Topic: New Member-Caregiver
Hello Survivors and Caregivers!!!
My name is Brittany and my story is about my best friend Joanne. In July of 2011 she went in to have a CT scan. She was diagnosed with Uterine cancer two years earlier and had a Hysterectomy. Dr. Smiley said it had been a couple of years since her last scan and said lets do one just to make sure nothing has popped up somewhere else. Well it did!!! She had a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her liver close to her Inferior Vena Cava. So she meet with Dr. Johnson (a gastro oncologist at West Clinic) he basically told her that the only cure was a transplant so her sent her to Dr. Campos (a liver transplant surgeon at Methodist University in Memphis). Dr. Campos told her that with this particular type of cancer that she would not be a candidate for a transplant. So here we go - Plan A!!!!! After reviewing her scan he said that she possibly could have a resection but was skeptical if he could do it because he was afraid that the tumor had wrapped itself around the IVC. The only way that he would know was to open her up. So in September the surgery was scheduled. Well our worst fear happened he opened her up and closed her up, called in the family and basically told the family she would be here for thanksgiving but not christmas. This man had no bedside manners what so ever!!!!!!!! Not once out of this whole situation did he say that she could start any type of chemo and possibly put this at bay till some other option came available.
Ok Plan B!!! She went back to West Clinic and met with Dr. Johnson he immediately started her on chemo consisting of Tarceva 100mg, Cisplatin, Gemzar. During that time he sent her file out to various surgeons and scheduled a scan in 6 weeks. After her scan the chemo was working and the tumor was shrinking. Dr. Alexander Parikh a surgical oncologist at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center responded to her file and wanted to meet with her.
Plan C!!!! Joanne met with Dr. Parikh and he was very confident that he would be able to do the resection. He scheduled the surgery in Feb. of 2012. The surgery was successful!!!!! The tumor had not wrapped itself around the IVC but instead penetrated it so the Dr. was able to repair the sidewall. So Joanne was on the road to recovery. After nine days in ICU she was able to go home and start her recovery. After meeting with Dr. Parikh on a follow up visit she was told that she had positive margins and needed to start Radiation mixed with Xeloda. 27 treatments!!! It liked to have killed her literally!! The radiation ulcerated her esophagus and she developed Hand Foot syndrome. With her esophagus being ulcerated she had a had time swallowing and was limited to what she could eat!!!Which was tuff because her body was still trying to recovery from surgery. Joanne went for a scan in May 2012 and the scans where clear. Then she went for a scan in August 2012 and Dr. Parikh found 3 spots on the left side of her liver. Which the doc said wasnt surprising to him considering that her Hormones where in hypermode to help her body heal. Which as we all know that is what the chemo feeds off of. He told her to go back and meet with Dr. Johnson about starting chemo again.
Plan D!!!!! When we meet with Dr. Johnson and gave him the scans from Dr. Parikh the spots didn't show up. We were baffled!!!!!!!!! So Dr. Johnson ordered an MRI and what it showed was very saddening there were spots on the left side and spots in the new growth and a spot on a lymph node between the liver and kidneys. Dr. Johnson pretty much told her to go home and get your affairs in order!! Not again!!!! That was the hardest news to hear and the talks that we had afterwards. Funerals wishe, promises that friends make for each other, going through the emotions of not being able to see her granddaughter (who will be two in dec) grow up, or to watch her children start families of their own.
So the next day I woke up with a new attitude and so did Joanne!!! She wanted to fight this with everything she has!!! So I started doing a lot of research to see what was out there and I found this website. The information that is on here has given insight has to the options that are out there. She has since started chemo again and has a scan in 6 weeks in the mean time we go to Vandy next week to meet with Dr. Parikh and Dr. Laura Geoff to see if there are other options. Also she she is possibly looking at going to M.D. Anderson in Houston.
One of the things that Dr. Johnson mentioned was chemoembolization.
Has anyone had that done and was in successful? Also is there anyone out there that has had this same situation happen and what where your options/treatment?