Update from Al: Surgery Coming Up

Hi it’s Al once again.

Just a brief update to tell you that Karla will be having surgery on her spine on May 9th. There is an urgent need to offer structural support to her vertebrae T11 which is compromised by the cancer and somewhat compressed. To avoid any potential damage to her spinal cord, she will have screws and titanium pins placed between T10 and T12 in support of the damaged T11. As with all surgeries there are risks but there is more risk in not proceeding with this surgery. She will likely be in the hospital for 4-5 days and then convalesce for a period of time as her body heals.

This unfortunately necessitates her being off her chemo pills for some time and she will resume these as soon as possible. 

We did meet with 3 great doctors/surgeons at Roswell Park, Buffalo which is a top-rated centre for cancer treatment, and they confirmed that Karla was currently undergoing the best cancer treatment applicable to her type of cancer and that this surgery was necessary. Thankfully the Canadian surgeon responded effectively and efficiently and booked May 9th as we’d been concerned that the OHIP system might prolong her wait for surgery. 

We have the results of her genetic and molecular tests which indicate that there is no family inherited mutation or specific cancer-causing genes. This is great news for Zach and good news for Karla’s siblings as they fall into the normal public range of probability of cancer which would have been more problematic had a mutation issue been noted in the tests. She does have an identified molecular mutation called PIK3CA which based on current treatments responds well to a new drug on trial and so that will be a possible option if Ibrance proves less than effective.
There seem to be very rapidly evolving trials and new drugs being developed at a good pace so we are optimistic that Karla can fight and control this disease and beat it! Thank you all for your warm wishes, positive thoughts and prayers.

Al Tolstoy

About The Author

A few months ago, I was told that my boobs are trying to kill me and being misdiagnosed for two years allowed them to recruit throughout the rest of my body by way of my spine. Before this, I knew f*ck all about cancer. Now, between sipping chemo cocktails, I want to talk about the truth of living with Stage 4 Breast Cancer with my support system and people I have met along the way to recovery.

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