Where is the blog's beginning?
Click here to go to the first entry

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Banquets, Confirmation, Chemotherapy

Well, it felt great NOT going to Froedtert for 2 days, Tuesday May 11 and Wednesday May 12, 2010; after going for 16 consecutive weekdays. It practically felt like normal family living, or a mini vacation even. :)

Thursday May 13, 2010, Carl went in for blood work and to meet with our very nice Oncologist. The next steps were determined - a pet scan and then chemotherapy.

Friday, May 14, 2010, Nathan had his 6th grade Medieval banquet, (which we attended in costume, just as we did in Anthony and Tom's 6th grade year).
Mequon Steffen Middle School Medieval Banquet 2010

Carl didn't shave for weeks so he could look medieval. (Thankfully, he did bathe, so he did not smell medieval.)

He went back to work after the banquet, and shaved. I didn't immediately notice that Carl had shaved, but as you can see, Carl is definitely no longer bald.

Over the weekend, we celebrated Anthony's confirmation at church on May 16, 2010.

Monday May 17, 2010, Carl went in for a pet scan. I haven't seen the results, but apparently the scan shows no metabolic activity in spots outside of the leg. That is a good result, it means the tumor cells are not trying to grow, (I think). I'll describe pet scans in another post.

We then had a busy week with the family : Miranda's band concert on Tuesday; Anthony's band concert on Thursday; Tom's first baseball practice of the year on Friday. Carl has been continuing to work, and he is feeling fine and keeps up with the rest of us. (Which can be a hectic pace towards the end of the school year.) Carl does go to bed much earlier, and gets more sleep, and we are working on eating healthier. (More in a different post.)

The plan now is for Carl to start a round of Chemotherapy on Monday, May 24, 2010.

Carl could resume the 5 day inpatient chemotherapy, using the ifosomide & adriomycin combination. However, since the weather is so wonderful, and the cells seem to be behaving, The Dr's are going to use a second string of chemotherapy drugs so that Carl won't have to stay overnight at the hospital. Someday in 2010 Carl will get more ifosomide & adriomycin; but we can "save" those treatments for later in the year.

Part of the reasoning is this: The body can only tolerate so much adriomycin. Basically, you can have about 6 doses of this wonderful drug, and then your heart says skip it and you die. OK, that's not exactly technical. The body seems to tolerate about 6 doses. After the 6th dose your chance of cardiac arrest is about 2%. If you go for a seventh dose, your chances of cardiac arrest is about 18%, so they generally try not to give you more then 6 doses. Then you have to look around for other drugs to use to poison the tumor. So far Carl has had 3 doses of adriomycin, and the tumor seems to be responding - which means the tumor appears to be stopping it's metabolic activity - and not growing. We could use up our doses of the big guns (the Adriomycin), while the weather is great, (getting these doses over summer, with inpatient chemo); and then go to second string drugs, or take the second string drugs now and Carl will be able to "participate" in summer.

I hope we are doing the right thing, I've prayed on it and it seems to be the reasonable route. Things seem to be going well, and I thank you for your continued prayers. We are both looking forward to a "light" chemotherapy schedule, instead of dreading an inpatient chemo week.

Enjoy the week and the wonderful weather, we hope to!

No comments: