Yesterday’s Spa Visit Went Fine

MD Anderson has set up an appointment for Maggie on May 15th with Dr. Cathy Eng.  The appointment is at noon is scheduled to last until approximately 9:30PM.  We were told to expect to stay for up to a week.  Our understanding is that this is merely a visit to get a second opinion just to make sure we didn’t miss anything.  We’ll drive down to Houston that morning ready to stay for a while.  We’ve been warned now by a few people to bring lots of reading material because there will be lots of waiting around.

Yesterday’s Spa visit was uneventful.  Dr. Loukas described Maggie’s liver as “tiny” which is great.  He continues to be pleased with her progress.  We asked him about the next, next steps and long-term plans.  He said that he expects that we’ll do about 3 more cycles of chemo (for 8 total) and then investigate liver ablation, liver resection or some other type of physical removal of the tumor masses in her liver.  He guessed that this would be in about August, September timeframe but stressed that this was merely a guess.  He ever said that, because Maggie is responding so well, he could see a day that she no longer has to take chemo.  We were quite surprised at that.

All that good news was tempered with his caveats, though.  He said that it’s just highly improbable that she would be cured (<5% chance, statistically).  If/when we reach a point where Maggie no longer needs chemo the next step is to wait until the cancer pops up again.  It could be anywhere in her body – brain, bones, lungs, liver – and at that time we’d treat those tumors.  Basically, we’re going to be playing a life-long game of Whack-A-Mole.

Maggie got her CPT-11 (410 mgs this time) but did not get her Avastin.  She’s been having some peculiar pains in her lower abdominal area which concerned Dr. Loukas.  Since Avastin has a quite nasty but rare side-effect of weakening the abdominal wall in such a way that a hole appears, he thought that it’d be best to skip a treatment of Avastin to see what happens.  Again Chris is reminded how amazingly inexact the medical field is.  Poke it and see what happens – the ultimate scientific method.

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