Thanks for the update. I've been calling a little less to give the family some space. I'm glad you got to talk with Cherie. I know she loves hearing from her friends. Did she mention how the doctor's visit went Monday? Other than the extreme chemo? I forgot to mention, last week Beau told me that her lymphoma is in remission. That's a blessing, anyway. One crisis at a time is better to have to handle.
And thanks for the link on RFA - it sounds like they're trying it on lung cancer - I would think Cherie would be a prime candidate!
This is the article I sent to Jero - I sent it to Cherie's family last week. Wilma is my nephew's mother-in-law. So far the prodecure has helped her a lot. Back in January, they gave her about a month to live. What's also nice is they can do it along with the chemo. I just hope Cherie's doctors take it into consideration.
Innovative treatment gives hope to Troy woman…
Wilma Willoughby had a chunk of her liver removed withut undergoing the knife.
Instead, she went under the needle. The Troy woman on Jan. 10 underwent an innovative surgery - well, “procedure” is a better word, that didn’t require a single incision: Radio Frequency Ablation.
Willoughby, who has metastic colorectal cancer, had had surgery to remove cancerous tissue before, but now it’s not an option. The cancer has already spread to the liver and possibly other parts of her body.
Because surgery likely won’t be able to remove all her cancerous tissue, its risk outweighs its benefits.
But that’s not the case with Radio Frequency Ablation, a “procedure” offered by only one doctor in the Dayton area, Kamal Morar.
The procedure gave Willoughby’s a few pen-tip sized marks on her side and a whole lot of hope.
“I have no stitches, no BandAids, nothing,” she said.
Before, her situation was pretty grim. She was diagnosed with Stage Three colorectal cancer in the summer of 2002 and started chemotherapy that December. The cancer eventually spread to the liver, but, for a while, it appeared as though the chemotherapy was keeping it in check.
So, to let her body recover from the grueling treatment, she took a six week break in 2005. The cancer grew.
“In that short six weeks, it doubled in size,” she added.
Liver failure appeared certain, and the only way to slow it was more chemotherapy, which causes fatigue, nausea, soreness and all sorts of other side effects.
She and her husband Berry didn’t know what to do.
“We were running out of options fast,’ Barry said.
“Because it was growing,” his wife added.
Then they found one. Dr. Mohan Nuthakke at Upper Valley Medical Center told them about Morar, who he had recently met at a seminar.
They visited him that very day, Barry said.
“Dr. Morar was a lifesaver,” he added.
The day of the surgery, Morar burnt a piece of tissue that on the surface was the size of a softball with only a few small punctures to Willoughby’s skin. Part of it will grow back, he said.
The procedure has no real downside, according to Morar.
“This is a procedure that a lot of people don’t know is out there,” said Morar, who performed the procedure at Good Samaritan Hospital but wants to eventually perform it at UVMC.
Here’s how it works. A hollow needle is guided into the tumor with the help of a CT Scan or other imaging equipment. Then radio waves are sent through the needle to heat the tip only, burning the tumor.
Willoughby plans to have another scan done to pinpoint more cancerous tissue soon. Then she’ll receive Radio Frequency Ablation on those spots.
Morar said it’s unlikely he’ll ever be able to remove all of her cancer, but removing as much as possible from the liver will help Willoughby avoid liver failure - and let her eventually reduce her chemotherapy dose.
That’s one of her main goals. Willoughby said chemotherapy has forced her to “sit on the sidelines.”
”To get out in the sun and plant flowers and stuff - you miss that,” she said.
Now, however, she hopes to get back in the game.