After 17 rounds of chemotherapy and four embolizations, liver surgery finally became an option. Hallelujah! This has always been the end goal over the past 2.5 years, to reduce the number of tumors and size of the tumors in the liver whereby surgery would hopefully be the ‘final cut’ to get the liver to a cancer-free state. Over the course of many appointments with Dr. Fojo, we would naively ask “why can’t you just remove the tumors surgically?” and “what about a liver transplant?”… to which Dr. Fojo preached a cautions and patient approach. Such a radical surgery is not something that should be rushed into. So the sheer fact that the chemo and TACE did its job and surgery is now an option is somewhat of a miracle. Most ACC patients with metastases to the liver don’t get to this point.
The liver is difficult to treat but it is an amazing organ… you only need 20% of it to survive on and it regenerates itself. It’s the only organ in your body that can grow back to its full size and return to its normal function and it does so in only a couple months.
The surgery itself is a 2-step process. Step 1 ( portal vein ligation ) was done on June 7th. It was a laparoscopic procedure that essentially cut off the blood supply to the right lobe of the liver to allow the left lobe to grow in volume and prepare the liver for a subsequent major hepatectomy. Step 2 is the complete resection of the right lobe and this will happen on July 23rd. The surgery will take approx. 5 hours and require a week-long stay in the hospital followed by a 6-8 week recovery period. There are many complications involved but the reward far outweighs the risk and Alexis will push through this just like she pushed through everything else that came before it. She just celebrated her 38th birthday. She’s a fighter and like the Queen song “Don't Stop Me Now” goes, there is no stopping her now.
I'm a shooting star, leaping through the sky
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I'm a racing car, passing by like Lady Godiva
I'm gonna go, go, go
There's no stopping me