The new HCC doctor my husband started seeing this year was very gentle with us when we met with her today. She took her time and asked lots of questions about how my husband was feeling, even taking the time to emphasize how fantastic it was that his viral load remained undetected... she was really wonderful. They talked about how he felt now since being off therapy (worse) and then gently said she wanted to talk about his CT Scan.
She was most kind by way of omission and suggestion -- she pointed out to my husband that the scan did show recurrence but that it wasn't unexpected considering the normally aggressive nature of HCC, but she wanted him to start another kind of treatment right away, a chemo known as sorafenib (also known as Nexavar) which could possibly slow down the tumor growth. She went on to explain that he also had the option to enroll in 3 different clinical trials: one using sorafenib and doxirubicin infusion; one using radio-embolization with drug eluting beads called Ytrium 90; and another one using Antibody treatment. She will be referring my husband to an oncologist and radiologist to discuss these options. When he asked her... "How long are these treatments?"... she hesitated only a moment and left it open... "Let's see how you respond."
I'll be doing my research into the pros and cons of all these options, but anyone who has any info to offer on any of them... I'd be most appreciative of any feedback.
In the meantime, he will be scheduled for chest scan and bone scan for staging... and adding more docs to his already long list. When we got back to the parking lot he turned and asked me... "She seemed really nervous today... did you notice that? She seemed nervous to me. Why would she be nervous?" :) My husband's final comment... "Sheesh, more pills again." She did good. Really good. Onward and forward.
I have no info. on the treatments you mentioned ...I just would like to say ..yes this tough fight continues and I know your husband"s struggle is greatly lessened because you fight right along with him at every turn...my prayers and positive thoughts to both of you.
Hey Eureka. I agree with RCM -- thanks for the timely update. I wish my doctors were like this one. Here is what I found online for you:
1. Here is a quick statement on Yttrium90 (google corrected me and spelled it with two 't's). The URL is listed below:
"This is a particularly elegant way to give patients cancer treatment that doesn't harm the healthy cells. Patients don't feel sick or have many of the side effects that happen with standard cancer treatments," said Dr. Salem. "It's like a seed implantation but with extremely high doses, and is very localized."
2. I looked up the others but they looked a bit complicated, and the first one (sorafenib)looked kinda scary......but that's just my opinion. I am not the doctor. The one above looked promising, so I hope the article gives you some answers. Praying for you and your hubby. BeeBlessed
Dang, those kids are smart sometimes. Sounds like the doc did a very good job. She sounds remarkable, a good doc with a good manner and balancing compassion with professionalism, seems like from a distance. Probably enough for one day, let that sink in and then on onward and forward, as you say to examining the trials for what you and hubby feel is his best option. Thanks for thinking of us in the middle of everything and giving us an update. Warm hugs to you.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
You both have been on my mind today and I am so glad to read your message. What a blessing that your lovely doctor handled this as she did. Your husband goes into this with hope and what a great start that is in this process you are facing. And he also has you, so strong and determined, at his side. I will add my hope and prayers and sincerest best wishes for you both in this part of the journey. May the treatments be successful.
Hi there, I wanted to say hi and thank you for letting us know what is going on. You are so wonderful to hold it all together when you saw the CT scans before you went to the appt. I do think that it takes time to absorb each detail. Like when I was dx with Hep C I was a mess for about months, could not think, was so anxious. I have learned to deal with it but it just takes time. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you and yours.
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