Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Treatment - What's Next

We met with the doctor today.  The original tumor sight had some bleeding in the tumor.  Because of the bleeding, Dennis cannot stay on Avastin.  The risk of a serious hemorrhage is too high.  Two options were available to us at this point.  They could use radiation again.  Until recently this would not have even been an option.  Radiation was used once on the brain and that was it.  Methods have been developed to do radiation a second time if over a year has lapsed since the previous radiation.  However, with radiation comes a high risk of cell death of healthy cells in the brain and the loss of function from it.

The second option is the Novacure or NovaTTF, it goes by two names, that disrupts the cell division in the cancer cells but does not affect healthy brain tissue and has minimal side effects.  The only real side effect is tender skin from the tape.  This is the option we have chosen.  There is planning and insurance approval that has to take place over the next few weeks.  Dennis will start the new treatments either the Monday before Thanksgiving or the Monday after Thanksgiving.  There are some drawbacks to this treatment.  Dennis will need to have his head shaved so that the device he will be wearing comes in contact with his skin.  None of us are looking forward to that.  He also needs to be plugged into the device at least 18 hours a day.  When he is home, he can plug into the house current.  He will have batteries to use when he is not home.  The pack weighs around 6 lbs that he will be carrying around all the time.  Although we think this is a good option at this point, it is very hard to process through all of this.  We hope with time that it will become somewhat routine.

Dennis also is scheduled for an MRI of his spinal column.  Since the brain and spinal column work together, the doctor wants to make sure that no new tumors have developed outside of his brain.  He is doing this as a precaution.  If they would find any tumors in his spine, they will use radiation to destroy them.

The second tumor in his brain is gone.  This one may redevelop now that Dennis is off of medication.  If it does, the doctor will direct the Novacure to that area as well.

We are totally spent emotionally.  This has been a very hard couple of days.  We don't like that this new treatment will be so visibly obvious to us all the time.  With all the other treatments, it was easier to "forget" all that was going on.  

We continue to trust and rest in the care of our loving heavenly Father.  We know he loves each of us and has a plan and purpose for this difficult time in our lives.

Please continue to pray for us.

  • Peace as we await the start of this next treatment.
  • That the spinal MRI will be clear.
  • Dennis - to gain strength now that he is off of the medication.  (It will take several weeks to clear out of his system.)
  • Ellen - I am emotionally drained.
  • Brooklyn - as she processes all that is happening and for us as we guide her through it.
We love you and appreciate all you do for us.  Dennis will be able to get out and about with this new treatment so don't hesitate to call and see if he wants to get out.  It helps him not to just be at home all the time.  Thanks for your prayers and care you have so generously given to us.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the update. Hoping this new treatment works. Praying to give all of you the strength you need. Blessings