I'm just posting Mom's update she wrote, as I didn't feel like I wanted to sit and write it all out myself as well. Feeling blue enough as it is. So, here is the update. Just got home from the oncologist. The Cubans have a lovely sentiment that, loosely translate, goes "Wishing you health and prosperity in the coming year." That's the Garcias' wish to all of you. Health and prosperity. Nice thoughts. I've been silent for a while, because things changed a bit with Ig in the fall, and I wasn't quite sure what to tell anyone. So, here goes . . . In early November they found that the cancer had surfaced in TWO new spots in Ig's liver, but NOT around the old spot that had been burnt away three times. The radiologist also felt that the cancer had spread to his lung. The Cleveland Clinic messed up and forgot about him after that (change in regime in that department). By the time I got him scheduled for another surgery, it was December 18th, and the larger tumor had grown quite large. They removed that one and put a watch on the second smaller one. The one-month check-up (which took them a week to read) showed no new lesions in the liver but a possible tumor in the bile duct (near where they did the lengthy procedure in December). The CC doctor wants another follow-up CT scan in a month. (THIS radiologist did NOT think it was cancer in the lung, but that's the way it goes. Radiology appears to have no sense of standardization at all.) Ig has had FOUR CT SCANS in the last TWO MONTHS, with the potential for one more in a month. The radiation assault is kind of out of control here, and I think it would be impossible at this point to separate the original cancer from the radiation-induced cells. Please pray for us. Ig is feeling very well and looks good. Somewhere during all of the above-mentioned "procedures", due to the assault on his liver, he turned up with blood-sugar problems. He's in "analysis mode" right now, charting numbers and poking alot, but it's made him aware of what he's eating. We are seeing a new oncologist on Friday, 31 January, and have hopes that he might work out better than the last two. I don't know what it is, but maybe the doctors don't like Stage IV cancer patients where chemo has already failed or something. Since mostly what they know to do is chemo, they just smile and don't call you back. Ig's cancer had a decided pattern prior to this. Gave us a bit of time between scans to act like we're normal people (normal for the Garcias, anyway). This "new round" is different, though, so we don't know what to think or tell anyone. Perhaps it's getting better and the body is working it around to somewhere stronger in his body. Perhaps this is the "when it shows up somewhere we can't remove it from you'll just have to go home and make peace with the world" part that they warned us about 1-1/2 years ago. Only God knows. I'm glad I don't have the wisdom or foreknowledge of God. Hope is what's needed most. God is Good . . . Happy New Year from all of us, Janis (for Ig, Sarah & Elizabeth) UPDATE TO THE UPDATE Waited to send this until we had met the new doctor. Don't like him at all. (There seems to be no way of getting out of the "just one more body on the conveyor belt" side of cancer treatment centers.) He has overridden the other doctor's follow-up scan in a month and grudgingly given us a three-month reprieve to get ready for another six months of chemo. He did not think it likely that Ig's cancer will have been burnt out by the last ablation. Actually, he admitted that he came into the room with a chemo program already in mind, not even having seen Ig's medical records or knowing anything about Ig's past two years. Everything continued on quite impersonal, until they drew more labs and led us out. The doctor would not discuss details about what chemo he had in mind, so we're left with a hundred questions. It's obvious that we can't continue on with all this radiation, so we're kinda stuck, and this guy seems no worse than the rest. We know that the first chemo, my holistic approach, and 1-1/2 years of radiation haven't stopped the cancer's growth. We can't see that we have any other choice here but to let them experiment on him again. Beats doing nothing. The only hope we have of getting off this merry-go-round is for the scan to be done in three months to show no cancer anywhere. The doctor thinks it improbable and unlikely but admitted that he couldn't tell what was going to happen in the future. We haven't had a free scan at the three-month mark before, so its a small hope at best. There is much fear and worry for us in this whole cancer thing. It's like being trapped in a dark elevator that never stops or opens its doors. We're doing our best to "focus on the good", but the rollercoaster is exhausting. I'm sorry if our thoughts disappoint you. Everyone deals with things differently. Please don't judge us. Just pray for us.