By: Richard Roozen
Hello to all from Houston. Miguel and I would like to give an update following surgery. First of all, I would like you all to know that we have learned a lot in the last few days. We learned that Ashley is a very extraordinary case. She is one of the youngest people to ever get this cancer. She has also responded to treatment and therapy very well. In fact, she has had the best response they have ever seen and they told us she is in uncharted territory. Yet, the doctors were worried because she has not had chemo for the last 2 months. Normally that would be worrisome for the doctors and the patient. In Ashley's case, the doctors were ecstatic because the remaining tumor did not grow and actually continued to shrink and no new tumors appeared. Hearing this information yesterday, gave us all a positive feeling. We were pumped! Ashley and her team reported at the Surgery Center today at 3:15 am (PST). We all met with the Surgical team at about 4:30 am (PST). We are very impressed with all of them. They are very intelligent, kind, caring and quite frankly, this is the "A Team." Ashley's surgery started at 6:15 am (PST). We were told that around every 2 hours, we would get an update. We will give you a brief update from the summaries. First Summary: They went in laparoscopically and everything looked good and as expected. They decided to proceed with surgery. Second Summary: Incision has been made and they are inspecting the liver and surrounding tissue. Nothing has been removed yet, but they are feeling positive and feel like they are on schedule. Third Summary: Things have moved fast since the last summary. Dr. Vauthey just met with us. They removed several of Ashley's lymph nodes, gallbladder, and a large portion of the left side of her liver. They also removed several small remains of tumor from the right side of the liver. These small remains were tested immediately and found to be only scar tissue. The large portion that was removed from her left side will be thoroughly examined in the next few days. At that time, we will know for sure if there are any live cancer cells left or if they are dead. We asked Dr. Vauthey his opinion on what it looked like and he said he thought it looked very good. But......we would not know for sure until test results get back. All and all, we continue to feel very positive. MIGUEL AND I ARE DOING BACKFLIPS DOWN THE HALLWAY!!! We want to thank everyone for their prayers and asked that you continue because THE PRAYERS ARE WORKING. Another update will follow in a few days. Special thanks to Jaynie, who's been worried sick at home and is doing a great job caring for Evie and Bernie. Love to all.