Thursday, October 24, 2013

There's Interventional Radiology in My Future

It turns out that I have had liver cancer for two or three years totally unaware.  It also seems that I will always have liver cancer, because it continuously recurs as time goes by.  My lovely liver will need to be monitored every six months or so.  The TACE procedure seems to be the current state of the art treatment for it.  My interventional radiologist Dr. Picotte believes that it will take two procedures to treat it correctly.

 My first appointment is for Dec. 3.  I'll spend one night in the hospital afterwards, and recovery takes approximately two weeks.  I'm not completely sure of the follow-up treatment date - it may be sometime at the end of January, 2014.

We're still planning to drive to Florida for Christmas, just not as soon as originally planned.  We'll probably fly back in January for the second treatment, stay here for the two week recovery period,  and then return to Palm City for the rest of the winter.  Those are our current plans - although you know what they say about the best laid plans!  We are really not quite sure what we're dealing with yet.  Whatever comes up, the two of us make a good team, and we'll try to stick to the game plan!

Meanwhile, I'm living with cancer from now on, and so far it seems do-able.

This is The Man:

Dr. James Picotte, MD

Dr. James Patrick Picotte MD is a male doctor, has 7 years of experience and practices in RadiologyDiagnostic Radiology, and Vascular & Interventional Radiology.
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This is the letter that Dick sent to the kids:

We met with the Dr. this morning. The MRI shows two masses on the liver, one large, one small. Because they are on separate lobes, surgery is not an option. The large one is 6 centimeters and was not there in '09.  It is the first order of business.  He will enter the femoral artery, go up to the liver, enter the cancer and deposit small glass beads covered with chemo which will eat the tumor away. She will check into the hospital at 8 AM and stay overnight. 

He told us the side effects would be a level of pain and discomfort which varies from person to person. There is a two week recovery period. After 6 - 8 weeks, the procedure must be repeated. He feels that the second shot should take care of it. The smaller tumor can be dealt with by a lesser procedure at a later date. He also indicated that because of cirrhosis, once the liver cancer begins it will continue to crop up, so she will need to be checked at least annually.

The procedure is scheduled for Dec. 3.   We will stay here until about 12/15 and then head south through the end of Jan.  We will come back here for the second treatment and then back down until ?.  One possibility we have discussed is flying up and back for that trip.