Hi Suzette - I'm happy to share anything and everything I know and have had done if it is of use to someone. Here is my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from her.
Here is my timeline, all done at Emory:
-July 2008: diagnosed (from the time the tumors were seen on CT scan until biospy and diagnosis was 3 days including the weekend) - left lobe of liver completely consumed by tumors
-August 2008: had a colonoscopy, upper endoscopy to make sure there was nothing going on. then the failed resection attempt - tumors found on right side. they just closed me back up.
-September 2008: started chemo - gemzar & cisplatin
-November 2008: follow up scans showed no change in size of tumors, no smaller but no progression either
-December 2008 - conferred with Dr. Kim regarding radio/chemo embolization. He is interventional radiologist who actually ended up putting me together with Dr. Kooby
-January 2009 - had liver arteriogram (aka shunt study) done in advance of radio-embolization - it's at this time that Dr. Kim tells me that he went before the Emory tumor board to find a surgeon willing to talk to me about resection. Dr. Kooby enters the picture. I owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to Dr. Kim for doing this.
I then met with Dr. Kooby, who made no promises but thought there was a chance. I then had a PET scan, which along with the liver arteriogram, and CT scan gave Dr. Kooby a good idea that nothing else was hiding inside, but again they don't know for sure until they get in. He did tell me that if they opened me up and found any cancer outside the liver that they would not resect. I knew going into this there was a chance of another failed resection but I had to try. My surgery was Feb 18, and I was in the hospital for 13 days. I saw Dr. Kooby on March 20 and he says I am recovering ahead of schedule. I had a left lobe resection, a right lobe wedge resection, gallbladder removed, and a small portion of my left diaphragm removed, all with clean margins.
Dr. Kooby is an amazing doctor, and person. He's soft spoken but very sure of his skill and what he can do. I met Dr. Staley 2 or 3 times in the hospital when he made rounds. He is very boistrous (spelled wrong). Personally, I prefer Dr. Kooby's style.
Since your sister is in Macon, and Emory (Winship Cancer Institute) is so close, I would encourage her to talk to Dr. Kooby. Also, I see Dr. John Kauh, my oncologist. I get my chemo close to home but it is dictated by Dr. Kauh.
Based on what I've seen on this website, and other people's experiences and treatments, I've found that Emory offers the same treatments and care that the Mayo clinic, MD Anderson and Johns Hopkins offers. I feel VERY comfortable that I am getting comparable treatment at Emory/Winship, without having to leave home.
I hope this helps, and if you have any questions, no matter what they are, please ask. Hang in there with your sister, this is a long road, and you will both need each other. Tell Kim to e-mail me whenever she's ready.