A Note from Dr. Hochberg
Dr. Hochberg (the attending oncologist in charge of Ana’s care), wrote me an email last night which gave me hope, as well as the strength to keep waiting for this elusive diagnosis. I asked her if I could post it to the blog and she said yes. I wanted to post this sooner, but I really wanted to make sure she was okay with it, since this is the email verbatum. This doesn’t really give us any new answers, but it does contain some very positive insights.
“the pathologist at sloan kettering i have found out is the world’s leading expert in liver pathology. he is not sure yet just what this is. based on his testing so far he has been able to rule out Epithelial Hemangioendothelioma. He now believes that this may be one of two similarly unusual tumors but he needs to do more specialized testing and believes this will take until monday. the treatment is no different in that complete surgical resection is the only known effective treatment and will cure her. chemotherapy and/or radiation are both limited in how useful they are and have not been trialed much. so we have not changed the plan to push for surgery ASAP. on that note, i spoke at length with Dr. Rosencrantz today and the liver team will be coming by tomorrow to see Ana. they need a final diagnosis to place her on the transplant list but he feels that she likely will get a liver within 2-3 weeks once that happens. that leaves me with determining what, if any, treatment i can give to bridge her to surgery that will perhaps shrink the tumor a bit or at least keep it from growing while we wait. once i know what entity we are talking about i will see what makes most sense. we ordered a CAT scan to determine if there has been any change in size or character and the liver team will look at that when done.
it is a very long and terrible wait and i feel awful about not having an answer for you. Our pathologist has assured me that the pathologist at Memorial is the best in the world and he is working as quickly as he can to get us an answer so that we can go forward. i still truly believe that Ana will come out on the other side of this healthy and happy, despite the frustrations right now. a bit of good news – all of her xrays of her extremities are completely normal. i expect the bone scan to be normal as well [it was]. i will have that result tomorrow and will come see Ana tomorrow afternoon to check on her.”