Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Journey Continues

So the journey to the cure continues…We arrived in NYC again to meet with the surgeons. We arrived a day before the meeting due to an appointment for a CT scan the night before. Now I know why they call it the city that never sleeps. You can get a CT scan at 8 PM in NYC…

We took the train down again and it was a beautiful ride. We arrived and decided that we would walk to the hotel (about a 1.5 mile trek) on E 62nd St. We walked up 7th Ave to Times Square and then cut over through Rockefeller Center to 5th Ave. When we got down to Bergdorf’s there was a film crew set up filming a scene for the sequel to Sex in the City. We stopped to take it in and we saw Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie) and Kristin Davis(Charlotte) doing a street scene. We caught a couple of pictures of the shoot.

We walked over to our hotel and checked in. We stayed at the Bentley which is a decent hotel and we got a fair rate (under $200). The hotel is mid way between the Sloan outpatient offices and the hospital where the CT scan was done. We decided to walk around a bit and explore the eateries in the vicinity after which we went to the appointment and were out by 9PM. We were both starving by this point and decided on an Italian restaurant that we found earlier. The meal was delicious and the wine was too. We capped it off with a tiramisu and cappuccino and then walked back for a good night’s sleep.

The next morning we were scheduled to meet with the liver pump doc and have an EKG done or so we thought… We met with the doc and he discussed the option for the pump and explained all the details both good and bad. We had already been briefed by the oncologist that we saw the week before so we were certain this was the path we wanted to go down. After the exam and the talk he asked if we wanted to go home and think about it to which I promptly replied that I was ready to sign up. We did some paperwork, signed the consent and decided to donate the tissue from the biopsy to a tissue repository where it will be used for future studies. I thought that was a good idea because it’s something that I can do to help someone else who is facing the same challenge as me. Besides what am I going to do with it? The next step was to meet with the colon surgeon. The liver guy warned me that she would more than likely do an exam. Well she did more than an exam. As a matter of fact I think I should send her flowers as she really got to know me in ways that I never dreamed of. I survived and went on to the next stage a pre op screen that determines whether I am healthy enough for surgery. That was an easy thing to go through however by this time it was around 5 we were free and the surgery is scheduled for October 9. I had nothing to eat all day and was ready to eat my shoes and I’m pretty sure that Sandy was too. When all was said and done we headed back over to the train station and had some NYC pizza slices and a beer. We caught the train home and slept comfortably knowing that I am in good hands.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A New Hope

A New Hope is the sub title of the very first Star Wars film. Luke Skywalker was new hope to help save the universe from the evil empire. I met my Luke down at Sloan yesterday in my battle against the evil empire attacking my body.

Sandy and I took the train down to NYC to meet with a CRC(Colorectal Cancer)doctor at Sloan. The day started off nice with a beautiful train ride down the Hudson river to NYC. We arrived around 11 AM and we proceeded to walk up to Times Square. We spent some time looking at all of the stores and advertising. Then we walked over to St. Patrick's Cathedral to say some prayers and ask for help in finding a cure. We had lunch walked over to 5th ave and window shopped and then walked over a couple blocks to Sloan.

The staff was very nice to us and we filled out a bunch of forms and went in to meet the Doctors. First we met with Dr.C's fellow and another doc from China who is here to learn about CRC. The cases of CRC are starting to increase in China. Although they don't know what causes the disease, I suspect the rise in the number of cases in China may be related to all the fast food companies that have opened up there. Anyways he examined me and asked about the history and what I was looking for. We told him we wanted to have liver resection which leads to a cure. He left and and told us that he and Dr. C would talk it over and develop a strategy. We waited about 1/2 hour 45 minutes then the knock on the door came. Dr. C came in and introduced himself and proceeded to give us a lecture on CRC and how the disease works. he went on to say that under my current treatment that I would not be a candidate for liver resection. My heart fell on the floor. That was when he told us of a study using a hepatic arterial pump therapy that has potential to lead inoperable people to candidacy for resection. He went on to say that I would be an ideal person to participate in this study. My heart hopped back into my chest and my new hope was realized. Our prayers were answered!

We left Sloan and will be back next week for an appointment with the surgeon who is running the study. I will be undergoing a very serious operation to have the pump implanted in my abdomen. They will remove my gall bladder due to a risk of infection. They will also remove the original tumor in the same surgery session. I will more than likely spend 7 days in the hospital in NYC and have 3 weeks at home to recuperate. I beleive that this will occur sooner rather than later as the Sloan Docs recommended that I pass on the chemo treatment this week. The chemo causes your body to heal slower so you have to be off of it for a couple of weeks before undergoing any surgery.

So that's my story. We went to NYC with nothing and came back with a new hope. I'm looking forward to this week end and not having a chemo hang over. I plan to spend my time with my 2 favorite girls; my wife Sandy and my little angel Olivia.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.