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Update on Liver Biopsy

geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

Well, George had his second liver biopsy last week. First one showed nothing but necrotic tissue, second one taken differently does show CRC mets so we know we are not looking at a new cancer. There is progression (we already knew that)based on CEA jump. So next week it will be on to CPT-11 to get things under control again. Didn't get the "chronic disease" speech again, heck, to be honest, I knew that a long time ago, that cure or NED would take a miracle so the "chronic disease" speech didn't affect us much, just tough to hear. Since George had an excellent result from Folfox, in onc's words, you just do not see that good a response, and a light maintenance chemo kept things under control for over a year, we are hoping that the CPT-11 will give us good results, get things under control and stop the progression. The onc said we will scan again in 3 to 4 months. Now, I don't like that idea, I would rather it be 2 to 3 months to insure that the chemo is indeed working and if not, switch things up. Oncologist indicated you need to give it time to work and waiting 3 to 4 months will give them a better picture of how things are going. If his CEA continues to rise while on chemo then we will know that this mix is not working. Guess that makes sense, not sure, I'll have to think on that one.

Anyway, thanks for the support - Tina

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I am thinking of you + George and hope the new plan works tp destroy those bas%$#@!. My onc schedules CT scans ~ 3 months + if she has concerns (CEA rising) at 3 months. Thanks for letting us know, Tina.

plh4gail's picture
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

Hoping for good outcomes for George. I will be thinking of you both.


Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

Tina & George,

Try not to project out too far. Sounds like a good plan of attack to me. Stay positive and help George’s body warriors with that attitude working for them. Not against them.

I have often wondered why when the liver gets involved; it scares the hell out of us. I know when they were cooking the node near my tail bone, my rad onc said “we will get this node first then worry about the spot on your liver”. I could not understand why the hell we weren’t doing both at the same time.


CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hey Tina,

George and I will be on the same chemo (CPT-11 aka Irinatocan ). He is starting next week, I don't start until February (right there, you can see how this all affects us different ways because our situations are unique). My wait until Feb is for me to have a break from the Xeloda I was on and my spots/tumours in my lungs are not growing quickly but they are growing, hence the need for some kind of interference that will work. So George and I will be able to compare war wounds/stories... give him the heads up, since he will be a good 6-8 weeks ahead of me, I may have questions of him when I get closer to starting my own CPT-11. :)

As for your concerns about the 3-4 months vs doing it earlier and more often to keep on top of things. I think your oncologist is very correct in his way of thinking. George will be starting the chemo next week and you do have to give it time to show any kind of improvement. If you had another scan in say two months and the results were "there's no sign of improvement or worsening... it's the same as it was back in Dec", then you wouldn't be ahead of the game. So you'd wait another 2 months, take another scan and now they could say, that there's been an XX% improvement since Dec, but very little in the past 2 months... meanwhile George has had to go through 2 CAT scans to get the same news you'd get if you waited the 4 months. And, as much as we are all in a hurry to get our results and get them often... keep in mind that CAT scans, wonderful tools that they are, are giving the patient more radiation. I have read (sorry, I don't remember where so I don't have a link/reference site) that a CAT scan gives out 444 TIMES the radiation that a regular X-Ray gives a patient. And we all know how doctors try to keep xrays to a minimum because the radiation is accumulative over our lifetimes. Of course, when one has cancer, we weight the risks vs the benefits and the benefits of having CAT scans can be life-saving. And if we live for 20-30 years, then sure... we are probably going to have to deal with cancers caused by the radiation from all the CAT scans we have had... but hey, I'm willing to face that if I get another 20-30 years out of the deal ;) On the other hand, knowing this... then lets not go overboard on requesting scans that will expose us to that much more radiation if we aren't going to benefit by having more scans and more often ;)

I see my Stage IV cancer as a "chronic disease" and as much as a pain as it can be (all these damn appts.) I have a good quality life whether I'm on or off treatment, and if it means I'm homebound for a couple of days each cycle, well so be it... there's plenty to keep me occupied at home too. I'd rather live with a "chronic disease" than not live at all... so no need to get super depressed. We've got it better than a lot of others out there in the world, so our job is to make it so we can live comfortably with what we've been handed.

And that's where this board can come in so helpful!! We all get it here... we understand, we can empathize, and we can share war stories :)

So hang in there... we can do this all together!


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6706
Joined: Feb 2009

Sorry that they came back with cancer, but hoping that this new treatment will prove to be very effective in minimizing and eventually getting rid of it. He is definitely a trooper. It's good that your oncologist has a game plan. Thinking of you both.


pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

I will pray for that!

Crow71's picture
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

Hey Tina - It's hard to hear, but I guess I'm not surprised about the mets. I hope the CPT-11 can reduce the tumors, or at least stop the progression first.
Kim and I talk a lot about timing the scans. My Dr wanted to give the Tecan 3 good cycles - ie 8 treatments in 4 months. He said the chemo can sometimes make the tumors swell, so if you scan too soon, it looks like growth. Give the swelling time to go down, and hopefully you'll see an accurate picture of tumors shrinking. That makes sense to me. When I first started Folfox last year, my liver hurt like hell for a while and then stopped. The tumors shrunk. Of course you are right to worry about being on a drug for too long when it is failing. I felt pretty miserable when we found out the 4 months of Tecan did nothing. I usually go with what the dr wants. This time the Dr is doing 2 cycles of Folfox and then scans.
You'll love this - Kim once tricked my Dr into revealing that amount of time to wait before scans is a little arbitrary. He was a little embarrassed and we laughed like hell at him. My onc loves Kim, and gave her a big hug after our appointment on Tuesday.

idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

I think the CPT-11 will do George good. It worked really well on ALL my mets. The only side effect I had from it was hair loss....and lots of it. But so what...beats the heck out of upset stomach or poopin. I really have a good feeling that he will be on "vacation" again in no time!!!! Take care.


Posts: 211
Joined: May 2009

Tina, I hope that the CPT11 works great for george. Many people have seen great results from it. On to the next. Good Luck, Brenda

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