In 2011, my mom had a cancer recurrence. Once again, we returned to our trusty team at Mayo and her surgeon pulled off a rather rare second liver resection. We knew then that she was lucky to undergo such a radical surgery for a second time. Most with this type of cancer don't live to have a second surgery, much less one that removes 90 percent of the liver. In the fall of 2011 and early 2012, she underwent chemo. She acquired a grand kid and retired last year. Our lives revolve in three-month modes, awaiting CT and bloodwork results. Until this past August, she remained classified as a patient in "remission".
In early August we learned that the cancer had returned yet again.
Cho-lan-gi-o-car-ci-no-ma. "Little bastard," is more like it. Back again. Ding dong. No apologies, just walked right in and laid on the couch.
So, tonight I'm at home writing this and my parents are gearing up for round 1 at Mayo. After two liver resections, our options for further aggressive surgery are nil. Tomorrow, mom will have a special type of surgery --,a chemoembolism, which is designed to tackle intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). A catheter is run from the femoral artery to the liver and site of the tumor. Chemo is placed directly in the affected area. And, then we wait.
She'll recover in the hospital in Rochester over the next few days. The chemoembolism procedure begins with an angiogram, and they take real photographs of the tumors in her liver. The surgeon will determine how far to take it tomorrow, and then we'll wait a few weeks and go back for more CT scans and bloodwork and dates with an oncologist and the constant music playing in the Mayo Clinic main atrium. Additional chemoembolisms can be done.
She's feeling good. She's not orange. She doesn't itch. Her voice didn't shake today when we talked to the nurse educator. She's a tough one, a funny one, a good one. We'll be okay.
Tomorrow marks another Go Yellow Friday for me. I'll update her progress -- and you can re-bookmark this site, friends.