This is Sonja. I had the privilege of visiting Josh and Alisa tonight. And I even happened to be here when the doctor came in. Alisa asked me to write an update.
This morning, she went to interventional radiology to do a celiac block. The hope was to control the pain in the front of her--and it worked pretty well.
The doctors decided not to try the embolization because of risk of infection. If she gets an infection then she wouldn't be able to do biochemotherapy. The other issue is that it can be very painful as the tumor dies, and she is already in so much pain.
Dr. Grossman decided the best shot to shrink the tumor is to try biochemotherapy. They will start that tomorrow. She will be in the hospital for at least the next five days.
Alisa's pain is controlled to an extent, but she is still fairly miserable. In her words, "I feel so miserable, miserable in every oriface." She isn't able to eat or drink and is a little loopy. She isn't able to sleep and is just hoping to sleep from 11pm-6am. "Is that to much to ask for?"
A doctor came in and Alisa asked her the hard question, "Is this the end for me?" The doctor said that when pain is so consuming it can feel that way. She said there was some hope that she could get a great response from the biochemo therapy, that a few people do. But if she gets a response at all, that would be really good. There is about a 50% response rate to biochemo, but she needs a good response. If she gets a good response, it should reduce some of the symptoms she's dealing with like the pain and the fluids in her abdomen. If she gets a response, they may be able to try PD1 or possibly even surgery.
But on the other hand, if nothing works, then it looks bad. Alisa started to cry a little and explained," The problem is I have always been so hopeful. And I'm not really good at losing hope." And then Alisa pressed on with, "How long will I live?" The doctor wouldn't give her a straight answer, of course no one knows. Alisa's vitals all look really good. If she continues with IV fluids, they can sustain her for a long time.
She keeps saying the hardest thing for her is how fast this has come on. She doesn't feel ready to die. She's not ready to say goodbye. She has so much she wants to teach her kids. And really, that hope that has kept her going so long is hard to extinguish.
Thinking about the situation, Alisa said, "This is going to take another miracle." And so tonight as you pray for Alisa, pray for the biochemotherapy to work. Pray for Alisa to get a good night's sleep. Pray for her to be comfortable and to get to eat again. Pray for her kids and for Josh.