Home > Our Cancer Journey > Something New Under the Sun

Something New Under the Sun

We made another trek up to Rochester yesterday for an appointment with Matt’s oncologist. At this point, there’s usually nothing new under the sun. You see the expected results on the CT scan, or have his port flushed, or have blood work—and you set up the next appointment. This appointment started as any other.


As to be expected, the tumors have continued to grow, not radically, but steadily. The tumor on the pancreas has grown slightly, though it’s hard to measure as it envelops most of the pancreas. The tumors on the liver have engulfed about 50 percent of Matt’s liver at this point.


Despite tumor growth, there is no evidence of spread to other organs, and no evidence of new tumors. Even as bad as the extent of the tumors on Matt’s liver sounds, you can’t forget how amazing the liver is. Barring the complications of obstructed bile ducts, the liver can continue to do its job even if only 20 percent of the liver is still functioning.


Typically, a patient with pancreatic cancer is in much pain with many side effects from the burden of cancer on the pancreas. Concentration is placed on keeping the patient comfortable, relieving symptoms, and avoiding complications. They do not typically ‘go after’ the metastatic tumors.

But Matt’s case is atypical. He is not experiencing the usual side effects from the burden of cancer on his pancreas, and he continues to remain stable and quite healthy.  In his case, liver failure is the greatest concern.

Obviously chemo was ineffective at slowing down tumor growth, but because of Matt’s good health, the oncologist would like to approach the panel regarding what other options may be available to specifically ‘go after’ the tumors on the liver. He cautions that this would not be a cure, but possibly a way to buy more time.

We discussed it without going into great detail.  We agreed it was definitely worth looking at whether such a possibility existed. This led to a longer visit than anticipated. Though Matt shows no outward signs of poor liver function, blood work was needed for confirmation. As long as the blood work supports good liver function, the doctor plans to approach the panel to discuss options this Friday. After that, it would be a matter of reviewing the options offered, and weighing the risks and benefits.

Maybe there really is nothing new under the sun, but for us, this was something new.

  1. Paul and Pat Dye
    September 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Heh there are a lot of things I see in this ole world that seem to me it wasn’t here on this earth when Ecclesiastes was written…We have a brother in law who has cancer…had horrible pain and couldn’t walk or do much of anything and God took that pain away…He is so thankful indeed to His God! But Matthew is definitely a walking miracle of God’s Grace we know! And doctors are confirming that fact 🙂 Praise God Praise God Praise God! Enjoy every day with that man of yours my Dear…Paul just said this morning in bed, how thankful he is that he still has me…we have had 48 years together, while so many around us have lost their mates and are so lonely and sad and suffering… So I shall pray 48 years for you both as well unless Jesus comes back and heh…we can look for some way to live together with our mates up there as well 🙂 Love you both!

  2. September 29, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Continuing to pray for you both. I take it from your post that Matt isn’t experiencing all the side effects. This is a good thing and I’ll pray for healing but also that in his illness he experiences the comfort only Jesus can give. Thanks Rosie!

  3. Deborah Jane Harris Anziano
    September 29, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you Rosie for your wonderful words of Faith from Something New Under the Sun. Yes, Praise the Lord and I know you do cherish every moment together!! I love you both

  4. Teresa Dyck
    September 30, 2011 at 12:01 pm


  5. Debbie Young
    October 2, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Rosie and Matt,

    It is so wonderful to hear good news in times of so much turmoil. It is so encouraging to me to see how faithful you are to stand beside Matt in his time of need. Many husbands and wives are not able to handle the stresses that are present with chronic illness.

  1. October 29, 2011 at 4:21 pm
  2. September 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm
  3. September 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm
  4. September 28, 2012 at 12:44 pm
  5. October 26, 2012 at 10:42 pm

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