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« Chemo Infusion This Morning | Main | Still waiting... »
Wednesday
Nov202013

Latest Update on our Adventure

Thank you for your patience with this latest update. I needed to coordinate treatment schedules between Swedish in Seattle and MultiCare in Gig Harbor. I was also hoping to have some scan images to show you but, alas, they will have to come later as well. There was also some confusion that required some attending to that was finally cleared up this morning.

Sandy, Tammi, Dana, Mathai and I went to Seattle on Monday for my latest, scheduled scan. This was a follow up to my CyberKnife treatment to keep tabs on the tumor on my brain stem. Dr. Henson began to explain that the tumor is 'misbehaving' again and took us into the 'reading room' where he reads the images.

He actually started out with a bit of humor. For over three years now we've been focusing on the original tumor site and he said that that site is doing just fine; no activity. That's very good news.

The tumor on my brain stem, however, is acting up. Blood vessels are showing up in the scans. These vessels feed blood to the new tumor area and this is not good.

Without getting into a very long and detailed discussion here, I'll give you the highlights about what he's suggesting for treatment. Treatment begins at Swedish and will continue here in Gig Harbor.

There are two parts to the treatment:

1. The first part is a monoclonal antibody and anti-angiogenesis drug called Avastin (Bevacizumab).  Avastin works at eliminating the blood vessels that supply blood to the tumor area. It is given via IV (I believe every two weeks). I'll let you know how often when I see the schedule.

2. The second drug is the actual chemo drug, CCNU (Lomustine). This is in capsule form and is administered in a single dose every six weeks.

Dr. Henson has given Avastin a nickname; he calls it the 'Lazarus' drug due it's amazing ability to 'raise people up' from life threatening situations with cancer. He said it works powerfully for about 75% of the people who take it. That's a big number in the cancer world. He also mentioned that results can be seen within 48 hours. Amazing.

Four weeks after I begin treatment I will go in for another MRI to see how well the drugs are working.

As with all drugs there are certain side effects that I won't bore you with here. The percentage of people that have these side effects is minimal and, by God's grace, I have tolerated chemo very well in the past. I don't anticipate any problems, but I will always ask for your prayers as we enter into another phase of this Adventure with Brain Cancer.

My family is always very supportive, but they are also very disappointed that this new tumor is misbehaving. Please lift them up in prayer. Cancer is never about the patient alone. It is always about the entire sphere of those who surround the patient. Please keep all of them in your prayers. Thank you!

*******

Acts 4:30-31

"Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. NIV

*******

Below is a short video of my doctor explaining the scope of care available at Swedish, one that I have intimate knowledge of, and can attest to:

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