Friday, June 14, 2013

The verdict is in ~ Intravesical chemotherapy starts 06/22

We went to Cancer Treatment Centers of America this morning (7 am through 3:30 pm appointments). We saw the oncologist, urologist, Survivorship review, etc.

When comparing her cancer to other cancers in order of treatment options, Bladder cancer is a tough nut to crack. Because Penny has had bad Urinary Tract Infections for her entire life, her bladder is not what one would call.... fully viable (her immune system is constantly "engaged" regarding an issue with her regarding infections). Her left ureter and left ureter opening in her bladder is problematic (and the tumors keep popping up right next to that opening). The fact it is "High Grade" and continues to be so every time a tumor is removed every 3 months, Penny is looking at the small "chance" of the cancer spreading outside the bladder via the ureter, kidney, or lymph node if these cancers keep coming back. If her bladder was healthier, we wouldn't be as worried about it.

After discussing multiple options with the Urologist (BCG, Mitomycin, Bladder removal) and going over the Lab results/pathology... Penny readied herself to go with Mitomycin. We then saw the Oncologist, and we discussed the pro and cons of all the options. Then we started getting scared as the reality of what Penny has was emphasized.

A natural reaction (and unexpected, as we thought we had discussed everything and were prepared for the discussion). We weren't, there is nothing that can prepare you for a punch in the gut..... and that is, she will have cancer in some shape or form as long as her bladder remains in her body. So, at some point... the odds are that Penny will most likely / eventually have to have her bladder removed (and a neo-bladder created out of a small amount of intestine). This is surgery that is far beyond a mastectomy, this is major surgery affecting multiple organs (and Penny does not do well under such surgical conditions).

So, because of the fact that Penny's cancer is not within the lining... we are trying one more time and instead of 6 weeks of BCG, she will go the route of chemotherapy (Mitomycin) once every Friday for the next 6 weeks starting on 06/22. Once finished, she will undergo another cystoscopy in the beginning of September to determine the state of her bladder (and if the chemo is successful).

During lunch (when we had a 2 hour window), we went to Illinois Beach State Park to enjoy a walk along the beach and enjoying the shore/waves. We then met to the Osteopath and Penny was "adjusted" to the point that much of her pain subsided.... a miraculous endeavor.

We then went home immediately to discuss these issues with Travis.  

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