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Sir Spheres- ADVICE NEEDED PLEASE!

tko683
Posts: 265
Joined: Aug 2011

We are running out of options for my husband's treatment.  His doctor has recommended Sir Spheres or radio embolization for his liver tumors.  I have only heard from one person who has had good results with this treatment.  It is scary that it doesn't seem to be used very much and I don't have a good feeling about it.  He has already had radiation to his liver earlier this year so it is a concern to put all that radiation in his liver again less than a year later.  I would think if it was a successful treatment it would be done more often. On top of this difficult decision, our insurance company has denied my husband's chemotherapy treatment saying that it is not medically necessary and that the benefits don't outweigh the risks since he progressed on it before.  We are trying to appeal it but in the meantime, the cancer is growing and CEA is getting higher and higher.  My husband is in so much pain now from the cancer he is on morphine all day long.  My heart is broken in pieces and I don't know what to do.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.  Blessings to everyone dealing with this horrible disease.  Teri

Brenda Bricco
Posts: 579
Joined: Aug 2011

My husband is gearing up for this procedure now (mapping this coming Thursday) so I can't help with experience. The folks at UW Madison do the this procedure often and told us that they are having success with it. It's an option other than chemo which I am so thankful for, I am hoping and praying for a miracle. I wish your husband and mine the best.

GOD's blessings

Brenda

devotion10's picture
devotion10
Posts: 631
Joined: Jan 2010

and your husband as well. ~ Cynthia

tko683
Posts: 265
Joined: Aug 2011

Brenda,

How did the Sir Spheres go for your husband this week?  My husband had this procedure on Wednesday.  He is doing much better today but felt pretty sick the day of and the day after.  I am praying that both of our husbands respond well to this treatment.  Blessings to you and your family.  Teri

Brenda Bricco
Posts: 579
Joined: Aug 2011

He just had the mapping done last week (22nd) and the actual procedure is scheduled for Feb 12th. I'm glad to hear your husband is doing well and I hope this does the trick for him.

I am still hoping for a miracle! Laughing

GOD's blessings to you and your Hubby.

 

devotion10's picture
devotion10
Posts: 631
Joined: Jan 2010

I am so sorry that you, your husband, and family are going through this. I read your CSN page and it states that your husband was diagnosed stage 4 colorectal in 2011. I am unsure of all the specifics, but your message says he has liver tumors, has progressed on his previous chemo, and is in a great deal of pain.  

The insurance company may be right to deny chemotherapy on the basis that your husband’s cancer progressed on the same treatment before … would you want him to have a treatment that has not been effective for him? I know that there is a kind of desperation that sets in when cancer is progressing, but chemotherapy is very toxic and challenging for the patient. If it is given after having proved to be ineffective … might it not just result in unnecessary toxicity and discomfort for your husband?  I am not taking the side of an insurance company here, but perhaps in this case they may be correct.  I assume that they have paid for all other treatment up until this time?

Sir Spheres … the success rate would varies I guess depending on the location and size of the tumors, but if your husband is being offered this and your insurance will approve it perhaps it should be seriously considered. It sound as if your options are getting limited and he may need this for his comfort. My understanding is that the advantage of the internal microspheres is their ability to maximize the tumor destroying effects while minimizing the effects on healthy liver tissue.

Pain … if your husband’s pain is from the enlargement of the liver from the liver tumors hopefully proceeding with the suggested new treatments can relieve his symptoms. Even for inoperable tumors, treatment modalities such as radio embolization seem to hold great promise for improving survival – it can help shrink the tumors, improve his life expectancy, and relieve his symptoms. 

I wish you all the best as you go forward.  I hope you can find a way that your husband can be as pain-free as possible as he moves forward in this journey.  I know that right now everything is very challenging.  Take it one step at a time.

Hopefully, other members who have personal experience with the treatment alternatives for secondary liver cancer will respond.

Peace. ~ Cynthia

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi Teri.  My husband, Steve, was diagnosed June 1, 2011.  Horrible day.  Horrible year.  Just want to say that I understand how unbearable it is to watch your spouse suffer and feel so helpless.  Such a scary feeling when the treatment options begin to run out?  That desperate scramble to get something in place while the CEA is rising and he appears to be worsening.  Just wanted to say that I understand and I will be thinking of you and your family.  Stay strong.

Chelsea

here4lfe
Posts: 306
Joined: Jan 2010

Just experience. My wife had the Sir Spheres treatment. It maybe added a month to her life which she used to say good-bye to everyone she knew and could reach. Best of luck to you and your husband.

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