Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Progress with an Unexpected Battle

Waiting room artist

Ania went in at about 8:30 this morning for an exam and second round of chemotherapy.

Her friend Rosie waits....

After about 45 minutes, Dr. Shapiro came out to speak to us after his exam and was very happy about the progress that has been made. He thinks the tumor had shrunk by 50%!  He expects that a few more treatments will still be necessary though. He is focusing on destroying the big tumor right now. Time will tell if the "vitreous seeds" ( basically little spots that could grow into larger tumors) will need some special attention (chemo directly to into the eye ball itself). After his exam, Dr Grobelney could begin administering the chemotherapy medication. 

We were feeling pretty high off of the good news for a little while. One of surgical staff came in and said they were having a harder time inserting the catheder so it was going to be a longer wait. At that time we decided to nourish our bodies with food.

After we returned from our meal, Dr. Grobelny came to speak with us as the infusion was still in process. What had happened was today's catherization proved to be a bit more difficult for him.  At the conclusion of last month's procedure they saw what they thought was a bit of spasm of the artery. Just a little hiccup - all turned out well so there was no second thought or concern. 

Today, however, as the Dr. began to inject the dye (iodine based) in to the arterial artery to confirm placement, Ania began to experience an elevated heart rate, dropping blood pressure and slowed breathing. They now believe that what they witnessed previously was the beginning of an allergic reaction to the dye and what they were seeing this time was a full reaction. They treated her with steroids immediately which settled her back into acceptable ranges of her vitals.

In the meantime, Dr. Grobelny encountered difficulty with infusing the chemo drug due to poor flow pressure to the tumor through the arterial artery that is accessed through the internal carotid artery approach.

With that in mind, Dr. G decided to do a 2nd catheterization through the left femoral artery and the EXTERNAL Carotid artery (many branches that supply the face) in order to be able to place a balloon which would block those branches and create a back pressure that would then increase the flow into the tumor through the INTERNAL Carotid artery. I could imagine the wheels turning in his head as he was troubleshooting a way to deliver the necessary tumor killing drug to the intended site without harming any other structures in our precious Ania's face. If he didn't do such a great job thinking outside of the box, he would have had to abort the procedure! 
 Such a blessing to have this man and his God given talents as Ania's doctor

While the infusion was a success, we anticipate Ania having a more difficult recovery this time due to these complications. In addition, she had a bit of a "respiratory thing" which meant extra secretions in her trachea along with the irritation of the breathing tube so she will probably have more stomach upset in the next 12 or so hours. They gave her a breathing treatment which seemed to help clear her lungs a bit. Check it out- A dragon facemask to match the dragon tattoo she put on her arm last night ;) 

As we go forward with subsequent treatments, Ania will need to be treated in advance with meds (steroids and/or Benadryl ) to prevent another allergic reaction. It is unclear to me if she will have to undergo the dual approach for every chemo treatment in the future. One more hurdle but I hope we will jump easier in her future treatments.

Thank you for your continued prayer! I will keep you posted as best as I can. For now, the dainty warrior sleeps......

God Bless,


1 comment:

  1. I ran the Chicago Marathon with Laura while raising funds for the American Cancer Society. I would gladly run another one tomorrow for Ania. Will keep Ania and your family in my daily thoughts and prayers. She is definitely a dragon warrior!