Friday, November 19, 2010

Update by Sally (his wife)

Bill had to work tonight and the following 3 nights. So this is the reason I am posting for him. Today, we went to UIC to meet with the radiologist. It's didn't go as we expected. Not that it's a bad thing we were caught off guard a little. We were under the assumption Bill was going to have the tumor ablation. It would be a simple out patient procedure and he would be able to resume normal activities the following day. We found out today the radiologist wants to do a different procedure. He recommends selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT). Instead of using radio frequency energy(which is the RFA procedure) to attack the tumor, tiny radioactive beads are inserted directly in the tumor/tumors.

The reason for the SIRT is because there are two cancerous tumors on the liver. One is about the size of a quarter and the other one is about the size of a pea. The smaller one is near the wall of the liver which can't be treated by the RFA procedure.SIRT will be able to treat both tumors in the liver. SIRT is not as simple to perform as the RFA though. SIRT requires two procedures. The week prior to the SIRT an angiogram is done to map out the vessels. If everything looks good then the SIRT procedure will be performed 7-10 days later. The angiogram would require Bill to be in the hospital for at least 12 hours. He will have to be off work for 48 hours and on light duty until a week after the SIRT is done. He will have to be off work for another 48 hours for SIRT procedure itself but the hospital stay would be much shorter as long as there are no complications. In order for the SIRT to be performed, chemo has to be stopped 2 weeks prior to the angiogram.

A concern which we have about the SIRT is the stopping of chemotherapy. Even though the tumors in the liver will be treated, he still has the cancerous lymph node by the heart. Since September, when chemotherapy was resumed, he still has not had a full dose of the chemotherapy. Which is concerning. Could delaying treatment longer increase the chances of the tumor from spreading or growing? Which is one of our major concerns. The oncologist seems confident the chemo will attack the lymph-node so we don't see why it wouldn't attack the tiny spot on the liver as well. Plus the RFA procedure seems a lot less complicated and a shorter recovery time.

If Bill had to pick of course he would pick the RFA procedure. Spending 6 plus hours flat on the back without moving after the angiogram wouldn't be fun. However, Bil wants what is best to fight the war with in his body. Tuesday, we are going to talk to the oncologist. Hopefully he will be able to answer our questions and give us his honest expert opinion on which one he thinks is best.

Please pray that he is guided to the right procedure for him. Thanks you.

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