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446474 tn?1446347682

Hector - " No sign of tumor can be found."


On June 27th I underwent a Percutaneous Ethanol Injection (PEI) treatment (pure alcohol is injected into liver cancers to kill the cancer cells. The alcohol is injected through the skin (percutaneously) into the tumor using a very thin needle with the help of ultrasound or CT visual guidance. Alcohol induces tumor destruction by drawing water out of tumor cells (dehydrating them) and thereby altering (denaturing) the structure of cellular proteins.) was perform on my liver after two chemoembolizations treatments failure and AFP tumor marker continued to rise. Last AFP before treatment was 1,892 ug/L. Any AFP over 1,000 ug/L is predictive of cancer recurrence post transplant and death, so patients are not given transplants as are they are likely to die soon after transplant. And there is no treatment possible.

After checkup MRI on Wednesday" No sign of tumor can be found." (!!!)

I received a surprise phone call Thursday after two days of follow up testing to learn if my most recent cancer treatment had any affect on my tumor which has been preventing me from being eligible for a desperately needed liver transplant.

The MRI scan results that I had done on Wednesday and the blood tests of my tumor marker done on Tuesday had come back to my doctor's office.

While my UCSF doctor was in Brazil the emails quickly quickly spread the word between my doctor, my Nurse Practitioners, my clinical trial team, and my transplant coordinator that the tumor had been completely obliterated and there is no sign of any tumors in my liver! Needless to say I feel as though a thousand lbs of weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I am extremely happy and dazed by this unbelievable turn of events. It appears to be everything I have been hoping for this year has actually happened despite the odds.

My tumor marker blood level dropped 1,300 ug/L points so far and next week, if everything continues in the same direction, I should be back on the liver transplant wait list. The tumor marker was 560 ug/L as of Tuesday at 1:30. I just need to be below 500 ug/L to be eligible for a transplant. I may already be there now. It typically takes 30 days for it to fall to its lowest value after a procedure. It has only been 18 days so far.

My goal now is to get a transplant ASAP before anything else happens. I may go to Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut if I can get a liver there sooner than at UCSF. Whatever it takes I will do to speed along the process. Knowing that the odds were great that it was a matter of how I was going to die not if, and preparing for death has been the toughest challenge ever in my life. But I am ready, willing and able to through a transplant anytime because I still have enough will power to fight to live no matter what it takes.

This still seem like a dream and I hope I don't wake up to find it all is only that, but I wanted to share the good news after so many disappointments and setbacks due to my cancer making me ineligible for a life-saving transplant. Thankfully my great teams of doctors kept trying despite the small odds of success.

Onward to a liver transplant and a life beyond disability...  :-))
Howie
54 Responses
Avatar universal
Hector,
This is the greatest news ever this year on this forum!
Wish you all the best for a quick transplant..
Avatar universal
Hector,
What a wonderful and so much anticipated news!
Congratulations on this amazing victory and thank you for the inspiration you provided to all of us, for the example of courage and fighting spirit!
Wishing you the very best luck in getting a transplant soon.

Jeff

Avatar universal
That is such fantastic wonderful news Hector. Onwards and upwards now!!!.
446474 tn?1446347682
Thank you rpl265, Jeff and nzkiwilife. I owe so much to all my supports during this challenging experience. Thanks for keeping the faith in me to overcome my liver cancer. Without all of the doctors who never gave up on me I would not have had this opportunity to continue living.

To paraphrase what New York Yankee great Lou Gehrig said in his farewell speech on July 4, 1939 at Yankee Stadium.

"... today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth."

Grateful
Hector
1747881 tn?1546175878
This is great news H, wishing you all the best.

K
Avatar universal
Just fantastic!  I haven't been on this forum long, but your struggles to overcome the odds and your bravery in facing these treatments has been heartening and inspirational.  Miracles do happen!  What a fantastic team of doctors you have.  Looking forward to hearing about a transplant and recovery in the immediate future.  Congratulations on this amazing news! Will continue to keep you in my prayers
Avatar universal
Omg, Howie, I am so happy for you!!
What wonderful news. I have been thinking about you a lot, waiting to hear.
I can hear the collective sigh of relief on this board.
Now on to your transplant and new life.
All of the very best to you!
Avatar universal
AMAZING!!!!!!!! YAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! FINALLY some
wonderful news !!!!! nope , not a dream!

On towards your TP !!! it really is a miracle ,
OMgosh!!! you did it!

Ecstatically , happy for you!!!

Lots of Jugs,
Elaine
Avatar universal
Oops not jugs :(

HUGS :)
Avatar universal
That's so wonderful!  I'm so happy for you. Please, please keep us posted on anything you find out. What a roller coaster ride you're on. Yay!!
3159077 tn?1356031131
I'm so happy for the miraculous turnaround and hoping you get your long-awaited transplant. Miracles do happen and you're living proof. You faced it all with such a courageous attitude that it was inspiring.
4670047 tn?1375730401
I can't wait to share this with family, as they have all asked about you this week!! This is beyond good news, I'm so happy for you!!! :):).  Kitty
Avatar universal
WOW!! bet you can hear me screaming all yhe way from England you well and truely deserve some good news LOVE& HUGS HECTOR Jules xx
Avatar universal
  This is the post I have been waiting for!!!!!!!! :D
We will keep praying:  much love, from Katy and her hubs <3
220090 tn?1379167187
Hector,

If anyone deserves to beat this, it's you!  You have worked so hard and helped so many people along the way.  This is the best news I have heard in a few months!

I know you will beat this.  I will make a trip to SF to celebrate when you are up for it.
Eric
2114467 tn?1358210256
Oh Hector, I am so thrilled about your results! And the numbers coming down so fast; the body is an amazing thing. On to the next step. A big hoorah from Northern California; let's dance.
Cheers,
C
163305 tn?1333668571
This is the news we've all been waiting to hear !
Whoooeee~ no more cancer and on to a shiny healthy new liver~ yes !!!
1669790 tn?1333662595
Wonderful news H !!!  Sounds like your on your way to a transplant soon.  Hoping your numbers keep coming down to make that happen.  Made my day hearing this good news.  
1815939 tn?1377991799
This is fantastic news, Hector. I have been waiting and hoping that your treatments would work. This is truly wonderful. I am so happy for you. You have fought so long and so hard. Here's hoping that your numbers drop to where they need to drop and that you get your long awaited liver transplant soon, very soon. Best of wishes for your future.  : )
1856494 tn?1340542614
I feel so priviledged to be a witness to your story.  So inspiring and soul swelling, you are a remarkable human.  I am glad you're throwing your challenges more than your challenges are throwing you in your tango with life.  

You have no idea how much difference you make in our lives with your example of determination and hope.  I could not be happier for anyone.  Bless you.  
Avatar universal
AMAZING! INCREDIBLE! CONGRATULATIONS!  Hoping a transplant is the next bit of good news for you.
3093770 tn?1389739126
GREAT NEWS, we were doing a happy dance here at home after we read your post. This is absolutely AMAZING, Fingers and toes crossed that you will be back on tha list and have the transplant very soon. To a hep c free life and a healthy liver :)))
4113881 tn?1415850276
That is great news...beyond great news! You are such an inspiration...absolutely wonderful news! Im so happy for you!
1084115 tn?1385228589
thats unbelievable great news hector.your now very close to overcome this all and become the gift you deserve,a new liver to move on with your live without all thiis illness.
soo happy for you.
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