Today I found out the the next phase of my treatment will focus only my liver (although the rest my body will be closely monitored, including colon). I am going to have chemo pumped straight into liver via my aorta and arteries and veins. Apparently, the chemo will be in beads, which will attach to tumors. This whole process is called Trans-arterial Chemoembolization. They will only do the procedure to one side of the liver at a time, to reduce risk of liver failure. This will happen every 6 weeks and it is an overnight stay. Some questions I have been getting:
When does this start? I have to get a green light from insurance first. Then I have one more pre-procedure appointment so they can get the chemo dose right, then they will set up the first procedure for early to mid May.
How do I feel about this? Well here is the funny part: Before the consult with the radiologist today a physician assistant came in and told me about the procedures.
She spoke of the radiation option, which I am NOT getting. She told me they would need a day just to map out my arteries and what not. She said they would have to coil up other organs to protect them from radiation, and they would get less blood flow. She said for 3 days after procedure I should stay away from humans, pets, society, etc. because I will be radioactive. It all sounded so intense. I took 3 pages of notes. She barely spoke about the chemo procedure. So when I found out I was NOT doing the radiation, the Trans-arterial Chemolahblahblah sounded like a relief to me. Plus, I will be asleep when all these wires and strings will be in my blood flow. So all this to say, there are worse things I could get . . . but I am still nervous.
How long is healing? They want 6 weeks between procedures to completely heal. They are starting with right side, then 6 weeks later will do left side of liver, then back to right side and so on. He said the first 1-2 weeks I will have extreme fatigue, cramping and nausea. Hopefully the next 4 weeks after that will be easier on me, so I can LIVE this summer.