We travelled down to Toronto last Tuesday to see the surgeon about Beth's parathyroid glands. Here's a bit of technical stuff (skip it if you don't need to know and the picture just freaks you out). Most of us have 4 parathyroids, but Beth only has 2 - the two on her right side were lost during her surgery for thyroid cancer in 2002. This surgeon we saw at Princess Margaret Hospital was the one who took out the rest of her thyroid (on the left side) in 2003 and he was able to preserve those parathyroids. However, as has been shared in a previous post, there is now a benign tumour on one of them, which has been causing her calcium levels to rise significantly. The hopeful news from our visit with the surgeon was that he felt he would be able to just remove the one affected gland and leave the other one intact. If the one remaining parathyroid would be able to do the job of regulating Beth's calcium level that would be wonderful, as having to take synthetic calcium supplements can cause some other challenges long term.
Beth had blood work done on Friday, as well as meeting with her chemo oncologist. All of the levels that have been a concern had improved - her calcium level had come down, the indicators for her liver were all much better, and her iron level was the best it's been since this all started. It seems that some combination of drugs (she had the infusion for the calcium level last week, and has begun taking 2 tablets daily for her liver) and prayer are certainly working! As well, the doctor said the breast tumour has continued to shrink in size significantly.
Today (Mon. Dec. 2) was Beth's 5th chemotherapy treatment and it went amazingly well. The port-a-cath worked right away (without needing to be flushed) and they could administer the drugs more quickly since there have been no reactions during the previous infusions. Josh went along with her this time and they were home by shortly after 1:00. Then Beth had a pretty good sleep by the fireplace in our family room and after supper she even wanted to put up our Christmas tree!