Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Words in Memory of Our Father

To our dad's devoted readers:

We were touched and humbled by the amount of people that came to our dad's memorial service this past Monday evening. Not only was every seat filled, but the walls of the room were lined with layers of people, all there to honor an amazing man, Jack Mintz. After multiple requests, we have decided to post the words that we wrote for our father. We are all grateful for your support of our father over these last five years, and we hope that you cherish your memories of him just as we do.

Words from Erin:
One of the most amazing things about my dad is how many people he touched throughout his life and how loyal his relationships were. From his high school years, through college, professional life, and into his biking and charity endeavors, he always made a positive impact and made so many lifelong friends, many of whom are with us today.

To Dad, everything he did was done with 110% effort and dedication. His high school track days translated into establishing a scholarship foundation in honor of his coach. In biking, not only did he train for 50 to 100 mile rides up mountains, along shorelines, or through the streets of New York, but he was a patient mentor who made sure others on his team could endure the ride as well. Even while he was sick, he made sure to always ride even a short distance to keep up his energy and be with his friends. After working full days in NYC, he always made time for all of our sports practices, concerts, proms, parades, and other events. Staying up until 3AM to wait until our marching band bus pulled in from yet another late night competition on countless occasions and multiple daughters is a type of enthusiasm you don’t see too often and he did it proudly. Knowing how much he loved my mom for over 30 years showed my sisters and me what the perfect picture of true love is.

There’s been much controversy about Lance Armstrong lately but the Livestrong Foundation will always have a special meaning to us. Dad has the Livestrong Manifesto hanging in his office. The first part says “We believe in life. Your life. We believe in living every minute of it with every ounce of your being. And that you must not let cancer take control of it. We believe in energy, channeled and fierce. WE believe in focus: getting smart and living strong. Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything. This is LIVESTRONG.” Our dad was living this way before cancer and taught us all what it meant to be Livestrong every day. It’s not what you do; it’s who you are as a person and what you do for others that defines LiveStrong to our family. Dad personified the meaning of Livestrong and was a loyal advocate and fighter for others even while he was battling for his own life.

Words from Sasha:
As many know, our dad was always an athlete. Whether he was running track or biking the switchbacks of Lake Tahoe, he was constantly on the move. Therefore, it goes without saying that when each of us attempted sports, he was beaming. However, my bout with sports was a little bit different than my sisters. While Erin and Bailey were naturals, I took a little bit longer to find the right sport for me. After spending a couple of weeks here and there in soccer, softball, and gymnastics, I finally found my footing playing field hockey in middle school. Through all of those years, my dad went to every game that he could possibly get to, even if I wasn’t the star player. He also loved taking us to Princeton soccer and basketball games, which we all truly enjoyed for the time we were able to spend with him. He continued to take me even when it became routine for me to fall asleep at every single game.

When I started to discover my passion for music instead of sports, my dad just rolled with the punches and stayed as involved in my life as he ever was. During my phase of being obsessed with musicals, I’m sure that my dad was sick of hearing me recite songs at the top of my lungs. However, one summer, he was ecstatic when I told him that I would go on a ride on the tandem bike with him. He never even complained once about my nonstop whistling of the Sound of Music and Fiddler on the Roof show-tunes. When I played in the band and in the orchestra, my dad did not miss a single concert, even if it was after a long day of work and a commute home from Jersey City or New York. When I ventured into marching band, my dad became the go-to parent for maintaining the band’s website and of course, building the props for the show. Even after tearing the cartilage in his knee while building a prop during my junior year in high school, he couldn’t be persuaded to take a break, and he continued volunteering any second he could spare until I graduated high school.

For all of the years leading up to and even the ones following his diagnosis, our dad dedicated his life to us and what we were involved in, no matter what it was. I am probably not the only one that can say that after his diagnosis, my life has been dedicated to him. In college, all of my time was devoted towards learning about cancer and cancer research. It was this new-found passion for medicine that truly strengthened our relationship over the last five years. After studying as hard as I possibly could, I would always call my dad and tell him anything interesting that I learned that day. When I became involved in a chemistry lab doing research on various cancer treatment formulations, my dad could not be more proud, always eager to see my data and talk about it over skype. When he came to Colorado two years ago to help me move in to my apartment, he kept asking if he could see the lab that I worked in, and when we finally got a chance to go there, he couldn’t stop taking pictures of me with all of the chemicals and lab equipment. It was his overwhelming pride in me that inspired me to keep pushing through some of the hardest years of my life. My dedication to school and research paid off when my dad was able to watch me graduate first in my class, and the tears streaming down his face when I crossed the stage in my cap and gown will forever be engrained in my mind. Now that he is gone, I am even more determined to become the best physician that I can be, the kind of physician that my dad would have trusted during this battle. I can only hope that with his guidance from above, I will be successful through medical school and continue to make him proud.

Words from Bailey:
I always looked up to my Dad. We shared a love for sports and I think that’s what made our relationship unique. He helped me grow into a fearless soccer player and turned me into a true competitor. He immediately became a Hoosier fan when I decided to go to IU and adopted a love for the soccer team I interned for in Colorado. I always called him to fill him in on my daily activities and the latest sports gossip. I recently began training for a half-marathon to run in his honor, and he was deeply concerned about what energy goos to eat at the 6 mile mark and what type of sports bras to wear. Dad always had the best advice. He was supportive through every road I’ve taken to be who I am today, and for that I am grateful.

I have always asked myself why such an active and healthy man would have to go through what Dad did. Our dad’s diagnosis with cancer was the most shocking and unbelievable news anyone could have ever dreamed of, but he faced it with an incredible amount of courage and optimism. When my sisters and I wanted to rush home from Colorado, Indiana and Virginia to be by his side, he made it clear that he wanted us to live our lives and to continue chasing our dreams. It was incredibly tough to be away at school for most of the chemotherapy treatments, physician appointments, and various other procedures but what gave me peace-of-mind was knowing that Dad had the strongest and most caring woman at his side at all times, our Mom.

Five years of cancer survivorship was a long and tiring battle, but Dad was a true warrior. He beat cancer numerous times, he continued cycling when he had the strength and sometimes when he didn’t, and he never stopped believing. When asked the question, “How are you?”, he always responded saying he was okay. Dad never wanted us to worry about him. In fact, when I said goodbye to him last Saturday before going back to Miami after a 24-hour visit at home, he said to me “I’m glad you came home. Now you don’t have to worry about me.” Those were the last words he said to me.

Our family misses the loving, strong, and selfless man that Dad was, but we will carry him in our hearts forever. He taught us to enjoy the little things in life, like the joy of feeling the wind against your face while riding a bike or the taste of a good coconut pie. He taught us that there is nothing in this world worth complaining about; everything is just so small. He showed us that even after a long day at work, there is always time for family- even if family means sharing one bathroom with three teenaged girls. As I witnessed my Dad struggle through the hardest times of his life, I learned that nothing is better than doing what makes you happy. I will continue to live my life in honor of my Dad by making no excuses, living every day to its fullest, and not sweating the small things. Jack Mintz will live on in our hearts, and I hope to touch other people’s lives the way he touched mine and all of yours.

Thank you for sharing this blog with our father. Please find inspiration in his words over these last five years.

Erin, Bailey, Sasha, and Amy Mintz

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Memorial Service

On Friday morning, January 18th, Jack Mintz lost his courageous battle.  

Memorial services will be held at 4PM on Monday, January 21st, at Star of David Memorial Chapel of South Brunswick.  The address is:

616 Ridge Road (at New Road)
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852

In lieu of flowers, the family requests any contributions to be made to the Mintz's Mentschen Cycle for Survival team.  All proceeds from this event will go directly to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which specializes in rare cancer research.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Current status

While I touted October 4th as a big day due to the CT scan I apologize once again for leaving you all hanging here with no idea how that turned out.

I guess the keyword following the CT scan is “ambiguous”.  The idea of ongoing scans is to compare each one to the one before so that changes of any kind can be flagged and analyzed accordingly.  Unfortunately a CT scan is not an apples-to-apples comparison with a  PET scan.  Of course as a standalone test the CT scan gave us information but Dr. Richards had to press the radiologist to stretch a bit to try and make even basic comparisons.  This fuzzy compare indicates that the liver tumors are roughly the same, or slightly larger, and the CT also spoke again about activity in my T9 spine. 

For now we are continuing with the VP-16 based chemo and Dr. Richards suggested that we get another opinion from Sloan-Kettering.  I sent MSKCC the CT scan as well as the disks from the octreotide scan I had in late July.  We have an appointment with Dr. Janjigian on Thursday, October 25th.  I continue to juggle the pain meds to get decent sleep and so that I can function during the day.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Big day

Although our attempt to schedule a PET/CT scan failed I have a regular CT scan scheduled for this afternoon.  I had read that some insurance carriers are difficult with regard to PET/CT scans and it turns out that our new carrier falls into that category.  Nevertheless, this will be a big day as the CT will tell us most of what we need to know.  Most important is the question that after 4 rounds of chemo treatments (12 days) on the new protocol are we getting a positive result?

I'm also in a fair amount of pain/discomfort so hopefully the CT will shed some light on that as well.

Clearly this is a big day and I thought that I'd let you know that I'm bringing you along for the ride.  I'll post the results as soon as I get them.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday, September 20th

Today was treatment day 3 of 3 for this 4th round of my new chemo protocol.  As I’ve mentioned, this 3 days in a row thing has its transportation challenges so Amy was with me on Tuesday, my parents yesterday, and Kathy Lynch chaperoned today.  Fun for all!

Lately I’ve been a bit achy and uncomfortable so I’ve been using the pain meds a bit more then I had been.  In fact, Dr. Richards wrote me an Rx on Tuesday for a stronger dosage.  We’ll see how that goes.  More importantly I also got the Rx for my next PET/CT scan.  We had been pointing toward doing the scan after round 5 of chemo but since I’ve been having this discomfort we’re going to jump in sooner than later with the scan.  This will get us the scan results a good 2-3 weeks sooner and, if necessary, we’ll be able to take action on anything new that requires immediate attention that much sooner.

My blood counts have been mostly stable.  Neulasta is doing its job for my white blood cell count but my platelets have been all over the place.  I have the blood counts checked in week 3 of each 3-week cycle and generally they show as very low at that time.  But so far during that final week they boomerang back up into normal levels in time for the next treatment.

Plans are now starting to come together for our winter cancer fundraiser and it will follow in the pattern of what we’ve done for the past two years.  We’ll be participating in Cycle for Survival where 100% of all funds raised go directly to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the clinical trials/research they are doing for rare cancers.  Esophageal cancer is considered a rare cancer.  The past two years we participated at event sites in Manhattan and Long Island but it looks like we’ll be spinning down in Bethesda, MD this year.  My daughter Erin will be taking the lead for planning and recruiting since she lives down in the Wash DC area.  Some of our NJ/PA based Mentschen will also make the trip to Bethesda.  More details to follow.

My fundraising for LiveSTRONG has trickled along but I think at this point it is essentially complete at a grand total of $6,805.  That’s a single event fundraising record for me.  Our Mentschen team will eek out a total that surpasses $33,000.  Gotta love it!  Thanks!

Friday, August 31, 2012


The holiday weekend is here and with an early release from work I have some time to try and catch you all up on my activities of the past few weeks.

As you’ll remember this new chemo protocol started with round 1 back in early July while we were also doing radiation treatments.  That combo made things a bit interesting with my blood counts but since then the post-treatment neulasta injections have been doing their job and my blood counts have been stable.  The biggest challenge with chemo is actually rolling around now since the school year is starting next week and Amy won’t be in a position to accompany me for 3 straight days of treatment.  Amy will continue to join me on the first day of each treatment but the remaining two days we'll be enlisting the help of family and friends.  We look to be OK for September 18-20 but will consider all offers as we go into October.  This will be new for me and could be fun as we spread the chemo fun around.  Ha!

The weekend before Livestrong there was an informal 35th high school reunion that was hosted at the Jersey shore by one of my Union High School friends in the Class of 1977.  As with the event he also held last year it was a blast.  As I’ve said before on this blog one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through my saga is the incredible boost I get from the kind words of friends new and old.  People came up to me one by one, some that I haven’t seen in literally 35 years, and simply said it was a very moving day.  Many thanks to my Union High School classmates.  Especially to Joe Falgares and his wife Maddalena for being such generous and gracious hosts.

Ahhh yes, Livestrong.  The weekend that never disappoints.
Heading into the Livestrong weekend of August 18-19 I literally had no clue whether I was going to walk, ride, or just sit during the weekend events.  I really had plenty of aches and pains, lack of physical condition to be cycling on hills, and miscellaneous other unpredictable chemo side effects.  But as some have seen in the pictures posted on Facebook, this is not an event that I can easily take a pass on.  Especially not after what the months of May-July had given me.  This was my opportunity to get on my bike and tell cancer where the hell it could go.  And so that’s what I did.

I made sure that I was hydrated, that I had eaten enough to support me through the short 20-mile route, and I took some precautionary meds pre-ride.  I knew that my Mentschen posse of around 10 would help me through and let me tell you the stars aligned to make this one of the best rides I’ve ever been on.  I conquered several decent hills WITHOUT WALKING (See the pic here as I pass others that DID walk up hills.  Of course with my personal motivator Mark Cheben!) and I generally felt terrific.  It all culminated with a dramatic finish as I crossed the finish line on the right to pick-up my survivor’s rose and my posse rode in formation on the left as my escort.  Yep, you got it… I kinda lost it.  I hope the ride photographers got some good shots of our finish.

And the donations for Livestrong continue to trickle in.  It looked for a while like we might take some team honors but a few teams came out of nowhere for the top few spots.  But the Mentschen have done well and when corporate matching gifts settle in we could wind up in the #4 spot at approximately $34,000.  Meanwhile, my fundraising was a new personal record for a single event at $6,685 (still waiting for a match).  That puts the Mentschen 5-year total over $170,000.  We’re well positioned to blow through the $200,000 mark next year!
One more time….  Thank you, thank you, thank you to all that donated so generously.  It’s important that we keep this support going because the Lance Armstrong Foundation is unique and very productive in the work it does in various aspects of cancer survivorship, advocacy, and support for research.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Next blog post by Friday... thanks for waiting

Hello everyone.  Yes, I know that I'm a bit late for making a blog post and I really do have some interesting things to write about.  I'm just lacking the energy at the moment as I'm smack in the middle of a chemo treatment.  Please give me 2 or 3 days and I'll try to get something posted.

Bottom line is that all is OK.  Thanks to everyone that has been prompting for a blog post.  It makes me feel good to know that people are out there reading along.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back in the chemo saddle

A lot has happened since my last post and since I left off with my mention of the octreotide scan I guess that’s a good place for me to pick up with.

The octreotide scan was an interesting 3-day experience.  The first two days were run of the mill imaging that started with a nuclear injection and with scanning that lasted no longer than 30 minutes.  The third day was different with scanning that took around 90 minutes and with the last 60 of that being one long segment.  For anyone that has had imaging done where you have to stay still with your arms over your head knows that 60 minutes is a long time.  Wow was that uncomfortable and I’ll be happy to not have to repeat an octreotide scan anytime soon.  All of this imaging was stitched together into a 3-D view that I hope to get to see at some point.  It sounds interesting.

The scan results told us about the liver lesions we already know all too well about and it also flagged other places that I have been feeling discomfort.  These were my sacrum, iliac bones, and sacroiliac joints as well as a rib (and it's the rib that is actually the most uncomfortable).  With my chemo treatment this week Amy and I discussed all of this with Dr. Richards and for the time being we’re going to manage the pain while expecting the new chemo protocol of VP-16/Carboplatin to do its job.  With that said, Amy and I will be sharing the scan results with both the radiation oncologist as well as with Sloan-Kettering to see if they have other opinions.

We didn’t actually see the scan results until this past Monday when we returned from a week away at Lake Tahoe and Colorado.  It was fantastic to have that time away even though we didn’t really do anything that was overly active.  The mellow time around the hotel pool and taking in the sites of Tahoe was great.  When the hotel pool closed to accommodate renovation work we got in the car for a drive and wound up in San Francisco.  We didn’t realize we were only 3-4 hours away and spontaneously decided to keep driving and we had a nice lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf.  While in Colorado we were able to spend time with Sasha as well as with some of our favorite people in the world, the Quinns.

This weekend is an informal 35th reunion of my Union High School class of 1977 that is generously hosted by Joe Falgares at his house on the water in Toms River.  Last year was a blast and it looks like the turnout this year is going to be even better.  People are coming from all over the country.  I can’t wait.

And the weekend after that….. yep, it’s Livestrong time!  With my recent medical developments it’s going to have to be a game day decision for whether I’m able to participate in anything.  But I want to do this so badly and I’ll be pressing very hard to get on my bike and spin very gingerly through the 20-mile route.  I’ll have plenty of people with me to take care of me and even to physically push me up hills if I need it.  Thank you to all of you that have generously donated to the Livestrong cause.  My personal fundraising is at $5,585 and our Mintz’s Mentschen total is at $25,318.  These aren’t’ our biggest totals but they’re clearly quite impressive.  Heartfelt THANKS to all!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Can you say octreotide?

I'll post more as soon as I can but today is day #1 (of 3) of the octreotide scan that both MSKCC and Dr. Richards requested.  On a hunt to make sure we know where any neuro-endocrine cancer might be hiding.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Relative calm ensues

Before I shut down my computer for the night I thought that I’d make this quick post to keep my string of Sunday evening updates alive.

Whew, what a week!!  After a week of combination chemo and radiation that definitely had to be said.  I’ve never had to deal with a week like that before and I won’t mind if I don’t have to see anything like that again for a while.  The running back and forth had Amy and I hopping to the point where on more than one occasion we almost turned toward the wrong doctor’s office.  I don’t think I need to go into how interesting this made my work week.

All in all I held up pretty well with the different treatments.  My back is continuing to improve although there’s no question that I have a way to go before the pain is at an acceptable level.  Therefore I continue to use the Percocet on an as-needed basis.  And so far there haven’t been any terrible side effects to the chemo, or to the neulasta, so we’ll keep plugging away.  Tomorrow is my final radiation treatment and we’ll be monitoring the pain levels in the coming weeks.

Instead of using every last sick/vacation day I have this year on treatments and tests we decided to stand firm on trying to grab at least 5 days of real vacation this summer.  I have mentioned this trip on the blog before… we’re heading to Lake Tahoe and Colorado on Saturday July 28.  I can’t wait to show Amy some of the Tahoe sites.  It’s been a while since I’ve been there and I know that a lot of South Lake Tahoe has changed but I’m fairly sure that the lake itself is pretty much in the same place (lame attempt at humor).

I’d be remiss if I didn’t make my parting LiveSTRONG plea and thank you.  Our fundraising totals are continuing to climb as a team and we hope to be in the top 3 when all is said and done.  If you haven’t donated yet and can consider a donation of any size please click here to access my personal fundraising page.  Thanks!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A busy week

It’s only been a week since my last post but a busy week it was.  I thought several times about posting during the week but I just wasn’t up to it physically.

Radiation started last Monday and as an everyday event I immediately felt like I was on a runaway train since it kind of took over as a mid-day event that had to happen.  Radiation itself hasn’t been bad but the pain and mobility issues that I am having in my back had become somewhat extreme.  Advil definitely wasn’t cutting it anymore and Dr. Fein wrote me an Rx for Percocet.  At my request the dosage was kept low and it has definitely done the job for me.  Especially with regard to helping me get a decent night of sleep.  A couple of potential scenarios for when I might start feeling some pain relief from the radiation had been described to me and as always Amy and I just adopted our usual one day at a time outlook.  But with 4 out of 10 treatments under my belt I started to feel a slight bit of relief yesterday when I woke up.  Let’s hope that with 6 more to go it progresses to complete pain and mobility relief and that the relief is long-lasting.

Lasting relief would be great because this Tuesday is when we start the new chemo protocol.  I’ll be having chemo in the morning followed by radiation shortly thereafter.  As Steve Alexander would say, “Woof!!”.  Chemo will consist of VP-16 (aka Etoposide) and carboplatin for 3 straight days (carboplatin will not be given on the 3rd day) and this time around we’ll also be using neulasta on the 4th day to try and keep my white blood cell count above hospital visit levels.  This will all happen on a 3-week cycle so I’ll have chemo the first week and then there will be 2 weeks to work on recovery.

Remember too that the octreotide scan, another 3-day adventure, will be on July 23-25 at Princeton Radiology.  Since I haven’t had one of those yet I’m not entirely sure of what we might learn from this scan.  Of course I know what I’ve read about it but, as always, it’s one day at a time and right now I’m focused on the challenge of this coming week.

What followed my mid-June email plea on behalf of myself and the Mintz’s Mentschen team has been tremendous.  I know that I’ve said this before but you’ll have to bear with me being a bit repetitive about it as I am just overwhelmed by it all.  Love and support from all corners of my life as well as financial support that has my LiveSTRONG fundraising up to $5,160.  Mintz’s Mentschen is up to $16,743 and stands firmly in 4th place in the overall team fundraising standings.  We’re pushing for a top 3 finish so if you can consider a donation please do it as soon as possible.  The August 18-19 event is getting closer and closer!  My fundraising/recruiting webpage can be accessed by clicking here.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Here we go

I’m on the tired side and definitely a bit uncomfortable so this post will be a bit short.  But this week will start a month of July that proves to be on the wild side so before things get too crazy I need to post a current status.

The MRI results from last Tuesday were as I expected and by flagging cancer in several places of my mid and lower spine they provided an explanation for the back pain I have had since Memorial Day weekend.  I was able to get an immediate appointment with a terrific radiation oncologist, Dr. Douglas A. Fein (click here for his bio).  During that visit I had a grid drawn on me with magic marker and 10 tats were applied that will guide my radiation treatments.  Treatment begins tomorrow and I will get them for 10 straight days.  Dr. Fein is confident that I’ll have good results from this.  I told him that I need to be able to ride my bike 20-miles on August 19th and he told me that won’t be a problem.  I’m holding him to it.

Amy and I also meet with Dr. Richards on Tuesday afternoon to finalize the chemo plans and that includes figuring out the schedule.  I believe that the VP-16 is administered 3 days in a row.  Things are going to be fun for at least a couple of weeks while we have to juggle both radiation and chemo.

The fun part of this, as Dan Nies brought to my attention, is that I’ll either start to glow in the dark soon or I’ll be developing some kind of super powers.  I’ll keep you all posted on which it is.  I'm hoping for some kind of super power because that will be more fun then simply having a little extra glow.

Mintz’s Mentschen is currently in 4th place with over $15,600 raised.  Thanks!!  We have plenty of time to make a run for the top 3 places.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lots going on

Things definitely bogged down there for a bit while going through the liver biopsy itself, waiting for the pathology report, getting an appointment at MSKCC, waiting for further review of the biopsy slides by MSKCC, and then prescription of an MRI and octreotide scan.  Each of those scans were prescribed by both Dr. Janjigian (I’ll be using “Dr. J” from now on because it’s cool and quicker to type) and Dr. Richards so it’s good to know that everyone is on the same page.

MSKCC pathologists wound up agreeing with the original biopsy report (major woohoo since that means I won’t have to be harpooned for another liver biopsy!) and that enabled Dr. J and Dr. Richards to discuss the specific chemo protocol that we’ll be using.  Minimally the new protocol will be composed of VP-16 and a platinum-based drug.  Given that I’ve had cisplatin, oxaliplatin, and carboplatin I’m not sure which one we’ll use.

The MRI is tomorrow afternoon and is of my spine.  This will provide us with imaging that is a follow-up to things that were mentioned on the 5/16 PET/CT scan as well as to discomfort that I’ve had for the past several weeks.  The octreotide scan actually takes place in parts over 3 days (I’m sure that I’ll have some good stories from this one).  This scan will take place in late July and will not impact our ability to start chemo in early July.

I sent my big email blast for LiveSTRONG a couple of weeks back and as is always the case I was blown away by the numerous emails and donations that I received in response.  I really did get emotional about it all.  The support that is expressed by everyone not to mention the generous financial support for LAF is incredibly humbling.  My personal fundraising is over $4,500 and Mintz’s Mentschen is pushing for a top 5 team finish with $13,600 to-date.  The same plea still applies as we’re continuing to get new team members for walking/running/riding.  To either join our team or to donate you can utilize my personal fundraising page by clicking here.  Thanks!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

And the verdict is?

Today was our appointment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the verdict is?  
Unfortunately it was a hung jury.

While the pathology results from the liver biopsy were “good” with regard to bringing information that offers new and different treatment options they were also bad.  They were bad in the sense that they are so different pathologically from the biopsy that was taken from my esophagus in 2008.

Therefore, Dr. Janjigian at MSKCC wants to review the biopsy slides from 2008 and if the MSKCC pathologists are still in need of more information I could possibly have to go for yet another liver biopsy.  The kicker with this biopsy is that it won’t be done with a fine needle (as if that big honking needle was “fine”) this time it will be done with a CORE needle.  I am so excited at the prospect of this you can't imagine.

I also mentioned that I’ve been having some back pain in recent weeks and that has earned me an MRI of my spine.  No biggie on that one but it’s just another thing between me and getting back into treatment (chemo).  Depending on the results of the MRI I could actually wind up receiving radiation treatment for the first time.

All of this new stuff!  Ain’t it exciting!?!?

So stay tuned because the next week or so may bring some new twists and turns.

Before I go I have to thank everyone for their response to my LiveSTRONG fundraising and recruitment plea.  It looks like we’re picking up some new walkers for our Mintz’s Mentschen team and my personal fundraising total has reached $3,365.  Our team total of $10,365 has us in 6th place out of all teams registered for the Philly LiveSTRONG event.  You can donate and/or join us via my fundraising page by clicking here.  Thanks!!