I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write this but, I’ve been physically unable to do so. Still, here we go! If you remember, I had a scan recently and it showed that my tumors had “woken up”. Read More Here. Yup, lucky me. The PRRT stopped working and all of the progress that I had achieved from the treatment was lost. You can read about my PRRT experiences here. I would still like to write a “wrap up” post for the PRRT but for now, it will have to wait. I have had a liver embolization and I am recuperating very slowly.
I have been back and forth to Colorado establishing a relationship with Dr. Liu at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center. My oncologist is great but he is not a Neuroendocrine Cancer specialist. So, I was on the hunt. 🙂 Dr. Liu came up with a plan. Embolize the large tumor in my liver which was the size of a very large orange, and depending on how I recovered, he might do surgery to get some of the other ones out of the liver as well. Then, if all goes well, my last 2 doses of PRRT.
I Have Had A Liver Embolization
Yes, I took the first step and I’m glad that I did. When they embolize a tumor they basically clog up the blood vessels feeding the tumor with beads. This is called bland embolization. Dr. Nutting is the doctor that did the procedure and he works with Dr. Liu all of the time. He explained that he would be using beads that were really more like a gel that eventually squeezed and “form fit” into the tiny blood vessel and clogged it up.
As of the last time I spoke with Dr. Liu the tumor was almost half dead. I was very happy with Dr. Nutting’s demeanor, bed side manor, professionalism and HE KILLED THE TUMOR! 🙂 He did say that he did not expect it to die back 100% because, as he explained, a tumor that large has quite a few blood vessels feeding it and it’s hard to get them all. My only caveat was the hospital itself was not the best. They did not seem aware of any of the issues a neuroendocrine / carcinoid cancer patient deals with and they were very inattentive. Although the nurse who cared for me most of the time was very good.
The Plan Has Changed Since I First Started This Post
When I first discussed my options with Dr. Liu, he had planned to eliminate the large tumor in my right lobe and possible remove others in my left lobe through surgery but now, he has suggested that I go straight to PRRT. He is a bit worried that the tumors located everywhere else are growing to quickly. So, it’s back to Texas for me! Now, will my insurance pay? Blue Cross Blue Shield has been giving people a hard time from what I understand. They are saying that the maximum dose is 4 treatments and I’ve had 4 but, I was told I have 2 more that I can have if the tumors begin to grow again. Still, I have heard that Blue Cross Blue Shield will not pay for any more than 4. We shall see.
So, I am collecting my images, records and doctor’s notes to send to Texas and they will try to get me pre-authorized….and then it’s back to Texas. 🙂