liver

Here is what we learned today:

1. The spot on my liver is a breast cancer tumor.
2. It has gone from 9mm in July to 13mm (about 1/2 inch) this month. That’s slow growth, folks.
3. It is the ONLY spot on my liver!!
4. There is no evidence of cancer anywhere else in my abdomen.
5. My blood counts have increased slightly over time (since last July) and the tumor has grown incrementally since last July. Dr. Campbell believes the two are related. If indeed they are and the counts go down once the tumor is taken care of, we’ll know that it was the only “active” cancer in my body. This would be further evidence that the spots in my lungs are stable perhaps even dormant.

Here is what we will do about it.

1. We will meet the Interventional Radiologist sometime this month to schedule radio-ablation for the second week in April. Radio-ablation is out-patient, minimally invasive, and will likely take care of the spot quite nicely.
2. I will go off one of my chemo drugs, Avastin, to prepare for radio-ablation (Avastin doesn’t let blood clot, so I must be off it for a period of time before the procedure).
3. Mark is doggedly researching radio-ablation as I type. If there are any fun facts you’d like to know about radio-ablation, he’d be happy to oblige. I think I might be full up.

How I’m feeling about it.

1. Bowled over and grateful that the spot on my liver is the only spot.
2. Bowled over and grateful that we happened to find the only spot in my whole abdomen on a CAT scan of the lungs!
3. Relieved to have a plan of action that feels really do-able and optimistic.
4. Peaceful. And that can only be due to all of the prayers that have been offered on our behalf. Thank you so much!

I was also struck anew today in our conversation with Dr. Campbell with how blessed we are to have an oncologist who practices not just the science of oncology but the art of it too. There is a finesse to fighting cancer, to reading the signals and test results, to determining and intuiting what each thing might mean. I am so grateful for the confidence I have in my medical care.

Living with cancer has required much of our family–patience, trust, faith, diligence, energy. Each of these, when we run dry, are so quickly replenished by you, by our wonderful families, by our dear friends. This has been so evident to us in our waiting time. There is no way to express the gratitude we feel.