Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Houston Update!!

I know many of you already know the difficult situation we have been faced with and many of you are waiting to hear, so here is the new situation.

Monday, Alan had his scans in Houston. Many of you know that Alan has been in a great deal of pain with his back for about 3 months now. I have mentioned it many times in my post, but Monday we found the exact cause of the problem. Alan has a tumor growing into two vertebrae and the cancer is eating away the bone in his vertebrae. The tumor/cancer area is about the size of a 50 cent piece...very large. It was like you could see the teeth marks where the cancer was literally eating away the bone. It was awful to witness and see this. Comparing Alan last scans from about two months ago, you really would have never guessed the cancer was growing in this area. Dr. Amato said he would had called it a shadow and checked it again in the next scans, which obviously he did and that's what he found. We couldn't believe what we were hearing. The tumor is pushing into Alan's spine and if this is not taken care of ASAP, he could loose all bodily function in the lower part of his body. Extremely hard words to hear. The areas in Alan's lungs have not changed at all, which was ok with Dr. Amato b/c that would be another big issue we would be facing besides the places on the spine. As soon as we gave Amato the word, this is the plan:

Alan is going to start Sterotactic Radiation hopefully today or tomorrow in Houston. He will have 5 treatments directly to these cancer spots. This is a very precise radiation and very high dose. At this moment, we are waiting to hear if he will start the treatment today or tomorrow. We were at the Dr. office from 1-5 yesterday afternoon, very long day....thanks to insurance mostly...ughhhh! Anyway, Alan has been fitted for his brace, so we are just waiting to see when he starts. We should be in Houston around 10 or so days. Thankfully, my aunt has a very good friend that lives in Houston in a very nice house and we are staying with her. She lives only about 5 minutes or so from the Medical Center. Mrs. Joan's husband died many years ago from fighting cancer, so she has been in our shoes and has graciously opened her house to us.

A little info about the radiation, Dr. Tae will be Alan's Radiology Oncologist. He is pretty much the pioneer with this type of treatment. They have been doing it for about 5 years and have treated over 400 patients with an 85% success rate, so that was good to hear and he was very nice. He works very closly with Dr. Amato. Dr. Amato called him personally when we told him we would be doing the treatment in Houston. We have all heard that radiation does not do anything for Kidney Cancer and that might still be true somewhat, but with this type of radiation, they are finding different results with RCC. Again, this is why we are in Houston b/c we want the best, although it is EXTREMELY hard to be away from our wonderful and supportive family and friends. We are really missing our kids at the moment. Depending on Alan's schedule, we might try and make it home for the weekend. Just depends on how he is feeling too.

At the moment, Alan is not on any chemo. Obviously, the Afinitor did not work along with the Sutent. After the radiation, Alan will get back with Dr. Amato, and Amato will be doing some experimenting with Alan's tumor block. He will be combining different meds. to hopefully see what will react to Alan's tumor and get rid of this freakin cancer!!

I know I have jumped around on this post, but I'm just typing as things are coming to my mind. I didn't take very good notes this time in my little pink notebook, but I was in shock and just trying to take everything in. I told my mom I had a bad feeling about this trip and I was right. Has not been a good trip. They best part was I had to get some new clothes b/c we only packed enough for 2 nights, lol! Luckily, staying at Ms. Joan's, we can wash clothes!

I can't thank everyone enough for your prayers, calls, texts. I've had so many comments on facebook and hopefully I will update my status next. We LOVE you all dearly and I will update as I can. I'm using Ms. Joan's laptop. Thanks again for everything and also a quick update on my mom and dad. My dad is recovering well from his surgery and my mom...well, now they are thinking she might have staph infection instead of the spider bite. They won't find out until Friday.

Our new bible verse, John 11:4.

I'm sure I've forgotten some info, and I'll post again later!

Love and Prayers,


Beth said...

Melissa you are a shining star in such a dark experience you are facing! You are absolutely, positively and undeniably MY HERO! Thank you for sharing so intimately with us. Please know I am praying for you!!! May God heal Alan and provide the comfort he needs! I pray He will provide the understanding you so desparately need. I love you guys and pray you feel the hug in your heart that I am so eagerly trying to give you.

Sue W said...

I am so sorry for your bad news. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Ellie said...

I know I don't tell you often enough but you are in my thoughts and prayers always. May God contunie to give you both the strenght and guidiance you need. Ya'll are an amazing couple and I thank you for sharing your lives with us.