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Liver Resection & Erbitux
Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:25 pm
Hello Everyone! Molly, I love the new message board. You are doing an awesome job.
I am going to have surgery to either resect my liver or put a hepatic pump in and am starting my research on what to expect. I have been told by two prior oncologists, the cancer was too extensive in my liver to resect it. Recently, I began treatment with a new Dr. who is treating the cancer much more aggressively. I have had problems with low platelet counts and was unable to recieve treatments in the past. This was very discouraging and I started to lose hope. My new Dr. believes it is because my spleen is enlarged (due to chemo) and it gobbles up the platelets. Something to that effect. He also added Erbitux to my FOLFURI treatment. I had a PET scan last week after 4 Erbitux treatments and 2 FOLFURI treatments and it appears to be doing a remarkable job getting rid of the tumors in my liver. The new cancer center also does massage therapy. My platelets have regained their numbers despite being treated. I'm still in a state of disbelief because I've been on chemo for so long. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
Explore all of your treatment options
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:35 pm
Stay motivated. You are smart to seek a second opinion regarding your health situation, as some doctors take different views on treatments. I am in the process of seeking opinions through various doctors regarding radiofrequency ablation-a technique which has been successfull inliver tumor metasasis patients-which I have.
At this point, my treatment has not included Erbitux, so I am not able to comment on that drug. Oxilaplatin, Leucavorin fl 5-5U and Avastin consist of my treatment. There had been a recent incident on my 10th chemo treatment which illustrated that the nurses made a BLATENT ERROR for not including Avastin for ALL of my treatments; simply put, it was discovered by one attentive nurse that it had NEVER BEEN ADMINISTERED TO ME-the nurses weren't reading my doctor's notes.
The above incidient you have just read raised a red flag in my head, and made me realize that I am responsible for directing my appropriate treatment, and making certain it is being correctly administered. That is why I am a strong believer in patients using their right to seek opinions from other doctors. I ask doctors all kinds of questions, and I don't care if they may think of them as redundant.
Best wishes to you in your treatment
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:23 pm
Thank you for your inputs. I am so sorry to hear about the nurses and Dr. overlooking the Avastin. My attitude is, "They are getting paid a lot of money to help me LIVE, so they better darn well do it or I'll go somewhere else." Your's is a first class example on why it is so important to learn everything you can about colon cancer and treatments. I remember reading Lance Armstrong's book and he said the same thing. When I was first diagnosed I didn't want to know everything. I thought it would scare me and possibly make me lose hope. After 6 months of chemotherapy I didn't care whether I lived or died. I had lost hope. It's been a major transition adjusting to having cancer. It took me a year to figure out what my new focus and direction in life is.
I met with a surgeon today and he mentioned doing the radiofrequency abalation, liver resection, and implanting a hepatic pump. The Dr. says the surgery will probably be done in a couple of months. I am scheduled for a CT scan of the liver tomorrow and they want to get me in for another colonoscopy.
Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:53 pm
I can really see your courage in moving forward with the steps you will be taking in your treatment. You sound very focused and determined, which are exactly the tools you need to stay strong. Keep going!
Fear depression and discouragement regarding a doctor's mistake of treatment is an opportunity to turn the situation around and for a patient to take charge of their options.
This is what I have recently learned:
1. It can be advantageous to get access to all of your medical information for a second opinion when your regular doctor is out on a 4 week vacation. (That person is out of the way for the time being!)
2. Immediately following up with a dept. regarding records will put you in a better position of being in charge of obtaining your information. When other depts. are "flaky" and taking their time to get your records, a call stating urgency may get them moving quicker. Today I needed to do this in order to find out exactly where I had to go to obtain the information, if it wasn't going to be brought to me (CT Scans). As we know, cancer treatment needs to be treated as urgent. None of us want it to be a long, drawn out process due to a medical staff members negligence.
Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:52 pm
Thank you so much for your email regarding the fabulous news! I am so pleased to hear that you are responding positively to both your new regimen and medical staff. Sounds like you are kicking a little Cancer @#$. Be well and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers!