Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Houston Update...It's long!

Soooo, lets start with the good news!
I found some really neat places to shop at in Houston. Alan didn't think it was as neat as I did though, haha! We met up with a friend of mine from High School that lives in the Houston area. I'm sure many of you remember Lindsey Milburn. She and her husband (Brian) and their beautiful daughter met us for lunch Sunday. We had a great visit and we hope to catch up with them again since we will be going back and forth to Houston so much...which brings me to...
The Bad News!
I'm just going to cut straight to it, the Sutent is not working and Alan's cancer is growing back in his lungs. The cancer spot in Alan's left lung has increased in size and there is a new cancer spot in the right lung. The Kidney Cancer has found a new path. I'm not going in to all the technical names and all that b/c it is very confusing. Basically, Alan is off of the Sutent and will start two new drugs in 4 weeks. The news chemo drugs are Nexavar and RAD. Nexavar has been around for a little while, but RAD is something new that our Doctor has actually produced. When Alan started seeing Dr. Amato, Amato had just started a new trial with the Nexavar and RAD with about 120 patients. All 120 patients responded well to the combo drug, but they all also had severe side effects such as complete hair loss, hand/mouth/feet blisters, fatigue...basically pretty physically sick. Feet sores so bad that the patients could not walk and I'm sure hand sores to where they can't hold things, etc, etc. Phase II of the trial is starting soon and Alan is very lucky to even be able to be a part of it. Since Alan has only been on the Sutent, then he will be able to be part of this trial. He will be about 1 of 60 nation wide that will be involved. He will have to be on a pretty strict diet. Unlike the Sutent, Alan will takes these two drugs daily. With the Sutent he would take it for 4 weeks and then off 2 weeks. That helped with the side effects to subside some before starting the 4 weeks of Sutent.

Dr. Amato seemed very disappointed with the news, of course. We were shocked and it defiantly felt like a major hit to the gut. Of course I turned red. We just got our guard down b/c Alan's appt. had been going so well and now this. It's just that never ending roller coaster ride. We just keep praising God for all that he has done for Alan. Unfortunately, these next 6 months are going to be very challenging. Alan might have to be off work again, but we will not know until he starts the new treatment.

Alan's next Houston appointment is May 18th. He will not be on any meds for the next 4 weeks. He has to completely cleanse himself of the Sutent before starting the new drugs. He will have scans. I'm already anxious about these scans b/c, like I already said, he will not be on any meds for the next 4 weeks, so I'm sure we will see an increase in the cancer spots when we go back. Maybe not and I pray we don't, but I'm not letting my guard down anymore.

We love you all soooo much and thank you for your continued prayers. I'm serious, we don't take anything for granted and we know prayer is powerful!
I Will Praise You In This Storm!! What a strong message in this song. That's why I keep it on the top of my playlist.
Melissa

5 comments:

Sue W said...

Melissa,

I am so sorry to read this bad news. Just like you said we have to continue to praise him even through the storms. You and your family are in my prayers daily!

Susan Glass Walsworth

Pennington Posts said...

Hey y'all, not exactly what we were hoping for at all, but we know that our God is a faithful God. He will see you guys through every twist and turn of this rollercoaster ride. We love you and will continue our prayers for wisdom and understanding and most of all for Alan's total healing.
Love and prayers,
Susan

Jenny Sipes said...

I am so sorry to hear such bad news! Prayer is awesome and we can only keep praying for strength and healing! God will pull you through these trying times, I just know it! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers daily! We love yall

Meredith said...

I am so sorry to hear about the news you guys received in Houston. We will definitely continue to keep your family in our prayers.

ACBA said...

Sorry to hear of this set back but we knew this would be a tough fight. Keep looking up and we will all keep praying. God's grace can help you get through it all. His word can be comfort as you claim His promises.

Love and prayers,
Mrs. Sandra & Mr. Royce