Saturday, October 28, 2006

October 28, 2006

I know it's been a long time. It's been a crazy time. I'll try to catch you up as best I can.

We took a quick family trip to Disneyland over UEA (school break for educator training.) We had a good time. It was extremely crowded. I think all of Utah was there thinking no one else would be there. We were able to see my brother Chad a few times which was really fun for me and the kids. Mark was feeling well enough to go to the park for a good while on the first two days but on the last two days he couldn't go at all. I know he was happy for us to go and enjoy the park, but it is not easy to just leave him at the hotel. It was hard for me to enjoy being there, but having Chad there helped a lot.

We never really got any more clarification on the scans, but a second opinion did confirm growth. We had the feeling that we were being put on the schedule of "let's make you as comfortable as we can until ...." Therefore, we have started a new adventure. I know we mentioned before a clinic that works more on a natural/wholistic approach. Well, that's what we have been up to as of Monday this week. I can not say at this time that we are extremely thrilled with what's been happening, but at the same time, we are optimistic that over time this is the answer for us. The hard part has been that the doctor wanted Mark to stop taking as much of the medication he was on as possible. Her opinion is that these things are not helping him as much as they are harming him. Needless to say, he has been nauseas, in pain, still so tired and not sleeping well. Plus he and many times me as well have been sitting at the clinic for six or more hours everyday. Most patients don't usually go on Friday, but they wanted him to come again yesterday as well. He's feeling very depressed, because all this time sitting there has been a lot of time to think about the reality of the situation. We are hoping that all the side effects are because he is going through an extreme detoxifacation. He is being pumped full of vitamins, hormones, antibodies, drugs that shrink tumor growth and more that we don't completely understand. I know many will think we are crazy, but all along the oncologists have told us only bad news. "This cancer is terminal. We can give you more time maybe with chemo, but in the end, you will die." The doctor helping us now actually believes and more importantly makes us believe that she can help Mark. We are hoping that with time, Mark's going to feel much better and live much, much longer. The doctor has talked to us about a method called Hyperthermia done in Germany that she believes might be the miracle for us. They do it here in the U.S., but it is a modified version, because of the FDA restrictions. Both Mark and I are very anxious to go to Germany for the procedure.

We are so grateful for the continued prayers and service. We know our Heavenly Father loves us and watches over us. We are continuing in faith that His will will be to leave Mark here on earth to be with his family.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

October 10, 2006

After taking the scans the first info we get is over the phone from Dr. Whisenant. He tells us what the radiologists have written after viewing the scans. We take it in, and assess the situation. We usually wonder whether it is good news or bad news. Then we get a copy of the actual radiologists report. We try to make sense of all the medical jargon, and search for the real good and/or bad news behind the words. We both are trying to be positive and hopeful, but the news wasn't exactly what we had hoped and prayed for. Until we can talk to the doctor and ask for more clarification about the report, this will be our simple understanding of what it said. The largest tumor in the liver is relatively unchanged from last time - it hasn't grown or shrunk and doesn't appear to have any abnormal uptake of glucose (amount of activity) on the PET. There are however two (maybe three) different lesions in the liver that have grown a little since the last CT. There definitely isn't any spread to other organs, and the tumors in the omentum still appear to be dormant.

Today we went to the clinic to hopefully gain some more insight regarding the scans and the plan for the future. Because Mark is still feeling relatively good, the plan will be to continue on the same chemo regime. We are hopeful that there are still positive gains to be had from Xeloda/Avastin/Erbitux. We will go for six more weeks and then scan again. If there is any additional growth we will switch. We are also going to have the same radiologist that read the scans in July read the new scans to see if he has any different opinions.

We are happy that the cancer is not spreading to any new organs and that the growth that did occur was small. We are trying to remain positive.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

October 5, 2006

Sorry about the long delay in posting. I had my scan yesterday and we hope to have the results by tomorrow. I will post them as soon as we hear. Thanks again for the prayers and comforting messages.