Spoke with my surgeon, Dr. Shoup - Loyola, to let her know of my trip to see the Surgeon that trained HER. She'll call him and discuss my case and his findings as well.
I also got clarification from her regarding the "Am I a candidate for surgery to remove liver tumors or not". It was my understanding that, per the last Loyola team meeting, I was NOT a candidate. I came to that conclusion based on the fact that it wasn't presented to me as an option, only TheraShperes. Dr. Shoup explained that Theraspheres was presented as an optional treatment because it wouldn't "harm" the liver should surgery be done down the road.
Dr. Shoup also stated that I "could" have surgery but it is a matter of "should" I have surgery.
I'm not entirely clear on the reasons why I should not have surgery but here are some:
- my tumors are on all lobes of liver, if all were cut out, not enough liver left to survive
- if only one side of liver operated on, that leaves other tumors, meaning not "cured"
- the liver surgery could end up compromising my ability to receive chemo and can also effect kidneys
I hope to get more understanding on the risks/benefits (although that is ALWAYS unclear) from my meeting with Dr Bertram at Northwestern today, and from Dr. Fong.
I saw Dr. Lo, my oncologist, yesterday at chemo and brought her up to date on my other consultations. I told her my continued frustrations with communication, and that as a patient, I may hear "the bad" news and not the good, or that if a limited amount of information is told to me, I will interpret and assume a host of other things. So I asked her to make sure she gives me more and clearer reasons for any team opinions and options presented to me so I can better process it and make decisions. I explained to her that I'm trying to get at much info and understanding as I can while my energy level and brain function are Good right now - while my chemo regimen is lighter, I may very well fall back into fatigue and Chemo Brain and don't want to be in a further position of weakness when making decisions on my care. I think she "got" it.
So my Angel Prayer Warriors, finish your shopping and gift wrapping and enjoy the time with your family and friends this week. As always, I thank you from the depths of my heart for all your support, prayers and good vibes.