Sorry for the delay on an update for all the tumblr followers. There has been an issue with the feed. So since the flu, Betsy went in for chemo which resulted in a week hospitalization stay for severe dehydration. She pulled through that with amazing strength as she has before.
We were waiting on a call from Washington DC for a clinical trial based on immunotherapy. On February 17th we flew to DC and met with several Doctors as well as having multiple test run on her . The cancer is growing rapidly in her lungs and there is also signs of it retuning on her liver as well. We found out that her left kidney has suffered some scaring and her ureter tube is narrowing so she needs to have a stent put in before any trials could be considered.
Jumping to today we received a call from NCI and she does not qualify for the most promising studies that they are doing over there. There is one, but they have not seen any promising results with it so far. I don’t think she wants to go through with it though. We have been advised to seek other trials that are going on around the world which is basically our only hope for her survival. At this time we are going to sell Radar Hair & Records and eventually our house and focus on the time we have left together which at this point is unknown. Thank you all for your continued support through all of this. I don’t think she would be with us today if it wasn’t for all of you. Love, Johnny & Betsy
Our trip to Napa was awesome. We had a great time visiting with family and Dad’s birthday was a success! We heard some great stories from the old timers, some even made us cry. Today Betsy was supposed to start chemo again but due to some crazy stomach flu or Norovirus, I was up all night shooting out of both ends, and at about 7 am so was Betsy. I haven’t felt this sick in ages, I thought I was going to die. I have been keeping a close eye on Betsy in between my visits to the bathroom. This is so horrible and scary at the same time. Hopefully it passes and she can get back to her treatment on Thursday. Please send us all you have. We love you all. Betsy and Johnny
Well, this morning I woke up, Betsy was complaining of lower back pain and we were on the fence about going into the emergency room. We got a hold of Dr. Eddie and he thought we should come in and get some more blood drawn and a CT SCAN just to be safe and to have a baseline of what is going on in there now . Her last CEA count has come back and it is up to 29 from 15. This is not a good sign. We are going to Napa to see her father for his 80th birthday this weekend and when we get back she will be going in for chemo on Tuesday to slow the progression down until we get a word back from the National Cancer Institute about doing this clinical trial. Please keep Betsy in your prayers, she really needs it right now. Thank you and we love you all.
Well, we got the call we have been waiting for and it was not what we expected. Her CEA count was at 5.4 and it is now measuring at 15. With a spike of 10 points it is safe to say that the spots on her lungs are indeed cancerous. Eddie is working as fast as he can to get her some options for treatment. In the mean time she might be starting a regimen of chemo to slow the growth process to buy some time until we get word back from the clinical trial to see if she can get into the study. It is the most promising and could potentially save her life. He also sent some of her tumor tissue to a new group at the UW that will be testing for 300 different mutations that could pinpoint the best drug treatments that have not yet been used.This process is new and is only done in a few hospitals, UW being one of the first. There is hope to stop the progression of the cancer but as I said in the last update when it goes to the lungs it is incurable with traditional methods, such as surgery. Betsy is an amazing person and her strength in this whole thing is unbelievable, I have learned so much from her about life and dealing with whatever comes of all of this. We have had an amazing life together and nobody wants this to end. She is going to do everything she can to stay alive for as long as she can, or beat this, and live her life in a fun and normal way , as some of you have seen her out more and more. “It doesn’t help to sit around and worry about what may or may not happen. Let’s enjoy the precious time we have now.” -Betsy Hansen
Thanksgiving dance party. Here is Betsy at 11pm working off today’s meal. Still strong, having the time of her life on the dance floor! She hates when I make these little videos of her. I love you Betsy. Happy Thanksgiving to all our wonderful friends and family. We love you !
So, today was the meeting to get the results back from the CT. The news was not what we expected. Her CEA count was at a normal 5.4 but the images showed about 5 spots on her lungs that were not there before. Also 3 additional spots on her liver which seem to be close to where the old ones were. Once the cancer has moved to the lungs it is considered incurable with traditional methods. Dr. Eddie felt like things did not add up, he will be speaking with radiology again to get a better idea. It is possible this is just inflammation from the surgery and just some scar tissue but we are prepared if it ends up being the cancer.
The options are more chemo to keep everything manageable until the cancer stops responding. Or there is a clinical trial going on in DC for a new treatment called “immunotherapy” which uses the bodies own T sells to attack the cancer and possibly get rid of it completely. There has been a lot of success with this treatment and Eddie thinks Betsy would be a good candidate for this. When she was first hospitalized last year, her body continued to fight the cancer without chemo while she was fighting for her life. She is not giving up. Betsy still has some fight left in her and she is prepared to use it. Thanks for all your prayers and support through all this. We love you all.
Update on Betsy…
It has been two months since her surgery. Today she had her first CT scan post op. Thursday we meet with Eddie and will find out the results. We are hoping for a clean scan, no cancer!! Regardless of the results, she is prepared for whatever comes next. Hopefully she can get on with living her life cancer free. Please keep her in your thoughts for major healing.
So this Wednesday will be Betsy’s surgery. We are scheduled to go in around 6am. The surgery will be about 10 hours long. They will be removing her sigmoid colon which houses the primary tumor, a full hysterectomy, remove the gall bladder, a few lymph nodes, many nodules in the peritoneal cavity, and use a radio ablation to zap the two spots on the liver. If this all works out she will be in the ICU for a couple of days for monitoring, then moved to a private room for recovery. The doctors said 7-10 days of recovery if all goes well, or up to 14 depending on her body and how she responds. As soon as I know the details of where she will be I will let everyone know. You are all welcome to visit, if she is up for visitors then I know she would love to see everyone. You all helped bring her back from her brush with death last year and I know it will help her with the healing again. Thank you all so much for your support and love. Johnny & Betsy
Update for surgery
Update on Betsy Hansen . After a weekend of thinking and talking to Dr. Eddie, her father, myself, and herself, Betsy has decided to go ahead with the surgery. I made the call to the surgeon’s office yesterday so we will have to wait for the call back, have one more visit with each and the anesthesiologist.
Her decision was made partly because this is the only way to get rid of the cancer completely. Chemo alone will never make it go away. So, with that in mind we understand the risks that go along with this surgery but Betsy is strong and healthy and she does not want to give up. I will keep you all updated as I find out more. As for now, well wishes and visits to the house while she is here would make her really happy. Let me know if you would like to stop by, even for just a few minutes.
We have good news this time. Betsy’s CEA count has dropped to 8 which is the lowest it has ever been. This was measured a couple of weeks ago, so we think it might be even lower now. Last week’s CT scan showed a lot of shrinkage on the main tumor in her colon and also the two lesions on her liver. This means that her oncologist will have enough data to present to the surgeon. We are very excited but it is still too soon to tell. I just wanted to put this out there because every bit of energy from you all will help. I will post another update as soon as we get more news. Thanks again for all your good vibes!! Love J&B