Here we go... Last post, I think we were waiting to see what Joe's options were going to be as to treatment, as he's pretty much run through all but two. There is a fairly new treatment... uses microscopic radioactive beads implanted in the liver to fry the tumors... and one last old chemo... We were on pins and needles for a few days, waiting to see if Joe was going to be a candidate for the radiation... AND HE IS!!!
We went Monday for part 1 of the procedure... a vein study. They went up through his artery in his groin and injected some dye and a tad bit of radiation to map out his veins... Some of them have to be blocked with coils to keep the beads from traveling to other organs (such as the lungs), which could cause issues. They placed 5 coils.
Next Wednesday, the 30th of March, we go back down and they do the actual radiation procedure... Approximately 6 MILLION little beads, smaller than a cell, will be put into Joe's liver. These beads carry 40 times more radiation than they could give externally... and they are geared to attack JUST the cancer tumors, so the healthy parts of his liver will be unharmed for the most part. Wednesday night, I'll be back on the other side of the bed... said the chance of me having any problems from it are slim to none, but they just recommend that I not sleep on the side that they've treated.
Just to keep the chances of overtaxing his liver down, they'll do the right side first... it's the larger lobe, and where he has more tumors concentrated. After those are settled in, we'll go back in 2-3 weeks and get the left side treated.
That PET scan was pretty cool! They'd never done one of those on him before. And we've never been shown any of the scans... Generally the radiologist reads them and just calls the oncologist, but since Dr. Smith IS a radiologist, he took us through them on the computer. So neat how they can see everything... bottom to top, top to bottom, left and right, right and left... He showed us Joe's liver all the way through.
They've always talked about his tumor load... and innumerable tumors, which doesn't sound good at all, but we were actually pleased to find that Joe's tumor load is at about 30%... That means that 70% of his liver is tumor free! The oncologist was amazed that Joe's liver function is so good, all things considered, but then he may not actually KNOW what Joe's tumor load is either... he doesn't really deal in that.
I guess the only real downside is that the radiologist wants Joe to do some chemo too, along with the radiation... And it being the old chemo, chances are, it could cause Joe some grief with nausea... He's never had issues with nausea before, but that's been because all of the treatments have been newer ones, with less adverse side effects. God willing, Joe will do his usual and just groove right along! He's going back on the Xeloda again too, which is what makes such a mess of his hands and feet... they were JUST getting back to normal! Ugh! He's still got his "Never say Die" attitude tho! Complete confidence that the Lord is going to heal him. He faded a bit here a few weeks back... was wearing out... The hope for this new treatment has bolstered him up again.
I will admit to still having a bit of fear... The good thing with the radiation and chemo vs just the chemo... the cancer cells can't mutate against the radiation. With the one-two punch, God willing, the cancer won't stand a chance. I'll have his back, whatever happens... and I know y'all have our backs as well...
Before I sign off here, I just wanted to add that I'm still saying prayers for Julie's sister... and for Terri's family who've been facing cancer as well... I hope and pray that all come through things with flying colors!
Okay... got a baby blanket to finish up... Have I told you that we're expecting another new grandbaby? We suspected, but found out for sure just after Christmas... Another girl... Due May 8th... This will be our 5th in 7 years... All girls except for Peanut... he still gets to be my favoritest boy in the world ever! I have a sweet spot for him... can you tell? LOL!
Hugs and lots of smiles!!!