A few months ago I wrote about my dear friend who was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer just after having her first baby. Her optimism and positive focus was inspirational to me, and I marveled at her ability to live life unencumbered by prognosis.
Today I am happy to report that she has completed her 7th round of chemotherapy (with avastin, oxaliplatin, 5FU, and leukovorin) and her liver tumors have already shrunk by two-thirds. She is bothered by neuropathy (burning sensations in her hands and feet – a known side effect of this drug regimen) and has lost the ability to taste food fully, but otherwise she is maintaining her weight and her blood counts are good. She told me that her plan is to complete 12 rounds of chemo and then meet with a liver surgeon to consider surgical removal of the remaining tumors. Miraculously, her doctors believe that she may be a candidate for liver resection and eventual cure.
This couldn’t be any better news and I am so pleased to be able to celebrate my friend’s success. I have learned a great deal myself about the journey, and about how many people are willing to reach out and help those who are struggling. As for my friend, she has greatly benefited from:
1. CarePages – an online gathering place where friends and family can find out the latest news about her progress, and leave well wishes and virtual gifts. CarePages is part of the Revolution Health family.
2. The Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) – this wonderful non-profit organization linked my friend up with a mentor who has been through a similar treatment regimen and diagnosis and can speak to her about what to expect. The CEO of CCA has even taken time out of his busy schedule to make sure that my friend gets the best support available and has put her in touch with top liver surgeons.
3. Dr. Lenz’s Colon Cancer Blog – Dr. Lenz is a leading medical oncologist and Co-director of both the Colorectal Center and the Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology Program at USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles. He also prepares 3 fresh blog posts per week here at Revolution Health, to make sure that cancer patients have access to the latest research and information about colon cancer.
With incredible advances in evidence-based cancer therapies and these terrific online resources, colon cancer patients have a brighter future than ever before. I’m so pleased that my friend is doing well, and I’m grateful for the many people and organizations that have touched her life. Expect another update on her progress in March!This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at RevolutionHealth.com.