Friday, September 20, 2013

Starting New Treatments


New Medications

After 28 days of being off of all medication Dennis’ MRI showed very little growth.  We were very pleased with this as we were concerned about the amount of growth and/or possible new tumors.  Dennis was then placed into a new study drug trial, had numerous tests and finally on Wednesday he started the new medications. 

The standard medication used at this point is Avastin.  Dennis is on that medication now.  (Recent studies have shown that Avastin does not work with newly diagnosed patients but has been used for a number of years with patients with regrowth.) In addition he is in a trial drug program.  He saw the doctor on Wednesday prior to starting the new medications and he did well on his neurological evaluation.  The first two times he is given Avastin, they give it very slowly in case of a drug reaction.  Dennis had no reaction from it.  He will go once a week for treatments.  He will receive the trial drug every week and Avastin every other week.  He is more tired since he is on medication but that is to be expected. 

How are you doing?

We are often asked, “How are you doing?”  It is easy to give a report on test results and reactions to medications but that is not what most people as asking when they ask this question.  Most days we do OK emotionally.  There are days when this overwhelms us.  Are we tired of doctors, medications, MRIs, waiting on test results…?  YES!!!!!  Frankly, it is exhausting sometimes.   We tend to live life in 8 week chunks with each MRI approached with apprehension and stress.  We make plans always with a disclaimer that it depends on how Dennis is feeling and that we me need to change them if his condition and/or treatment changes.  But mostly, we try to live and enjoy each day.  Personally, I have never been so exhausted in my life – at least not for such an extended period of time.  I feel like I used to feel in the weeks leading up to Christmas – more to do than there is time to do it.  I’m so thankful for all the help our friends give us along the way and for boss who understands as well.  I know we could not walk this road without each of you by our sides.  Brooklyn is doing well too.  She had a very hard time dealing with the news that the tumors had grown.  We helped her to understand that if we spend today worrying about what may come; we lose the joy of today.  She is doing better with this. 

Not Our Plan A

Recently our pastor preached a message that touched both of our hearts.  He preached about how God is directing our paths even when our lives are not fitting into our Plan A vision for them.  We are definitely way off of our Plan A at this point.  You can hear the sermon here: (The first 16 minutes is a church vision talk. The sermon starts right after that.) 


Please keep us in your prayers.

  • Dennis continues to tolerate the new medications well and that they destroy all of the cancer.
  • Strength for the day-to-day living that at times is overwhelming and exhausting.
  • Wisdom as we guide Brooklyn through this journey.


Monday, September 9, 2013

MRI Report

Dennis had an MRI today as a baseline for the new medication he will start early next week.  He has been off of any medication for almost four weeks and we were nervous about what this MRI would show.  We wondered if it would show more tumors and/or substantial growth.  I just talked with the doctor and the MRI report was good.  The doctor described it as substantially stable.  He said if there is any growth it is about 1mm.  We are very thankful for this.  His blood work also looked fantastic.

Dennis will be registered in the new trial later this week and should start the new drugs either Monday or Tuesday, depending on when they arrive at the hospital.  Please pray that Dennis handles this medication well and that it kills off the tumors.

Also, please keep me in your prayers.  I'm fighting off some sort of illness and not feeling very good at all.  I'm on antibiotics but not getting better.  I would appreciate your prayers.  I'll be seeing the doctor later today to see if there is anything else they can do to help me at this point.  Also pray that Dennis does not pick this up.