Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cain and Abel

One of Dave’s doctors or nurses has referred to Dave’s liver as Cain versus Abel. One side of his liver is healthy and strong and the other side has this ugly tumor that is trying so hard to kill off the other side. And the battle continues.

The Huntsman Cancer Institute has a Tumor Board that meets every Tuesday. (An explanation of the Tumor Board is given on the posting Dave’s Story.) Dr. Sorenson from the Tumor Board called today with the results. Keep in mind, there will be bad news, but there will also be good news. Our family is clinging to the good news! It keeps us fighting and keeps Dave strong!

First, Dave’s insurance doesn’t cover the Huntsman Cancer Institute and so he will not be receiving treatment from them but they did meet to discuss his case. They are not suggesting surgery at this point. (For anyone unaware, we have been fasting and praying for surgery. That would have been the best option.) He can’t have surgery because the tumor is so big. If they remove the tumor, his liver might not sustain his body. The national standard for liver transplants states that the tumor must be less than 8 cm. Dave’s is 12 cm on one side. They can not remove the tumor or do a liver transplant at this point.

Since Dave will not be receiving treatment from (HCI), Dr. Sorenson has referred Dave to some doctors in Salt Lake City that we have already heard great things about. Dr. Watson is an Oncologist who specializes in “Liver Directed Therapy”. At this point I am not entirely sure what that means. (As we understand it, they will be trying to strengthen the healthy side of his liver and attempt to shrink the tumor on the right side. When I find out what exactly that is, I will put more information.) Dr. Mark Ott is a surgeon who we have heard wonderful things about.

Dr. Sorenson(from Huntsman) sent Dave’s medical records to both Dr. Ott and Dr. Watson and requested that they call Kaylene within the hour to set up an appointment with Dave. Both called quickly and Dave has an appointment with Dr. Watson(the Oncologist) on Monday afternoon and one with Dr. Ott(the Surgeon) on Tuesday afternoon. Both appointments are next week. Dr. Ott has already reviewed his records and wants a biopsy done on the lymph nodes. (As it turns out he has two that are swollen.) Dave will go in for a biopsy on Monday morning.

Monday- Biopsy on the lymph nodes and appointment with Dr. Watson(Oncologist)
Tuesday- Appointment with Dr. Ott(Surgeon)

Also: There is a Tumor Board that will meet tomorrow (Wednesday) at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (where Dave was last week). Dave will also get an appointment with his Oncologist from that Tumor Board. His name is Dr. Wallentine.

The Good News:
1. There is something to be said about not getting into the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Since they are a research facility, they don’t allow their patients to have any outside treatment options because they need to have controlled situations for their research. Since we won’t be taking Dave there, he has a lot of treatment options to look at.
2. The tumor is growing very fast. Since the cells are dividing so quickly, they are not very strong and should be easy to kill. We are hoping that the liver therapy will kill enough cells and that they will be able to shrink the tumor enough to operate. I have to think that is the reason that Dr. Sorenson said they were not going to recommend surgery and yet he still referred us to a surgeon.
Keep praying and sending him your love. He’s a fighter and we will fight our way through this. Thanks again for the love and support.

1 comment:

  1. The good news outweighs the "bad" news! Hooray! We believe in miracles and our dear Dave deserves the very best!!! So thankful for the quick response from the Salt Lake doctors!!! Thanks for keeping us informed Matt and Kelly! We LOVE you!