Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh happy day!

He's done. Finished. See that little calendar widget over in the right hand column? It's blank! I feel like I should post something eloquent or introspective on a day like this, but frankly I'm too exhausted and shocked to think straight. You'll have to wait for something more poignant later! I just wanted to get this information up as soon as possible because so many of you are waiting for the update.

Reese's pulmonary function test did show a mild to moderate decline on several factors, so Dr. Minow insisted on discontinuing the Bleomycin. Cancer is nothing to mess around with, but so is pulmonary toxicity, and he felt the risks to Reese's long term lung function were too great. As you know, this is not really the news I was hoping to year. I wanted to be able to continue the Bleomycin and for Reese to get every bit of treatment that we'd originally planned. Reese, however, was understandably thrilled! He's been in horrible pain all weekend, so the news of no more yuck being pumped into his body from this point on was just what he was looking for. Nobody wants him to be subjected to any more chemotherapy than he needs, but I want to make sure we've done the prudent thing in combating the cancer cells. Dr. Minow assured us that when he's managed "good risk" patients like Reese who show signs of possible lung toxicity, the experts at Indiana University have advised that skipping the Bleomycin for the last round is acceptable. He also felt that adding another whole round of Cisplatin and Etoposide to substitute for the Bleomycin was far too aggressive. I made him say it several times and in several different ways to me -- he was very patient, checking and rechecking to make sure I was confident in the plan. I didn't let him off the hook easily, and I think he was a little glad to see me walk out of the office today!

The plan, moving forward, is to get in for another PET scan later this week, and then meet with the doctor the following Tuesday to go over the results. We're expecting to see that the cancer is completely gone from the lymph nodes, which would mean that Reese would be back on a less extensive surveillance protocol. If the PET scan shows anything is still going on, we have more options and will come up with the next step.

So, he's done. Well, sort of done. The chemotherapy medications definitely saved their best for last. This past weekend was the worst Reese has had, by far. He is really wiped out, and struggled even to make it across the parking lot from the office to our car today. We're going to hold off on the cake and party horns at this point, and I don't think he's quite up to beginning his training for the Tour de France just yet. I expect he will be firmly planted on the couch for the better part of the next 2 weeks, but we should begin to see steady improvement in his energy level after that.

Anybody want 4.97 pounds of protein powder? He hated that stuff anyway.

10 comments:

  1. I found you through April Rose, Im just a blog away (thepiferfamily.blogspot.com) please know I am here for you...

    Praying for your family

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  2. Glad to hear the chemo is over. Praying for good news from the upcoming PET scan. Love you brother. Jim Boyd

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  3. Even though I didn't understand half the words in this post, I most certainly read every one. What a relief to have that chemo over. I cannot imagine.

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  4. Thank you Jesus - glad it's over and Reese can now start to feel better - will continue to pray good results. I'll be back on the job next week - :)
    Mom

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  5. Wahoooo!! We're here in Timor, Indonesia, reading the good news on our Wednesday afternoon. Cara, I'm glad you asked Dr. Minow to spell it out for you several times! That's what I would have done, too. Reese, sorry to hear how low this last round took you. Obviously we'll praying and asking God to confirm the chemo has done it's job and to restore your energy.
    Love, Mom and Bill

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  6. Thats good news. I will be praying he gets more energy with each passing day.

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  7. Michele EhrenbergMay 27, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    Hallelujah! I will continue praying for complete healing and renewed and restored health... God is BIG!

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  8. SO glad the chemo is over. I am sorry to hear that Reese is feeling so wiped out right now. I hope he feels better soon. Good luck with the PET scan and I will be waiting to hear the results! Thank you for the update! Love you all!

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  9. Oh happy day indeed! We are still praying for full health and recover... and good results of PET scan. We love you much, Steph

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  10. Glad Reese gets a break. Hope the appt next week brings good news! Love, Jamie & Jeff

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