We've been asked how or when we will know if the various treatments they are doing for Dennis are working. There really is no simple way to know this. Because the tumor itself was removed, we can't judge if this is working based on the tumor shrinking. The cells that are left behind that can cause the future regrowth are tiny and not able to be seen by MRIs. The only thing we can know is that regrowth is not occuring based on MRI results. The MRI they did the week before he started chemo, radiation and the trial drug showed no regrowth and good healing. He will have an MRI again about 10 weeks into treatment which will tell us if there has been any regrowth. From that point on, he will have frequent MRIs to monitor his status as he continues with the chemo and trail drug. For this type of tumor that is all you can do. They also do weekly blood work and so far all of his levels have been normal which means his immune system is working well so far.
So far Dennis continues to handle the treatments well. He is tired. We are noticing that the trial drug he gets on Wednesday and Thursday tends to tire him out a lot. By Monday or Tuesday he is starting to gain some stamina back. We find that about 2-3 hours of any activity is about all her can tolerate before needing a nap. His body is using a lot of energy to repair itself from the cells that get destroyed from the treatments. Keep in mind both cancer cells and other cells are destroyed during treatments. Healthy cells will repair themselves but cancer cells do not do this as well.
Keep praying for Dennis' complete healing and for no regrowth of the tumor. This week at church our pastor spoke about how sometimes God chooses to deliver us from the trials in our lives but at other times he delivers us through the trials in our life. In other words, sometimes God removes the trial and in others he sustains us as we continue through the trail. We don't know if God will choose to completely heal Dennis or if He will choose instead to walk with us through this journey but we know we can trust Him either way.