Microwave Ablation and Radioactive beads for liver tumors

Joan M
Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member

I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer the end of February 2016.  At the time I was told  my only option for treatment was chemotherapy.  I had 8 rounds of Oxaliplatin, Leucovorin, Avastin, and 5FU.  July 2016 I went on maintainence chemo of Avastin every 3 weeks and Xeloda for 14 days then 7 off. 

Yesterday I recieved great news!  My have tumors continued to shrink and some have disappeared completely.  In fact, my doctor said there is no visible evidence of the tumor in my colon that started this nightmare.  He said that looking at the most recent scan he wouldn't even be able to tell I ever had colon cancer.  Some of the tumors in my liver and lungs have also disappeared. (I had 20 in my liver and 12 in my lungs) However, several in my liver remain, and at least one that is about 9mm in my left lung.   

I met with an Interventional oncogoly radiatiologist and he now is willing to do Microwave Ablation on the largest tumor on the right lobe of my liver.  It is a little over 3 cm and has a few small "satelite tumors" that he said he can hit with the microwave ablation.  He is also going to perform the microwave ablation on the tumor in my left lung.  I first heard about radio frequency ablation through members on this forum, and am very thankful for the sharing of knowledge and treatments by all on this board.   

This procedure will be scheduled in a couple weeks. I want to wait until my new grandaughter is born.  She is due next week and I am helping out with my 5 year old grandaughter during that time. I am very happy that I am still here to welcome this precious baby into the world!  

I will wait a few more weeks or next month to have a seperate procedure called radioembolization on the left lobe of my liver that has several small tumors and one that is about 2cm.  This is where they inject radioactive beads into the femoral artery which "get stuck" in the tumors, and emit radiation for 60 days killing off the tumors, but leaving the healthy liver tissue unharmed. I heard about the beads when I was diagnosed and was told I was not a candidate for that procedure due to having so many tumors in both sides of the liver, and those in my lungs. 

Even though these procedures will effectively kill the tumors, they will not "cure" me.  However, they are supposed to delay the progression of the disease by years, rather than months.  

I am very excited that these procedures will be done in Fargo ND by a very skilled oncologist who trained at John Hopkins, and did rotations at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas.  My family is very happy that I do not have to be away from them.  We all thought I would have to travel to Houston to find the cutting edge technology and a highly skilled doctor, but it looks like MD Anderson has came to Fargo!  

Thank you to all that have shared your success with new treatments on this board for spreading the knowledge and hope of survival!  

Joan  

 

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Comments

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,754 Member
    How exciting!

    I am happy to hear that they can move forward with an ablation and the Y90.  It sounds weird to be excited about surgery, but it means added life expectancy and that is a huge bonus. 

    And a new grandchild, how wonderful is that!

    I pray for a wonderful and healthy future.

    TRU

  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    Trubrit said:

    How exciting!

    I am happy to hear that they can move forward with an ablation and the Y90.  It sounds weird to be excited about surgery, but it means added life expectancy and that is a huge bonus. 

    And a new grandchild, how wonderful is that!

    I pray for a wonderful and healthy future.

    TRU

    Thank you Tru!

    Thank you Tru!

    I am very excited!  The Ablation on the tumors in the left lobe of my liver is scheduled for January 19th.  The radioactive bead therapy will be done in a few weeks.  Studies have shown that it can double the disease free progression on average from 12 months to 24 months.  That is an "average"  so depending on each persons biology and reactions to the treatments, it could be more years for some of us.  I am praying that I will be free of the disease for many years!

    I will post the results after the Ablation next week.

    Joan

  • dancer2
    dancer2 Member Posts: 49
    edited January 2017 #4
    where to go

    i live in s. nevada and would like to know where all of you go to get treatment because i am being left with something called lonsurf of which there is not much out there and i/ have wanted the mets to liver resected out since the beginning but neither oncologist referred me...have had three sessions with oxy/xeloda and was told the it wasn't working because nothing happened, nothing new showed up, but no shrinkage? then went to another oncologist and had 8 sessions with avastin/leucovorin/irenotecan and the folfiri pump .....from last pt scan it only mentioned four lung nodules, small, down from ten and the doc didn't even mention that and one new liver spot that is cancer and one that has been there since July but had shrunk some with high suv numbers.  A 'possible' met in left part of liver but was not sized or given a suv rating....so now am going to a center in s.cal for a second opinion and i am at my wits end.......

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,754 Member
    Be good to yourself

    I found that after my ablation, because it was not such an invasive surgery as a resection, I thought I could be up and around the next day. No! It does not work that way. Even though the incisions are small, they are still messing with the largest organ in the body, and you need to take good care to heal properly. 

    I am also surprised, to this day, almost three years post ablation, that I can still feel the area that was ablated, due to scar tissue.  And yes, I am THREE YEARS post ablation. 

    I will be thinking and praying for you on the 19th. 

    TRU

  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    edited January 2017 #6
    You will probably get good

    You will probably get good results at the clinic in California.  I am not familiar with any of those clinics, but others on the forum may be. 

    MD Anderson has a cancer center near Phoenix AZ.  I don't know if that is one you looked into or not. 

    I have seen 5 or 6 different oncologists at Essentia Health in Fargo ND and also one at Mayo Clinic in Rochester (Dr. Axel Grothey is a world renowned gastroenterologist and oncologist who specializes in colorectal cancer).  Dr. Grothey communicated with my doctor Rafiyeth here in Fargo and worked with him to form a plan of treatment.  I am lucky that all of my treatments have been administered here in Fargo. 

    The doctor performing the ablation and the radioactive bead therapy is Dr. Richard Coursey and specializes in treating cancersthat are in the liver.  He is an interventional radiologist and oncologist who is employed right here in Fargo at Essentia Health.  He is originally from Texas, he trained at John Hopkins, and also did rotations at MD Anderson in Houston. 

    I hope you have good results with your consult in California!

    Joan

  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    edited January 2017 #7
    Trubrit said:

    Be good to yourself

    I found that after my ablation, because it was not such an invasive surgery as a resection, I thought I could be up and around the next day. No! It does not work that way. Even though the incisions are small, they are still messing with the largest organ in the body, and you need to take good care to heal properly. 

    I am also surprised, to this day, almost three years post ablation, that I can still feel the area that was ablated, due to scar tissue.  And yes, I am THREE YEARS post ablation. 

    I will be thinking and praying for you on the 19th. 

    TRU

    Thank you so much for your

    Thank you so much for your prayers!  and also for the advice about your ablation! 

    This is the same doctor who performed the liver biopsy and installed the port in my chest.  When he biopsied my liver, he went through the abdominal wall with a needle.  I had pain for some time after that.  Are you referring to scar tissue within your liver that continues to give you problems?  I thought it might feel wierd to have a ball of dead tissue inside of me.  Is it painful? Does it feel like a hard lump in your abdomen?

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,754 Member
    Joan M said:

    Thank you so much for your

    Thank you so much for your prayers!  and also for the advice about your ablation! 

    This is the same doctor who performed the liver biopsy and installed the port in my chest.  When he biopsied my liver, he went through the abdominal wall with a needle.  I had pain for some time after that.  Are you referring to scar tissue within your liver that continues to give you problems?  I thought it might feel wierd to have a ball of dead tissue inside of me.  Is it painful? Does it feel like a hard lump in your abdomen?

    Feelings

    It feels more like a twinge than a real pain. Like you twisted wrong. I feel it especially when I have done some heavy twisting, like shovelling snow (lots of it here). I am right handed, so anything like shovelling or repetitious movement on my right side.  Some exercises do it as well and sometimes it just does it for no good reason. 

    It scared me to death at first, as I was not told to expect any kind of sensation. I thought for sure the Cancer was back. It still freaks me out a bit when it tweaks more stongly. 

    I do not feel any kind of lump. 

    TRU

  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    edited January 2017 #9
    Trubrit said:

    Feelings

    It feels more like a twinge than a real pain. Like you twisted wrong. I feel it especially when I have done some heavy twisting, like shovelling snow (lots of it here). I am right handed, so anything like shovelling or repetitious movement on my right side.  Some exercises do it as well and sometimes it just does it for no good reason. 

    It scared me to death at first, as I was not told to expect any kind of sensation. I thought for sure the Cancer was back. It still freaks me out a bit when it tweaks more stongly. 

    I do not feel any kind of lump. 

    TRU

    Thank you so much for letting

    Thank you so much for letting me know about that.  No one has said anything to me about such strange sensations from this procedure.  I will let my husband and son shovel the snow!  I do alot of housework though - laundry, vacuuming etc...  so probably similar movements to shoveling.

    Too bad we can't get rid of the cancer and not have any side effects - like the neuropathy from chemo etc.   They have come a long way in cancer treatment and I know they have been able to minimize many of the negative effects over the years.  maybe someday they will figure out how to eliminate more of the side effects.  

  • dancer2
    dancer2 Member Posts: 49
    Joan, thanks for writing, I

    Joan, thanks for writing, I was not aware we could do this on this site.....that was kind of you....I thought of going to see Dr. Grothey for his opinion but was hoping one could send records but guess you to fly there is person? Did it take long from the time you made the first call?  I first presented with a colon cancer which was taken out with 14 lymph nodes and they were clear but had one small lesion in liver and just on tiny spot in each lung that were like 2mm, 4mm....the first oncologist just gave me three session of oxiplatin/and xeloda..then he gave me a scan and wasn't happy that nothing happened and my son and i thought it was good...nothing new, but the lesion 1.8 by 1.2 cm hadn't grown but handn't shrunk so he sent me home and gave me the name of a interventionlist radiologist who said i could have resection but said he could do a radiofrequency ablation and that he has 99% rate of success....so I liked his way, he was highly educated and 30 years of exp.... so we went for it, a month later all was well, nothing new in liver and he only saw 0ne spot in one lobe of lungs...........since i had a appt with the oncologist in July, had to have a pt scan six weeks later and up it says come four new liver lesions and nine new lung spots...didn't know they could pop up that fast...anyway, saw the onco and he said you glow, go home and come back in three months....I didn't like it, so went back to my colon surgeon and she gave me a card for another.....after 8 sessions (twice a month) she had me do a ct scan in this last Dec. followed by a pt scan ten days later.......this time the report showed one new liver spot, one from July which had shrunk some, a possible new one but was not sized nor given a suv reading. Four spots in lungs, so unless they missed the others, one can only assume they are gone and a abdominal node that had a suv reading....the doc then just told me that she thought they would all be gone and just said something quickly about lonsurf, then clinical trials....and i am once again just not getting it.......and her office has not called me back since i last saw her which was less than ten days ago......so i just went online and looked for liver specialists in s. cal and called one because i have family living close by there....in my case it seem the more they do the more spots showed up.......why the first didn't get me on maintenance back then i do not know, since he really was trying to 'cure' me.....which we all now there is no such thing when it has metastasized.....

  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    edited January 2017 #11
    dancer2 said:

    Joan, thanks for writing, I

    Joan, thanks for writing, I was not aware we could do this on this site.....that was kind of you....I thought of going to see Dr. Grothey for his opinion but was hoping one could send records but guess you to fly there is person? Did it take long from the time you made the first call?  I first presented with a colon cancer which was taken out with 14 lymph nodes and they were clear but had one small lesion in liver and just on tiny spot in each lung that were like 2mm, 4mm....the first oncologist just gave me three session of oxiplatin/and xeloda..then he gave me a scan and wasn't happy that nothing happened and my son and i thought it was good...nothing new, but the lesion 1.8 by 1.2 cm hadn't grown but handn't shrunk so he sent me home and gave me the name of a interventionlist radiologist who said i could have resection but said he could do a radiofrequency ablation and that he has 99% rate of success....so I liked his way, he was highly educated and 30 years of exp.... so we went for it, a month later all was well, nothing new in liver and he only saw 0ne spot in one lobe of lungs...........since i had a appt with the oncologist in July, had to have a pt scan six weeks later and up it says come four new liver lesions and nine new lung spots...didn't know they could pop up that fast...anyway, saw the onco and he said you glow, go home and come back in three months....I didn't like it, so went back to my colon surgeon and she gave me a card for another.....after 8 sessions (twice a month) she had me do a ct scan in this last Dec. followed by a pt scan ten days later.......this time the report showed one new liver spot, one from July which had shrunk some, a possible new one but was not sized nor given a suv reading. Four spots in lungs, so unless they missed the others, one can only assume they are gone and a abdominal node that had a suv reading....the doc then just told me that she thought they would all be gone and just said something quickly about lonsurf, then clinical trials....and i am once again just not getting it.......and her office has not called me back since i last saw her which was less than ten days ago......so i just went online and looked for liver specialists in s. cal and called one because i have family living close by there....in my case it seem the more they do the more spots showed up.......why the first didn't get me on maintenance back then i do not know, since he really was trying to 'cure' me.....which we all now there is no such thing when it has metastasized.....

    Cancer centers are supposed

    Cancer centers are supposed to share information and have access to the same technology.  Of course, we all know that some doctors are better than others, and are willing to try newer methods searching for a cure for their patients.  It appears that even though metastasized cancer can come back at any time, many have had 10 or more years of cancer free survival.  

    To answer about Mayo Clinic: I got in rather quickly within a few weeks.  My primary clinic in Fargo faxed some records - but they were  hard to read.  The clinic can also have records delivered by Fed Ex.  That way the doctor can review them before meeting with you.  I carried some of my records with me too.  You can call them to help you decide if you want to travel to Minnesota.

    If you have family in Southern California, it may be easier for you to go there.  There is also an MD Anderson Cancer Center near Phoenix, which may be closer for you.

    I am scheduled tomorrow for the ablation at Essentia Hospital in Fargo so am  busy getting many things done today.

    I wish you the best of luck in finding a good treatment plan!

    Joan 

  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    edited January 2017 #12
    I want you all to know that I

    I want you all to know that I survived the microwave ablation! Thank you for your prayers and support!  I would like to share my experience for any that are considering this treatment.

    The procedure went well, but I had some difficulties from the anesthesia so they kept me in the hospital overnight. I remember the anesthesiologist saying they had to "paralyze" me for the procedure.  I have had general anesthesia before but never the medically induced "paralysis". Besides the pain and discomfort that was expected, my blood pressure was extremely high - 237/140; I was not able to pee, and not able to eat due to my stomach just not digesting anything.  The doctor ordered meds to reduce blood pressure.  I eventually threw up and my tummy felt better after that. After hours of trying to urinate, I convinced them to use a catheter to empty my bladder around midnite.  Today my blood pressure remained stable, and everything else started working so I was able to leave the hospital feeling much better. 

    I have been home for a couple hours, and am feeling pretty good as long as I don't move using my abdominal muscles.  Still don't feel like eating much due to pressure in the abdomen.  I have needed some help getting out of bed and chairs, due to the strain on abs, but once I get up walking is no problem.  Sitting straight up is more comfortable than reclining. Doctor said the pain will continue for a few days to a week, and also to expect flu like symptoms for a couple of weeks. He called it "post-ablation syndrome". 

    My doctor said he can perform the procedure injecting the radioactive beads into the right lobe of my liver in 2 weeks.  I may want to wait a little longer... like a month... will see how this ablation heals.

    While I was in the hospital there were some developments in my family - both good news and some bad news. 

    The bad news: My sister law passed away from thyroid cancer last night.  She was first diagnosed 20 years ago, had her thyroid removed and was cancer free for 19 years.  Last year she was diagnosed with metastasized thyroid cancer, and discontinued treatment a couple of months ago.  I am not sure if it was her choice or if it was because her COBRA insurance ran out and the state medicaid wouldn't pay for her care at Mayo Clinic. The doctors at Altru clinic in Grand Forks said they could not do anything for her, but there was a treatment available at Mayo Clinic in Rochester that could have helped to prolong her life.  I visited with her on January 9th at her home, and thought she was trying to get the insurance to cover treatment.  She was in good spirits despite being weak and tired from the pain killers - she was on morphine every 4 hours.  Her daughters were staying with her to help her.  I was very sad to hear about her death. 

    The good news is that my niece had a new baby boy this morning.  This is the 4th baby born in our family in the past 6 months.  I have a 6 month old niece, Hazel, 5 month old grandson, Conrad, my new granddaughter, Grace, was born last Sunday, and now we have the new baby boy Lyam!

    Also I was  able to appear by phone for my daughter's custody hearing while in the hospital this morning at 11:30 am. Praying for good results on that case.  It has been dragging on since the summer of 2015.

    The last year has been a very eventful time for my family!

    Thank you all for your continued prayers.     

    Joan

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,754 Member
    Phew!

    That's quite the update. 

    First I must say I am sorry you experienced some minor complications after surgery, but glad that all has been resolved.  Second, I am so very sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. How heartbreaking it must be to be NED for so many years, for the beast to rear its ugly head and claim the life. 

    All those little ones around you must really boost your spirits. Well, I don't know if they are all there in your town, but you know what I mean. 

    It sounds like you got allot more post surgery information that I did, and I wonder if I did too much too soon, and that is why I continue to have 'feelings' in my ablated liver after almost three years. I will ask you in two years how you are doing, and we can compare. 

    Continue to take good care of yourself. Continued prayers for a complete recovery as you face your next step of getting the Y90.

    TRU

  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    Tru,

    Tru,

    I was doing too much too soon, as you say you did.  All those painkillers make you feel like you can do anything you want. 

    I went back into the doctor on January 23rd, and he did a scan to see what was going on.  It turns out the nitrogen gas he used to inflate my abdomen was not dissippating as it was supposed to, and he had to perform a procedure to get the gas out of my abdomen.  It felt much better after he was done.  The gas put alot of pressure on my ribs and shoulders. 

    The doctor thinks I may have also injured myself because  I had alot of unexplained pain in my ribcage and shoulder, so had  a bit of a setback. Was on painkillers until this past Sunday (January 29th).  Now finally starting to feel like myself again after the fog of the Oxycodone wore off.... back to my regular routine. 

    Yes it was very sad about my sister in law.  She had complained about a painful lump in her shoulder area, and it is just another case of the doctors  not finding the new growths until it had spread.  Her doctor referred her to physical therapy for the pain, and the therapist is the one who suspected a tumor, said the lump was not muscular.   

    As for the new babies - my granddaughter Grace, and neice, Hazel, live close to me.  They are so cute!  My 5 year old granddaughter has spent the night a few times, becuase her little sister gets all the attention at home.  She loves her sissy but just needs grandma doting on her I guess!

    Thank you for your prayers!

    Joan

     

  • nateswife
    nateswife Member Posts: 65
    Joan M said:

    Tru,

    Tru,

    I was doing too much too soon, as you say you did.  All those painkillers make you feel like you can do anything you want. 

    I went back into the doctor on January 23rd, and he did a scan to see what was going on.  It turns out the nitrogen gas he used to inflate my abdomen was not dissippating as it was supposed to, and he had to perform a procedure to get the gas out of my abdomen.  It felt much better after he was done.  The gas put alot of pressure on my ribs and shoulders. 

    The doctor thinks I may have also injured myself because  I had alot of unexplained pain in my ribcage and shoulder, so had  a bit of a setback. Was on painkillers until this past Sunday (January 29th).  Now finally starting to feel like myself again after the fog of the Oxycodone wore off.... back to my regular routine. 

    Yes it was very sad about my sister in law.  She had complained about a painful lump in her shoulder area, and it is just another case of the doctors  not finding the new growths until it had spread.  Her doctor referred her to physical therapy for the pain, and the therapist is the one who suspected a tumor, said the lump was not muscular.   

    As for the new babies - my granddaughter Grace, and neice, Hazel, live close to me.  They are so cute!  My 5 year old granddaughter has spent the night a few times, becuase her little sister gets all the attention at home.  She loves her sissy but just needs grandma doting on her I guess!

    Thank you for your prayers!

    Joan

     

    Thank you for sharing your

    Thank you for sharing your experience with the ablation, Joan. It's helpful as I'm considering a similar procedure, except with radiation (radioembolization). My husband and I will be meeting with the radiologist next week to talk about it.

     

    Tru, did you write a post about your radioembolization experience? If so I'll look it up rather than asking you to write about it again. I'm mainly wondering what the side effects are, and the recovery time.

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,754 Member
    edited February 2017 #16
    nateswife said:

    Thank you for sharing your

    Thank you for sharing your experience with the ablation, Joan. It's helpful as I'm considering a similar procedure, except with radiation (radioembolization). My husband and I will be meeting with the radiologist next week to talk about it.

     

    Tru, did you write a post about your radioembolization experience? If so I'll look it up rather than asking you to write about it again. I'm mainly wondering what the side effects are, and the recovery time.

    Ablation

    The Ablation was very easy; much easier than the bowel resection, for me.  After I came around from the surgery, and recoverd for an hour or so, I was sent home. I couldn't believe it! Liver surgery, and I was sent home the same day!  I did need the pain meds for a few days, but I wasn't in agony or anything close, just hard to take a deep breath for a while. 

    Overall, I felt really good, and I wanted to get up and get going. After three days I called the Surgeon's office and asked the nurse if I could start on my exercise walking. She basically told me off. Gave me a good lecture about how I'd just had liver surgery and that I had to take it easy.  

    I didn't walk, but I still think I did too much too soon, and that is why I still feel the twinges in my liver. 

    So, if you have the ablation, be sure and take good care of yourself for a few weeks afterwards.

    I am approaching my third year anniversary from my ablation, so its working for me so far.

    Bless you as you go forward. I hope this works for you in your situation.  

    TRU 

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,754 Member
    edited February 2017 #17
    Joan

    I am sorry that you had some problems after your surgery.  I don't even want to think what that procedure was. All I can think of is how they release gas from cattle that get bloated. Gosh, I hope they didn't do that to you. 

    I certainly hope you don't have any long lasting effects from any strain you put on yourself after the surgery.   Please, take it easy. You're worth a bit of time you spend on yoursef. 

    Oh, and enjoy those grandbabies.   My children don't seem to be in any hurry, which I guess is good, as neither of them are married. HA!

    TRU

     

  • nateswife
    nateswife Member Posts: 65
    Trubrit said:

    Ablation

    The Ablation was very easy; much easier than the bowel resection, for me.  After I came around from the surgery, and recoverd for an hour or so, I was sent home. I couldn't believe it! Liver surgery, and I was sent home the same day!  I did need the pain meds for a few days, but I wasn't in agony or anything close, just hard to take a deep breath for a while. 

    Overall, I felt really good, and I wanted to get up and get going. After three days I called the Surgeon's office and asked the nurse if I could start on my exercise walking. She basically told me off. Gave me a good lecture about how I'd just had liver surgery and that I had to take it easy.  

    I didn't walk, but I still think I did too much too soon, and that is why I still feel the twinges in my liver. 

    So, if you have the ablation, be sure and take good care of yourself for a few weeks afterwards.

    I am approaching my third year anniversary from my ablation, so its working for me so far.

    Bless you as you go forward. I hope this works for you in your situation.  

    TRU 

    Wow

    Thanks for the info, Tru! Wow, that doesn't sound bad at all. I really hope that I have a similar experience as you. And the procedure has been really beneficial for you, that's awesome.

    Blessings,

    Amy

  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    edited February 2017 #19
    Thank you!  It took me a

    Thank you!  It took me a couple of weeks to feel better.  I was on the oxycodone for 2 weeks.  My husband and I both believe that I was injured by the hospital workers when they moved me from the CT table to the recovery bed after the procedure while I was unconcious.  My left shoulder and left ribcage were extremely sore for 2 weeks.  The doctor said that was possible.  I also felt like I pulled a muscle near the diaphragm when I was trying to get up by myself a couple days after the surgery.

    Tru,  to release the gas in my abdomen the doctor had to go back in with a needle and push on my stomach to get the gas out.  He performed the procedure with the CT assistance... and did it without any anesthesia.    It only took about 5 to 10 minutes from the time he started.The nurse said it was really cool seeing my stomach go flat so quickly.  He said he removed about a liter of nitrogen gas.

    My doctor wanted me to walk as soon as I could get up.  He said the more I walked the sooner I would recover.  He didnt mean hiking though.  He just meant walking around the hospital or at home.  I could walk easy enough, just had pain in the shoulder and ribcage.  It was especially painful getting in and out of bed.

    I am feeling very well now.  I am not having any pain or strange sensations at this point.  I can even lay on my side which was hard to do after the biopsy last year. Also it took a while to be able to bend down to pick anything up from the floor, but I have been able to bend for the last few days without any discomfort. 

    My procedure was done in Fargo, ND.  My doctor was Richard Coursey, who is an Interventional Oncologist.  He went to med school at Johns Hopkins, and trained at MD Anderson before coming to North Dakota.  I know they do these same procedures at many cancer centers; of course you will get a referral from your doctor so will know your insurance covers it.

    Feel free to ask any questions.  I am happy to offer any information about my experiences.

    And yes the grandbabies are fun!  They keep me busy, it is always so nice to see their happy little faces! 

  • BillO60
    BillO60 Member Posts: 72
    Joan - Thank you for posting your experience

    Joan,

    Thanks for posting your experience.  I was first diagnosed in March 2015 and went through a cycle of radiation and xeloda, surgery to remove the tumor, then 6 months of Oxaliplatin which didn't work.  After about a 3 month break, and discovering several new tumors in my liver,  they started me on a course of panitumamab, Leucovorin, Irinotecan, and 5FU (dose in the clinic and a 48 hour slow drip at home).  That 6 month course has been more successful in shrinking the liver tumors. 

    As of early February, after being off chemo since mid-December on a break, the CT scan showed the largest tumor in my liver had shrunk to less than an inch (2 cm.) and the others, all smaller, had either remained stable or had shrunk slightly.   So, now I'm on the schedule for ablation at the end of March.

    I'm glad you mentioned the lung treatment.  I have one node on my lung that's been there for quite awhile.  It's been stable and small, about 3 mm. They've always assumed it's cancer. However, even though it lights up during a PET scan they've never been sure and just assumed that if it was cancer then if the chemo worked on the liver tumors it would also work on the lung node. If it wasn't cancer then it wouldn't make any difference. So now I've added that to my notes to find out if they are going to zap the lung node as well. I'd kind of like to start again with a clean slate. 

    They did mention that they would likely restart chemo, but just the Panitumamab, about 6 weeks after the procedure to give me a chance to heal.  I figure that makes sense since it takes longer to heal with a chemo compromised immune system and the body's immune and healing system tends to (optimistically) take several months to start getting back to normal.

    Anyway, I'm glad things worked out for you.  I really do appreciate hearing about someone else's recent experience and wish you all the best and a long and healthy life and lots of fun with the grandkids.

    Bill

  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    Hi Bill, I am glad if I was

    Hi Bill, I am glad if I was able to help you.  I believe helping each other is the most important purpose of this forum.   

    I wanted to let everyone know I'm scheduled for the radioactive bead therapy April 27th.  My doctor says he will address the lung tumor after he done working on my liver, that he expected to be dealing with the liver from 3-6 months.  I will let you know how the procedure goes. 

    I'm  still taking xeloda and get avastin infusions every 3 weeks.

    I've been feeling really good the last few weeks!  I am not at a point of being declared NED, but hopefully will make it there one day soon! 

    Praying for healing and continued health for all on the forum.

    Joan

    Feel free to message me if you have any questions