Tyler's Heart

Pictures - Pictures from Houston.
LVAD Video - A YouTube video about living with an LVAD.
HeartMate II Video Clip - Short video clip about the pump Tyler has.

Another good blog to read is from our friend Bill. Cozumel Part 1 - This Might Be Habit Forming.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Try, try until you get the answer you want

Where we are now......
The abscess has now been reduced/corrected.  The stints that were placed in his colon to help drain the abscess came out on their own, so the procedure to remove them went really fast!

But that still left us with the "what to do about the cancer" debate.   We were hearing from the oncologists that Tyler needed to have a right hemicolectomy (removal of about 1/3 of his colon) and 6 months of chemo.   The removal of part of the colon (and some lymph nodes) was to determine the existence and stage of the cancer.   Obviously Tyler wasn't really into this after all that has gone on.

I was chatting with a friend of mine who reminded me that she had been diagnosed with the same cancer.  They didn't do a hemicolectomy and were just monitoring her with scans and blood work.  So we got an appointment with her oncologist.   Fingers were crossed that Tyler could just be monitored also.

We drove up to Ft. Collins, CO (about 60 miles north of Denver) for the appointment.  The doctor's opinion was that Tyler should just go the monitoring route also.   He would have recommended the hemicolectomy if Tyler didn't have his other issues going on.   He also could have seen doing chemo although it is now a bit to late to be as effective in relation to the risks posed.   He felt there was a better than even chance the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes based on Tyler's records (previous scans and blood work).  The cancer may have been removed along with the appendix.   Tyler's tumor was a T3 which means it had invaded the muscle of the appendix, but had not advanced outside of the appendix.  Also, during the pathology of the appendix there were no tumor cells at the margins (where the appendix was cut away from the colon).  Also, the chemo that was going to be given was for colon cancer since the appendix cancer is rare and there appears not to be a chemo regimen specifically for that type of cancer.   The new plan is to do a PET scan and blood work towards the end of September and go from there.

So, it is kinda like asking Dad for permission and then trying Mom!   Keep asking until you get the answer you want.   Does this mean Tyler doesn't have cancer?  No.  Does this mean Tyler does have cancer? No.   It just means that in Tyler's situation the risks of surgery and chemo outweigh the benefits that may or may not happen.

So there is a chance Tyler is over this latest challenge, but it also may mean that the cancer is still active and may reappear other places.   But for now, the challenge is that he still has blood in his urine (only seen through a microscope) and tomorrow will be having a cystoscopy procedure to see what is going on in his bladder.

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