We met with Rick's Spokane doctor, David Liu, who specializes in a procedure called SIRT (selective internal radiation therapy). The doctor thinks Rick will really benefit from this so he is sending for a preauthorization to start the ball rolling.
Here's how it works. Rick will go into the hospital and have an angiogram (like they usually do for the heart) only his will be in the liver. They want to see how his vessels work and they need to map out where they will be shooting the radioactive beads. Once they have him mapped out, they will order the beads called Yttrium-90 Microspheres from Australia (it was invented there in 1987). The doctor is hoping that the first treatment will be done by the end of June. Rick will have to continue doing chemo during this process because they say radiation works better when given with chemo. The doctor said they have a 3 hour window in which to put the radiation into Rick's body. So, it gets set up very carefully. All of this will take place within 10 days of his angiogram. They will do one lobe of the liver at a time. So, including the angiogram, Rick will have surgery 3 times in 40 days. Amazingly, it makes perfect sense, even to me. Other than severe fatigue for about a week and perhaps an upset stomach, he should do very well.
The seal on this deal was when Dr. Liu said, we are not doing this procedure "to you" Rick, we are doing it "for you". I knew then, that we were in the right place. He is apparently very well known in the vascular world of oncology. I know we were impressed. Smart, knowledgeable, witty, young. You don't usually expect to find all those qualities in someone so specialized. I'm telling you...the Schmitt's are LUCKY people.
We had a long day with the Doctor, but it was worth it. Tonight we had dinner with Bob, Dy, and Bob's parents. We haven't seen them in quite a while so it was great to visit. We drove by a murder scene on the way to dinner (well ,we didn't know it was a murder at the time - we found out when we watched the news tonight)...Spokane is a hopping city....Lovely to visit and have medical procedures, but I'll take Stanwood anyday.
Sorry that the blog is so clinical tonight, but that's the only thing I have to talk about.
Love you more than all the money in a wishing well...