Reality Check: The Prognosis

Today Maggie feeling good and is wearing a nice spring dress to celebrate both the great weather today and the Drug Free week we are having.  🙂  Good stuff.

Pertaining to Monday’s discussion with Dr. Loukas regarding her prognosis, we specifically asked Dr. Loukas what we could expect for Maggie’s 5 year survivability.  Gently, he pulled us back to more medically-reasonable expectation of 1 to 3 years.  He explained that there are two likely scenarios: 1) the cancer is pushed into remission or 2) the cancer evolves to where it no longer responds to the chemo treatments.

Scenario 1, the most ideal scenario, is that the chemo treatments will continue to be very effective, eventually shrinking the tumors in her liver down to manageable sizes.  Surgeons would then operate on Maggie’s liver using super-heated probes to vaporize the remaining cancerous masses.  This would remove all “detectable” cancer from Maggie.  However, Dr. Loukas states that it’s medically impossible to remove every single cancerous cell (or “seed” as he called it.)  Since the cancer cannot be “cured” or completely removed, eventually the cancer would re-occur somewhere in her body.

Scenario 2 is that the cancer will eventually become unresponsive to the chemo treatments.  Obviously, this is not a great situation and one in which more desperate measures will be taken.

This week is officially “drug free” week.  Maggie is off her pain meds which, by the nature of pain meds, has enabled her to stop taking a myriad of other meds that were used to fight various, related side-effects.  She’s also stopped taking her Xeloda.  Fantastic!

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