Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Houston Update

Alan scans pretty much showed what we expected...the two areas that still exists in his lungs have increased in size. One is about 1/2" and the other one is a little smaller that that. There are also a few new cancer spots in both lungs. I think we were prepared for this news since the Sutent was no longer working and he had been off of it for a month now. Since Alan's Kidney Cancer is still progressing in his lungs as I type this, we are not going to wait for the trial with the RAD and Nexavar. They have about 4 more weeks before this trial starts. Alan's Drs. feel that it is imperative to go ahead and start the RAD asap. RAD was FDA approved in March of this year. I know it has been involved in many trials and has shown good results. We pray it shows the same for Alan! RAD is a mTOR inhibitor. It works different than Sutent. Sutent and RAD work different pathways, so since the Sutent did not work, hopefully the RAD will be the correct pathway to kill Alan's cancer or if nothing else, at least control it. The Dr. said that if Alan handled Sutent well, then he should do ok with the RAD. Alan takes the RAD daily with no off days. I guess the Nexavar is the drug that has pretty bad side effects to it. From what I've read from other people on different forums, that seems to be the one that gets most people.

Alan will have to have Pulmonary Function Test done monthly. Apparently RAD has been known to cause Chemical Pneumonia. They said that less than 5% of patients get this, but Alan will still be tested monthly. If he does get it, then he will stop the meds until his lungs clear. He will also have to watch his cholesterol, so that means no fried foods and a healthier diet!! Bad for Alan!! He will still have blood work done weekly.

I mentioned in the previous post about some other issues we would be dealing with while in Houston. Alan has been having some MAJOR pain in his left thigh. He pretty much has been in pain for the past month and before and not getting any rest from this pain. I promise, he has tried just about every trick to ease the pain aside from taking major pain meds or cutting off his leg (yes, it has hurt that bad!) :-) We were very concerned that the cancer had spread to his bones, so we asked the Dr. to do a bone scan. We had it done and it was clear!! That was such a relief b/c we have been anxiously waiting to see the results of this scan. I can't even describe to you how much weight was lifted off of Alan and I when we saw the scan and it was clear. That was a major gift from God!! I didn't want to mention the bone scan before, b/c I wanted to be certain what we were dealing with before we had everyone so worried. Alan had a hip x-ray also while we were in Houston, but it came back looking fine also. We still do not know the exact cause of Alan's pain, but we will be figuring it out b/c it's unbearable at times.

We do not have to go back to Houston for 8 weeks. I'm glad and also nervous about this. There is really no sense in us going back in 4 weeks b/c they will not do another scan until 8 weeks. So, on July 13th we will know if the RAD is working...BIG DAY!!

Alan and I ended up staying in Shreveport last night. It was already 10pm when we were coming through and we were soooo tired, so we just stayed and drove in this morning. Those days of waiting for scans and Drs. all day is actually very tiring. At least I finally got to start Eclipse..;-)

Thank you so so so much for you prayers b/c I know they are working. We do serve an awesome God and we know that. Even though at times it's hard to keep going, we know that there is a reason that he has chosen to put Alan on this journey. We don't question it...there is no reason to. Please say extra prayers for anyone dealing with difficult times that you know of. They need your prayers. We love you all and thank you!!

1 comment:

Beth said...

Big Hugs from the Murphy clan! You are in our prayers!!! We love you and if there is anything we can do, please let us know!!! You are an amazing woman! I promise you that God is using you in more ways than you can imagine! Your spirit and faith is contagious!!!