Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Birthday & Houston Update!!

First, let me start off by saying Happy Birthday to Alan. Saturday was his birthday, but we actually celebrated his birthday Friday night. I never had a chance to do a post about this b/c we were trying to get packed up. I want to say Thank You to everyone that wished Alan a Happy Birthday and also to a wonderful group of our friends that showed up Friday night at our house with a BIG Surprise and a BIG cookie cake for Alan. They came to wish us a safe trip and a prayer before we left. Amber has pictures on her blog from the surprise.

OK, the Houston Update. Where do I start. Monday was pretty much a wait ALL day long event. I think we finally saw Dr. Amato around 3 or after. Can't remember. Anyway, after comparing Alan's new scans from his previous (7/13), nothing had changed. This does not sound like great news, but it was not bad news either. Alan has not been on any chemo in over a month and nothing had spread! We were not able to see any change from the radiation treatment. It might still be a little early to tell....that's what we are praying anyway. After looking at the scans, Dr. Amato started talking to us about what his plan was for Alan's new chemo. He said after looking at his pathology, that it was best to get back on the Sutent and combine it with another chemo pill called Cytoxan. These two chemo's have never been combined, so basically Alan is a Guinea pig and kind of on his own trial. Because Alan is young and for the most part healthy, Dr. Amato wants to see how he reacts to these combined meds. He said if Alan handles it well, then he will start some of his other patients on this combo. Now, both of these drugs are FDA approved, but have just never been tested before together. When Dr. Amato was talking to us about the combo, he used alot of scary words that I'm not even going to talk about, but lets just say we are taking a huge risk. He said we can risk trying this combo, or risk the cancer. Alan started his new cocktail Tuesday (yesterday). We were sitting in the parking lot of Rabideaux's in Iowa, LA and said a prayer. So far he is doing ok. The side effects to the Sutent did not really kick in until about the 3rd or 4th week. Last time he was on the Sutent, he took it for 4 weeks and then off 2. This time it will be a complete 6 week cycle, but the dose is just a little lower. The Cytoxan will be 6 weeks also. We will monitor his blood pressure daily and he will send in his blood work weekly to Dr. Amato. Like I said, there was alot more involved to this appointment, but it's just too much to go in to. I actually brought a voice recorder to this appointment and I'm glad I did. Dr. Amato is also taking Alan off of the steroid, so hopefully he will not look so...hummm....puffy, lol. He has put on a few pounds since being on the steroid, so I'm glad he is getting off of it!

After our appointment Monday, we met some new friends in Houston....Kaylynn and Phil Carpenter. Kaylynn stumbled across my blog searching for Dr. Amato. Her husband has been a patient of Dr. Amato's for the past 5 years...I think I'm right on that. Anyway, we met them for dinner and had a wonderful visit. Hopefully we will be able to meet up with them again. Phil had an appointment with Dr. Amato Tuesday and he showed to be stable. He has a spot on his shoulder and had the same radiation treatment in April that Alan just had. It's nice to have someone to compare notes with.

We will go back to Houston October 5th and see if the new treatment is working. Alan will have scans and everything again.

So, the run down....Alan still has a few larger spots along with some smaller spots in both lungs. He still has the tumors in his vertebrae and spinal canal. Dr. Amato also brought up that same spot I said we were never going to mention again, but he did...that spot close to the renal vein. He said it did change in size a little and he can't help but go back to it each time to check it, so who knows what it is, but he checks it anyway.

We really feel that your prayers are working, so of course we just ask that you continue them. Please say special prayers that Alan's back pain goes away or at least lets up. Alan is on disability right now and it seems he will be for a while. This is hard for him on many levels. He misses his job and he misses his great friends he works with. I know he misses interacting with adult people, besides myself...:-), on a day to day basis. He is keeping busy with the cooking though. haha
We love you all and Thank You!!
God is good...All the time!!

1 comment:

Jill Sullivan said...

I know it feels good to know where you are and to have a definite plan of action now. We will be praying for maximum cancer-killing action with minimal side effects from that chemo combo. And that God would give you deep-down peace, comfort, and strength for every day...minute by minute, if necessary! He IS good, all the time!