Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

First I want to say the birthday celebration for Dad on November 19th was great - good food and good company.  Both sisters (Echo and Monica) made the trip to celebrate with Monica and her family staying in Houston through Thanksgiving.  This was the first Thanksgiving Pam and I hosted in our house.  With lots of helping hands in the kitchen it turned out perfect.  There is much to be Thankful for.....

As mentioned in the last update, we were to receive news from MD Anderson regarding dad's progress with the clinical trial he is participating in.  After numerous CT scans the physicians concluded that a new therapy would be best for dad.  The scans showed some new (albeit small) tumors in the lungs and 23% growth by the largest tumor in the lungs.  The scans also showed stability and what appears to be an improvement in the throat.  Unfortunately, the new tumors and growth of the largest tumor is something we cannot have and thus the recommendation to stop the trial and try again.  There is another clinical trial beginning late January and the physician team believes this is a good one for dad to join.  In the mean time, there is a PO (by mouth) Chemotherapy drug which has shown to be effective in some cases.  Dad has agreed (and has already started) to try this drug to bridge the gap between the two trials.  This drug is taken twice a day on an empty stomach and is well known among the Anaplastic Thyroid "community".  One of the nice things about not participating in a trial is you are not required to have as many appointments and blood draws.  This allows a little flexibility for dad to do things.....like travel!  At the end of this week both mom and dad will take a much deserved trip to Tucson.  If there is anywhere in the world dad would like to be most, it's probably Arizona!  I know they will have a great time tending to their house, visiting friends and family, and reacquainting themselves with the mountains and cacti (not too much of that here in Pearland, TX).

So what's next?  Dad will have repeat tests and scans after starting this new drug.  If this proves to be an effective treatment (pray, pray, pray!) then continue the course.  If not, we have the other trial to hopefully join.  Unfortunately you are not always guaranteed the trial will be available to you.  The trial could be postponed due to unanticipated side-effects or even stopped by the FDA if they feel warranted.  Even if the trial is open, you have to pass a screening and meet their requirements to participate.  So, there is a lot more to come soon!  Keep up the prayers and support for Superman Steve.  His strength and energy is at a level that is still hard for us to keep up with - an amazing feat if you think about what he has been through the last 182 days..........

We have more Superman Steve bands if anyone needs more.  Thanks!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Last Monday (about 10 days ago), Steve had his 3rd clinical trial chemo infusion. This chemo does not kill all new cells; it only targets the fast dividing cells.  Steve now has his hair growing back and his skin tone looks healthier.  This chemo does make Steve very very tired and weak on days 8-11 post infusion.  So yesterday and today were both very tough days.  This morning Steve and Cindy went to MD Anderson for scans and Steve will have more scans tomorrow.  The Drs are testing to see if the tumors are responding to the chemo.  I think results of the scans will be shared with Steve on Friday.  Our hope is that the medications are working to stop the cancer growth. 

Please pray for positive news.  Please pray for peace in our hearts as we wait for the results.  Please pray for strength for Steve and please pray that Steve feels better soon! 

This Saturday is Steve's 58th birthday.  We will be celebrating with a family BBQ at our house.  We are hoping for good weather and that Steve feels well enough for celebrating. Each day is truly a gift for each of us.  We do not know what tomorrow will bring, so we embrace today and all the blessings there in. 

Many Hugs,