I know it’s been awhile since our last update….we seem to be in limbo land right now and I haven’t really had much to say. I guess I could update everyone with Kevin’s tumor markers more often. But other than that….it’s been no exciting news lately.
Remember the tumor marker number I have shared…..beta HCG was at the highest point 620,000. The ‘normal’ level of this hormone should be less than 2.0. This week, Kevin’s level was 20.7 (awesome news). There are 2 other tumor markers that are being watched as well. One has been in the normal range for several weeks, the other reached normal limits this week. So all is moving in the right direction in that regard.
As for the surgery, well we are still ‘waiting’. If you remember, Kaiser authorized a second opinion at USC (it was actually 3rd, but the 2nd one Kaiser paid for). But they did not authorize treatment, only the opinion. I was told at that time, that after we received the 2nd opinion they would then re-evaluate the request for outside treatment based on the doctor’s recommendations. In actuality, I had to request another review, as it was not done automatically. Additionally, it took more than 2 full weeks to get the write up from the doctor. After he presented Kevin’s case at his tumor board, it was determined that the best case scenario would be to include some resectioning of Kevin’s spine (the cancer/lesion on L3) at the time of the RPLND surgery. This was an additional complicating issue and delayed the paperwork moving forward as all the details were discussed. I finally got ahold of someone on Monday at Kaiser to see where we were since the doctor notes were supposedly sent over last Thursday. Kaiser didn’t have the notes in the system yet. I forwarded them my copy and again requested expedited review of his case. We should be hearing back from Kaiser with their decision by 1pm tomorrow. Please pray that Kaiser approves this out-of-network treatment. It is in the best interest of both Kevin and Kaiser as the surgery is less invasive, less risk of additional complications and requires significantly shorter hospitalizing and recovery times. The decision will be made either tonight or tomorrow morning, so we covet your good thoughts and prayers over the next 18 hours or so!
Dr. Daneshmand is the surgeon at USC. He advised Kevin to stop taking his narcotic pain medication and one of his other medications prior to surgery. The reason being, that if he is already taking the strong stuff prior to the surgery, when surgery happens, the pain will be more difficult to control. For the past few weeks Kevin has been slowly weaning off of these medications he was taking since March. His pain seems to be doing ok with being managed with Ibuprofen and Tylenol most of the time, but he is definitely suffering from some symptoms from the change including some jitteriness and insomnia. If you feel led you could also pray that Kevin can get some restful nights of sleep.
I appreciate all of your support, thoughts, prayers etc. as we continue to go through this journey.