Hey! Have you heard? We’re having an art show and benefit to help support Judy’s treatment and recovery!
Be there or be square! Join us for this celebration of Judy Garvey and peruse and buy her and other lovely artists’ donated work. Opening Friday, December 7, 2018, we’ll have goodies and the lady herself. The show will remain open through Sunday, December 9, 2018 (times below).
headquarters – 2302 Roosevelt Ave, Berkeley, California 94703
Judy met with her oncological surgeon to review the results of the high-resolution cat-scan. What was conveyed isn’t what we wanted to hear, but at least it’s a step closer to treatment.
It seems that the anatomy of the tumor means that surgery is off the table—at least for now. They found that it is in both the gallbladder and the bile duct. The next logical step would be chemo with surgery a potentiality later. However, there is a preliminary procedure that needs to be done in advance of chemo, another endoscopic biopsy to determine the nature of the tumor—if it is indeed cancer. More hurry up and wait, I’m afraid.
All things communicated are indicative of what we had been advised from the start. That the cancer is rare, and extremely difficult treat.
But you can help! Do you know anyone with connections at UCSF oncology who might be able to influence the timeliness of the endoscopy? If you could please pass on that info via the contact form or any other email/numbers you have for us, it’d be hugely appreciated.
Also, stay tuned! We are going to have an art show/fundraiser/benefit for Judy on the weekend of December 7-9 in Berekely. Watch for a Facebook event.
Update: Judy got her CATscan pushed up to this Friday, November 9th.
TL;DR: Judy met with her new surgeon who was impressive and direct. A high-resolution CATscan is scheduled for Wednesday, November 14th.
Judy met her new oncological surgeon at UCSF on Monday! They had an excellent and informative discussion about the nature of the possible medical interventions and outcomes, and while nothing “new”, per se, was discussed, he was very direct and forthcoming with information. Both Judy and Brian were very impressed with his knowledge and expertise. He emphasized the “team” nature of their work which too is an asset, compared to other smaller surgical groups consulted with. Her surgical oncologist will be the leader, but otherwise, it will be a definitive team effort.
Some things did come out of this meeting that weren’t necessarily discussed explicitly during other previous consultations. There is a possibility that a surgical intervention isn’t an option depending on the anatomy of her bile duct, the tumor, and its relation to the hepatic artery (which is the main supply of blood to the liver)—so the first order of business is a higher resolution CATscan which will be taking place a week from Wednesday. And it turns out that no laparoscopic exploratory surgery will be necessary with this new team.
Yay! Judy was released from the hospital today after a 5-day stint for an infection related to her cancer.
As with any gut infection, treating it was rather intensive involving between 2 and 3 different intravenous antibiotics while she was there.
She realized that something wasn’t right when she was cramping and nauseous and wisely went to the ER. They admitted her immediately and she was on IV and no solid foods until last evening as she slowly recovered.
Headed to her sister’s family’s home in Graton now, she’s counting on some much needed R&R.
Her recovery was greatly bolstered by the amazing response to her Go Fund Me site!
Wow, are you people amazing! She and Brian are immensely grateful for your help in relieving the huge financial burden of recovery allowing her to heal unimpaired by that weight.
Other news [UCSF]:
Judy’s insurance has approved the consultation visit with the surgeon at UCSF who is renowned for their treatment in this area. She has an appointment for Monday and we are hoping that she will be fast-tracked for surgery and related treatments then. However, it is rare that a surgery date will be provided upon the 1st consultation—so we will be waiting to find out about that.
You may, or mayn’t, know that Judy has been going through a lot lately. Fairly recently she courageously embarked on a career be a full-time fine artist (with the full support of her husband Brian). She’s been showing places and has had some success with sales, but was really just getting started. And then…
A few weeks ago, after not feeling well for several weeks with all sorts of symptoms ranging from gastrointestinal to migraines followed by frustrating doctors’ visits and no cogent diagnosis, Brian noticed that Judy’s skin was turning a lovely shade of amber. A trip to the emergency room later, it was determined that Judy is actually very very ill.
First, they thought she had sediment in her gallbladder blocking her bile duct, but upon endoscopic examination, it was realized that it wasn’t that at all, but that she had a growth encroaching on her bile duct. They installed shunts in the duct, as a temporary solution but through other methodologies, she has been diagnosed with a rare tumor, extrahepatic carcinoma, which turns out to be malignant 90% of the time. Unfortunately, it’s true form won’t come to light until after it is removed.
Regardless Judy has some incredibly serious and rigorous surgery, other treatments and a likely arduous recovery ahead of her. If you’d like to and are able, Judy and Brian could sure use your support helping her through this toiling and expensive convalescence. We’ve set up a Go Fund Me page to help you do just that.
Currently, Judy is in the hospital in Berkeley with an infection more than likely related to her condition.
The stents they inserted into said duct as a temporary measure (essentially so that she wouldn’t die) are working nicely thank-you-very-much, and she her amber complexion has turned much more pinkish hue (not to mention, she feels much better)
The tumor needs to be removed or it will kill her
The tumor excision requires MAJOR surgery that can last between 4 and 9 hours with a recovery period of 6+ weeks
Judy has only recently embarked on her career as a professional fine artist at great financial risk—she and Brian are pretty much freakin’ broke
What we don’t know at this point:
Exactly when she will start treatment—the sooner the better, but y’know, red tape, insurance, etc.
Where she’ll be receiving treatment—it turns out there are world experts in this surgery out of UCSF. Now we need to see if her insurance will cover her being treated there
If this is cancer. We will not know until they remove the tumor. (Only 10% of these tumors are not cancer, but the pathology on the cells they have biopsied says that it is not. —Fingers crossed!)
How many procedures will be required and subsequent treatments. There is a chance that they will do laparoscopic exploratory surgery to determine the state of the tumor 1st
Based on previous examinations, it looks as if the tumor may be wrapped around the artery supplying blood to the bile duct. If they find that to be the case, she may require chemotherapy to shrink the tumor before they can excise it, thus prolonging the process and her recovery time significantly