Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Step Forward ~ Aug 17, 2013

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, it's important to be your own advocate: to continue to ask questions, take notes, and do research. The reality is you need to watch out for your own ass.

Donkey - 3D Metal Art Sculpture - Grinning Garden Decor
Grinning Donkey
On August 12th I met with my doctor at UCSF for the first time since the initial interview in early April. It was an encouraging and informative session. I did my homework beforehand and had a list of questions for her.
We were initially lead to believe that TACE (transarterial chemoembolization) treatments were to keep the tumor under a certain size so I could remain on the liver transplant list. What we found out was that the tumor was within parameters on the pre TACE CT scan and that's the measurement they go by. The TACE treatments are to exterminate the tumor. It's not a cure, but a bridging therapy to buy time until a transplant organ is available.

Singing Hallelujah painting by Andrew Daniel
Singing Hallelujah

After looking at the latest CT and MRI she was encouraged by the progress made against the tumor (Audrey II). Because the chemo is directed at a small, targeted area, there is no cumulative toxicity.

We won't know if I'll need another TACE until after the one next Tuesday, but the Doc is optimistic we can take a break and go on a maintenance schedule of monitoring every three months.

We have the Much Ado About Sebastopol Renaissance Fair on September 14-15 and then we should be able to hit the road with Ruby and the R-POD in late September. 

Very Nice Amber Glass and Brass Adjustable Scale
Amber Glass Adjustable Scale

My liver works well, but tumors are as tenacious as junk yard dogs and will continue to try and find new sources of nourishment. The break will give us a chance to start weighing options.