We had our first appointment today with Vanessa's orthopedic oncologist. The appointment was basically to tell us where we go from here and what tests need to be ordered to check for metastasis. The tests were ordered and include a CT Scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis as well as a complete body PET scan. Those are being scheduled as we speak and we will know tomorrow when she will have them done. They should happen pretty quickly. So all of that seems to be good so far.
Where do we go from here?
That is a little more tricky. So we have options... The first option is to begin chemo therapy ASAP, followed by another surgery if needed to remove the margins, and then radiation to the site. This option yields about a 60-80% success and survival rate with a possibility that it could return to the same area. The second option is chemo therapy, followed by a below elbow amputation. This option yields the same survival rate, but obviously eliminates the possibility of recurrence to the site. We of course want to attempt the less invasive option first. If the tumor was to reoccur in the same area we would then opt for the amputation. We will begin seeing a medical oncologist very soon also in the Los Angeles area. We have another consultation with a surgeon who will place her Mediport. This is an implanted device under her skin in her chest that will help deliver the chemo directly in to her Vena Cava and insures that it reaches any area that the cancer can reach. It will also keep her from getting poked with an IV needle in the arm every time she has chemo.
The initial plan is that she will get the mediport and have chemo for four to five months between three and four days a week. She will be getting checked for spread and tumor regrowth every three months during that time and for the next two years. After the initial chemo she will be reassessed for the need of surgery and radiation will begin for an additional four months.
We appreciate all of the care, concern, and prayers we have received so far. Keep the prayers rolling in and God will lead us through this!
A special thanks to Vanessa's mom, dad, and her Aunt Jory for being there in support for Vanessa. Jory is a Breast cancer survivor and her being there is inspirational to Vanessa and means the world to our family!