Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery
dr_pretentious

Zach Update: Important Scans Thursday and Friday, Livestrong Challenge Ride Saturday

My brother-in-law has been getting mixed news lately: not even the bigwigs at NIH can make any guesses at his odds of recovery or his remaining time if he doesn't recover, because he's outlived his initial prognosis by so many months (he's made it well over a year, when the guys at Johns Hopkins thought he'd have five months at most), and he's in so much better shape than most people who've had his type of cancer for as long as he has (cholangiocarcinoma, a rare and especially ruthless type). Also, people who get cholangiocarcinoma are usually a lot older when they get it than he is, so from the start he's been a statistical anomaly. On the other hand, if he's going to recover, he absolutely must have surgery to remove the big tumor on his liver and the big lymph node metastases. All the scans done up until how have indicated that the chemo hadn't shrunk the tumors enough to make the surgery risks bearable.

So the scans scheduled for Thursday and Friday--today and tomorrow, by the time I finish posting this--are pretty high-stakes scans. Any progress from the chemo would be welcome news. We're all especially hoping that the metastases will have retreated, and that the progress against the main tumor on the liver has at least held steady.

The prayer request has gone out: accurate scans, well interpreted by the doctors, with results giving reason to hope and a clear basis for action. If the scans indicate that Zach's body can handle whatever surgery would be needed to get those tumors out, so much the better. If praying for the sick is something you do, please remember Zach in your prayers.

In solidarity with Zach's struggle, Dan's found a way to participate again in the LiveStrong Challenge ride to fight cancer. It took some figuring out, since our baby's due date is Real Soon Now, and my prodromal labor is getting pretty similar to active labor on some days. (On the other hand, my sister had 18 days of prodromal labor before her second kid switched into active labor mode, and that's not as unusual as you might think, so we've decided not to put our entire lives on hold over this.) Philadelphia is too far from the hospital I'm planning to deliver at, so instead of riding with the crowd in Philly, Dan's worked out a 50-mile route that loops around between our house and our chosen hospital. The magnificent jeneralist will be joining us for a combination of ride-support and pregnant-lady-support (Thanks, Jen!). Please consider donating. You can see Dan's fundraising page at the LiveStrong Foundation site here.
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