. It’s a two-stage surgical approach with chemotherapy after the first and second stages. Currently, my first surgery will be on 10-Sept to cut out a large chunk of the left hepatic lobe, removing the two lesions that are more readily dealt with surgically. After about a month, I’ll start chemotherapy with Avastin and FOLFIRI. That will take approximately 12 weeks, if there aren’t any complications. Then, we’ll restage the remaining lesion to see if it has shrunk enough to allow a second surgery on the right side of the liver. During the restaging we will also be checking to see if any further lesions have developed.

During chemotherapy, we’re hoping to have some liver re-growth on the left side so that if and when we can do the right side, there will be more liver function available in what liver tissue is left. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy will almost certainly damage the liver, making surgery difficult at best.

So…the news overall isn’t great. But we have a plan, a very aggressive plan.

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