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Liver mets found

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

My husband just had a sigmoid colon resection done and we are waiting for an appointment with oncologist for chemo that the surgeon said is necessary. We hope to get an appointment in next week or two. He has several mets to his liver , with the largest being around 2cm. I'm hoping that a liver resection is possible, but we don't know a lot yet and it's making me crazy. Is chemo given to shrink liver mets? Do they ever just disappear after chemo or is a liver resection the only hope?

dash4
Posts: 304
Joined: Dec 2005

If you are having any questions about liver metasis, here is a web site that can answer many questions about the liver for you. It is : http://www.livercancercenter.upmc.com/
My husband was diagnosed Stage IV in 10/04. He had 6 weeks of chemo and then a colon resection and a liver resection and ablation in 12/04. He then continued with the chemo. Since then he has had reoccurence, but his liver is still cancer free. You and your husband will be in my prayers.
Dash

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Dash , thank you. I will keep you and your husband in my prayers also.

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

The site you mentioned had a lot of info. One of the docs there, Dr. Wallis Marsh, gave me advice on who to see in Dallas. Dr. Marsh is the brother of a good friend of mine. Without his, Dr. Wallis Marsh's, help, I probably would not be here. My liver resection was in 8/05 and I have been NED since. jams

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Jams, thank you . I appreciate the reply and I wish you all the best and that you continue NED. God Bless.

Monicaemilia's picture
Monicaemilia
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

I asked my onc the same question, and she said that surgery is the only chance at a 'cure' (25%). Anything else is just maintenance. I'm also stage IV with mets to the liver and am currently on chemo to shrink the tumours enough to hopefully get to surgery. You will probably hear from others who have had a resection very successfully. I will pray for good news for both of you. Keep the faith! Monica

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Monica, thank you . I appreciate your response.I'm so glad I found this website. It helps to talk to other people experiencing this and I'm having a hard time talking to people that I know "personally" about it. Thank you so much. I wish you the very best and will keep you and all on this website in my prayers.

tennislover
Posts: 64
Joined: Mar 2006

Hi there, I am stage IV and was told that I had mets covering about half of my liver. I was also told that surgery wasnt an option. I started chemo in August and when I had my PET scan in November they were all gone. I still have to have chemo to prevent it from coming back. There is always hope!

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Thank you Tennislover!.. and Congratulations. I mean that sincerely. I'm so glad that you are doing well. I still believe in miracles and I am determined not to give up hope. Thank you for replying. You are in my prayers .

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1252
Joined: Jul 2005

Hello.

The "textbook" answer to liver mets is a liver resection, normally with chemo both before and after. Increasingly radio frequency ablation (RFA) is used as an alternative or in addition to liver resection.

That said, I am a Stage IV (liver met) who has only had chemo. My liver was "essentially clean" after 2 chemo cycles. I completed 6 cycles and then we took a "break". My scans right after that last chemo treatment were clear and they are still clear 15 months later with no additional chemo. I was evaluated twice at National Cancer Institute - had every test in the book - and neither the liver surgeon nor the interventional radiologist could find anything to cut or ablate. We even went back last Spring and had the liver biopsy from my colon surgery looked at again to make absolutely sure it was positive (and it was.) So at least for now there is no liver resection in my future and also no chemo unless there is a recurrence.

My oncologist told me when we started this that the textbook answer - liver resection - is no longer ALWAYS the answer. Of course I could have liver met show up in the future and if so I am sure there will be a lot of discussion about whether to attack with a little chemo or go for a resection or ablation. I'll cross that bridge if it happens.

My advice to you and your husband is to take it one step at a time (I know how hard that is). He has to recover from surgery before they will start chemotherapy and waiting a couple of weeks to see the oncologist is not a problem.

Most likely when your husband starts chemo he will be getting one of FOLFOX combinations (5FU, oxaliplatin) or XELOX (Xeloda, oxaliplatin) PLUS in either case Avastin. That seems to be the way most people start. There are plenty of people on this site who have had those drugs as well as others, so come back here with questions once you have an idea what will be going on.

I like your handle "hopefulone" - there is much reason to have hope.

Take care,
Betsy

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Betsy, thank you so much. I am so grateful, and I am truly humbled by the replies I've received. You are all great . It's unfortunate that I've met such great people due to such a devastating circumstance, but nonetheless, I'm grateful for meeting each and everyone of you. I hope you all will continue to keep in touch. I assure you I will keep you all in my prayers and that I GREATLY appreciate the support and I hope to return it tenfold.God Bless !

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

My liver mets "went away" with no resection also. I did chemo for 8 months since surgery was not an option for me and they shrunk some at first but plateaued, then I stopped chemo on my own and completely changed my diet and some other areas of my lifestyle and they just "went away" over a course of about 9 months. You can read my personal web page here to learn more if you are interested.

Since Nov 2005, I have had one laprascopic and one major abdominal surgery where oncological surgeons have been able to actually eyeball my liver and say it is just fine. They just scratch their heads and tell me to keep doing whatever it is I am doing. The nicest part of what I do is there are absolutely no side effects.

SO THERE ARE MANY POSSIBILITIES out there for your husband. Don't listen to the doom and gloom idiots!!!!! 3 years ago I was given 2-3 years to live and I am now NED (no evidence of disease) and doing great.

Lisa P.

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Lisa, that is wonderful. I will definately check your web page. I hope one day to hear the words no evidence of disease for my husband also. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. They mean a lot. God Bless

hicarm
Posts: 57
Joined: Nov 2005

HI
You will find so many stage 4 survivors here. This is a great place to find support and ask questions. Here is a link that may five you some more information.
www2.mdanderson.org/depts/oncolog/articles/06/4-apr/4-06-1.html

My father just had his second liver resection, you can read my previous posts. There are so many options. Keep hoping.
Carm

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

thank you Carm. I will keep hoping and I will check the website. I hope your Dad does well and will keep him and you in my prayers.

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

God, how I hate this monster. Your nickname says it all-your husband is lucky to have you as a caretaker. The waiting and wondering is the worst; that's where this site can help. Come often.. bud

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Thank you . I will. the appointment for ONC is on 2/12. God Bless

AuthorUnknown
Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

Hi,

I have been where you are today and wanted to share a little of our experience.

My hubby was dx'd in june 05 with CC/liver mets.
After surgery, he had six months of chemo. At first this included Avastin but he could not tolerate it well so it was discontinued. At the end of the six months, scans showed that the liver spots were too small to be measured and therefore the onc felt that they were not longer active cancer. Three months later, however, the spots had returned. Again, hubby began another six months of chemo with Avastin but given less frequency. He was able to work his job without any major side effects, only extreme fatigue after the treatment.

He completed the second six months treatment in December and scans this month. The scan was the best one to date. All the spots, except one, has completed disappeared. The one remaining spot is very small. If it does not grow in three months, all is well. If it does grow, the onc said they they could inject it with 200 proof alcohol and "pickle" it. Otherwise, hubby was advised to go home and live his life.

I just wanted you to know that there is hope even with liver mets. I remember being where you are now and thinking only the worse. I was so scared and in shock. The worse part was knowing that liver resection was not an option for my hubby due to location of largest spot. I think that his largest spot was about the same as the one you describe.

Hope this helps you to find reason for hope.

Also, our doctor reminded us that all the stats you read about today are from studies and data of years past. They do not include stats based on all the new drugs (Avastin, etc) and new techniques being used today. These new things have not been used long enough for them to affect the stats.

The unknown is the hardest part.

You are in my prayers.

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Thank you so much. You have given me a boost of morale today! I so appreciate your responding. I wish you and your spouse all the best. I can't tell you all just how truly grateful I am as there really aren't words to express what you all have done for me. God Bless !

lynn1222
Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2006

hello, stay positive i am stage 4 rectal cancer with mets to liver and lungs, had 2 mets to liver and with chemo they totaly disapeared. i will be praying for you.
hugs, lynn

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Lynn, Thank you! You will be in my prayers as well. Again, words can't express ... God Bless you and keep you in His care.

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