Apparently we had a doctor’s visit Tuesday morning that we missed. 9 Whoops. But we rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon for a visit with Dr. Loukas. Everything is looking just dandy. Blood counts are great. CEA is 2.5 (that’s good – normal is < 5). It’s just good all over. And we got a chance to ask him about my three interesting things.
CyberKnife – We asked, since we were ineligible for a resection, is CyberKnife a good alternative. Dr. Loukas used our question as an opportunity to remind us about the gravity of our specific situation. CyberKnife (just like with resections and ablations) is a great tool for picking out small, focused tumors. Maggie’s tumors, unfortunately, are diffused throughout her liver. As an illustration, picture two buckets full of agitated water. One has a few rocks and pieces of cork mixed in with the water. Each piece is easy to identify and remove. Now picture the other bucket with rocks and cork, too, but also filled with fine silt and sand. Sure, you could pick out the rocks and cork but you are still left with a bucket of pretty dirty water. Well, that’s the shape of our liver. The big tumors could be removed but what good would it do when the rest of the liver is still filled with muck.
Vitamin D – We asked about all the media hubbub over Vitamin D and he was pretty firm that no study has successfully shown to improve the prognosis, despite the media frenzy.
Finally, T-cell and skin cancer – As I wrote in my last entry, a treatment in Settle has essentially wiped out a gentleman’s bad case of skin cancer by using his body’s own defenses. But, as he is prone to do, Dr. Loukas squashed the hope from that direction by explaining that melanoma is sensitive to immunological treatments but colon, breast and other cancers are not. Thus, there’s no real hope from that direction. Blah.
On the positive, he reiterated how great Maggie is doing. While the tumors haven’t shrunk in size much since January, they still aren’t growing and that’s great. He plans to keep us on this “chemo light” regimen for as long as they stay inactive. He said that he’s got a few patients that are in similar situations that have been doing this for years. One female, he said, has been at it since 2002, cycling on and off treatment as necessary. And he has hopes to keep her off any aggressive treatment for the rest of the year. In fact, he’s so confident that she’s going to be fine for a while he pushed off our next personal visit with him for six weeks. That’s the longest we’ll have gone without a visit with him since January ’07. And that’s quite a vote of confidence. See you in August, Dr. Loukas!
With the absence of bi-weekly poisonings has come much higher energy levels, invigorated hair growth, and general increased happiness. We get a chance to be “normal” again and that’s just fine by me. Heck, I liked the way it used to be.
I wonder if, after ending a long diet from sweets, deserts taste better. I know for me to have our boring, day-to-day life back, well, it sure is sweet.