Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My brain is pretty full, but I'm gonna try to relay everything I can remember... Bear with me if it's not in order.

We left home at about 5:45 this morning so we could get a cup of coffee before going to the appointment. Harv got in and out of his blood-draw pretty quickly and we waited a little while for our appointment with Dr. Lin.

Dr. Lin said that CEA was 5, I think (but to tell you the truth I can't remember if that was the previous one or this one.) Either way... it was pretty good. 

Also, when Harv was in the hospital, his hematocrit (red blood count) was 19... which is VERY low. Normal is between 30 and 40. There was a time when the doctors considered giving him a transfusion, but they figured out that since he had lost a lot of blood during the surgery, and since they were taking blood every 6 hours -- it was hard for his body to make it up fast enough. So they decided to only take his blood every 24 hours and let it re-build on its own. Guess what it was today (3 weeks later)?  Go on, make a guess!

THIRTY-SEVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Uh huh! (Harv's always tryin' to excel at stuff!)

Dr. Lin said he needed to confirm with the pathologist exactly what portion and position he was looking at when he gave the report, but it appeared that there was a "positive margin." 

"Positive margin" is like pulling a dandelion weed instead of digging all around the root to remove it all ("negative margin"). Sometimes the placement of the tumor makes it difficult to remove EVERYTHING all around. 

So it appeared that there might be a positive margin. He was gonna confirm with the pathologist and with Dr. Park before making further recommendations.

He wanted Harv to start with the oral chemo (Xeloda) again and said that we might possibly begin radiation, too, to ensure that those cells were dead. If radiation, that would be daily for 3 weeks. (That could  be challenging logistically, but if it means Harv would be stickin' around longer, then, oh well!) 

Dr. Lin has said before that there comes a time when the infused chemo no longer does anything to the "intrenched" tumors... But, he has had success with Xeloda + Celebrex keeping things under control. If we can keep the current tumors from growing and potential tumors from feelin' all high and mighty, then that's what we should do. So, tomorrow Harv will start with the Xeloda + Celebrex for 2 weeks, then off one week, then start again. We'll see Dr. Lin in four weeks and there will be a CT scan that day, too.

When we got home, we weren't sure about whether there would be radiation, but were thinkin' it would happen.

I received the following email from Dr. Lin after we got home.... 
Dr. Park says that he did more resection at the site and secured the negative margin. Thus, we do not need more radiaiton. He did say that he did not touch left lobe lesion.
Let us let his liver regenerate and we will see if current Xeloda will do the trick given that bulk of his tumor burden already reduced significantly.
So... I'm just gonna say that my heart has slightly less burden than it did before we went to the doctor....and perhaps even less than it did when we got home this afternoon....  

I'm feeling so relieved that I'm tempted to get a puppy! I mean, heck! If Harv's only on oral chemo (which he has tolerated quite well for a long time) and he's not gonna have radiation, then why not! (I'm not REALLY sure (and I know it's a little bit insane), but I sure am tempted!)  (Don't get too excited or all up in arms -- a decision hasn't been made... I just keep thinkin' about it.)

And so... tonight we will rest a little easier. And, we will continue to be thankful for so many good things in our lives.

Many, many blessings to you all.
Sleep well, my friends!
Love you.


GFWer said...

I like the sound of everything in this blog except the idea that you would get a puppy. Go visit somebody elses and be happy! Harv, looks like you are doing GREAT! GFW☺

Carrie said...

I told you not to get all up in arms... It's gonna all be fine. And, I'll try not to do something totally insane.