Apr 22, 2011 - 8:14 am
Well, I had one of those long deep heart-to-heart meetings with my chemo oncologist yesterday to review Monday's CT/PET scan results and try and come up with a new strategy. The GOOD news of the scan is that the cancer hasn't invaded any new organs. The bad news is that my liver mets have really taken off in the last 2 months and it looks like at least half of my liver is involved now. It was hard to look at the scan pictures as we scrolled through, with the scan from 2 months ago, side-by-side, and see how much my cancer has grown in just 2 months even though I was on Avastin/Cytoxin all that time. We reviewed the chemo drugs I haven't had yet. Most of the approved endometrial cancer drugs left to me are older ones that they don't use unless they have to because they are too harsh or less effective; and the rest of my "targeted inhibitor" options are all super new and reletively unproven for uterine cancer. And we frankly agreed that my cancer appears to be completely chemo resistant. I made it clear that I want to have a nice summer and don't want to roll the dice on something that is going to make me sick and miserable and had less than a 30% chance of working.
I think we both know that it is time that I either throw in the towel and just enjoy the time I have left, or make a bold move. SOOOOOO, although my chemo oncologist has said, and said again yesterday, that radio frequency ablation was counter-indicated because I have more cancer outside of the liver, my husband kept pushing for it. So we got the liver surgeon and the interventional radiologist on speaker phone while we were there with my oncologist. Both opened my scan on their computers for the phone consultation. Both agreed that I had too wide-spread liver mets to do ablation. But the interventional radiologist (who is the surgeon that put in my port) said that he would see me next week to see if I am a candidate for radioembolism. He said that endometrial cancers are VERY receptive to radiation. They run a camera from your groin up an artery and into your liver first to see if you are a candidate for the procedure. If I am, he would do the embolism in 2 sessions 3 weeks apart. For the treatments, radioactive microspheres travel up that same path as the camera did and are shot into the liver. Microspheres is a relatively new treatment suitable for use even in patients with extensive liver involvement. Radioactive spheres (SIR spheres or Therasphere) are injected into an artery in the liver. The spheres are like very tiny radioactive seeds. After they are injected through the liver artery, they travel into smaller arteries that feed the tumor. Once the spheres are in the tumor, they give off radiation for about three days. The radioactivity causes damage to cancer cells with little damage to the healthy liver tissue. It is a highly effective and well-tolerated regional treatment for extensive liver tumors.
Here's a link to learn about this exciting treatment:
Apparently, this is another treatment that insurance companies fight due to cost (about $80,000 a treatment), so insurance approval can take up to 60 days. Meanwhile, I am probably going to take a taxoxifen/megace pill regime, even though I am ER- and PR-, since a combo of the 2 of them has been known to work on a small percentage of ER-/PR- women for some unknown reason. & these pills are so easy to take; you still feel good and DOING something makes me feel better while I wait. My oncologist said that this interventional radiologist is VERY aggressive and does things he would personally never do, but also acknowledged that I am a very motivated patient, that over 90% of my overall cancer in my body is in my liver; and on that scale of overall health outside of cancer, I am still a "0" or a "1", which is the best rating.
I sooooo hope I am a candidate for this. This could buy me some time. Otherwise, with the speed my cancer is spreading, .......
Regardless, I plan to keep 'living large' and with joy each day! My grandkids are upstairs sleeping and we're coloring Easter eggs and going to see "Hop" this afternoon! Life is GOOD!