Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March Update

I'm so thankful to provide an update to you all that is full of hope.  I wish I could say the two most recent CT Scans at MD Anderson showed some regression in the lung tumors.  Unfortunately the tumors grew enough to where continuing with this treatment did not make sense and, as I mentioned before, another trial(s) may be the best option.  Although the tumors growing are bad news, the good news is their are other options AND there have been no other signs of metastatic disease in other organs or within the lungs.

Allow me to back up for just a moment....  My last update was January and we are now in March, so there is a lot of ground to cover.  In January Mom (Cindy) started up at SMU again in Dallas.  She has been on a very long journey to finish her Master's in Divinity - a world-wide scholastic journey!  She now travels to Dallas every week on Tuesdays to study at the Perkins School of Theology and returns on Fridays - 9-10 hours of driving per week.  It's not an easy task, but she has love and support from Dad.  I think Dad is happy to be in the role of supporting her after it being the other way around for many months.

I am also happy to report that overall health for Dad has been relatively good this winter.  He goes walking regularly at the bayous and parks.  He does a lot of cooking and barbecuing.  And of course lots of work around the house and playing with the grand kids.  Despite the limiting factors that an aggressive cancer places on your body he manages to stay so darn active!  It really has been fun having mom and dad here for all of our weekend events, Valentine's day, and pretty soon the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

So, back to present time and back to options on future treatments for dad.  After the last scans dad needed to make a decision on how to proceed.  Really the best options were two clinical trials where he could join the next waive of participants.  One trial was in Maryland and the other at MD Anderson.  Ultimately he chose to try the MD Anderson trial, but it was a tough decision especially because of significant risks with the MDA trial.  For instance, the chemo does have a potential side effect of retinal detachment.  In order to get accepted to the trial, dad had to have 4 hours of eye exams and will continue self checking his eyes to ensure he is okay.  Additionally he had more scans and blood work to kick off the trial and he officially started last Friday with his first chemo infusion therapy.

From here on it's weekly blood draws and doctor visits along with the chemo every two weeks.  As I said before I am delivering this update with a lot of hope as we move forward.  We are all grateful for the overall good health and helpful medicine that has allowed us to have a happy winter.  Please continue to pray for good health and strength for Steve.  But most of all (as our friend Hugh would say) keep hope alive with this battle.  Pray for the doctors, the researchers, and all the patients who are battling this disease.  I know we face an uphill battle but I am so filled with hope I can't help but stay positive.  Thank you to everyone for your prayers and positive thoughts.  You play a large role!