Sunday, April 20, 2008
Dad got into the Avastin/Sandostatin drug trial group and started the program on Tuesday, April 8. He felt great for the first 4 days and not great for the last 7 days. He is feeling good again, so we are hopeful that the next treatment (somewhere around the 29th of April) will have a shorter duration of side effects. We praise the Lord for this opportunity to have God use this new treatment to heal Dad. Please pray with us for healing.
We met with Dr. Peri on March 21 to get the results from Dad's most recent scan, and the news was somewhat mixed. The cancer has spread throughout his bones. Previously it was located mostly in his spine and legs. It has now spread to his shoulders, ribs, sternum, etc. The cancer has also increased in his pancreas by approximately 15%. Thankfully, from what the doctor could see, it doesn't look like the cancer has grown in his liver, which is the most critical.
The good news is, Dad is now a candidate to be involved in a new drug trial program being conducted through Christiana Hospital. He will end up in one of two groups, and both groups are using a new combination of drugs. One group is using Sandostatin and Interferon. The other group will be using Sandostatin and Avastin. Sandostatin is what Dad was taking last fall, which didn't appear to be helping. However, that combined with one of the two other drugs is showing promise in fighting other types of cancer, and hopefully will be beneficial in Dad's type of cancer as well. Dr. Peri is hoping that dad gets in the Sando/Avastin group, so make that your prayer. Unfortunately, the grouping is done randomly. Fortunately, treatment will be done in Rehobeth. No long trips to Dover or Johns Hopkins. The Sando/Avastin group receives treatment once every 21 days. The Sando/Interferon group receives treatment 3 times a week.
The doctor is consulting Dad's cardiologist to double check on the condition of his heart. If all goes well and his cardiologist clears him, he should begin receiving treatment in a couple of weeks. The treatment is a type of chemotherapy known as biotherapy, but it's a far different type of chemo than we're used to thinking about. All the drugs have side effects, but they're nowhere near as severe as traditional chemo. These drugs are designed to target specific areas, and from what the doctor told us, the worse he could expect would be flu-like symptoms that don't last long and become milder as Dad's body adjusts to the treatment.
Overall, he is still in good spirits. Physically, he's up and down. He is experiencing some pain in his bones and is taking meds to control that. He was having problems eating due to nausea, but thankfully that has subsided and we have medications to treat that if it should become a problem again. That was a concern because he was dropping weight, but he gained a few pounds over Easter, which as we all know isn't hard to do, especially in Mom's kitchen.
That's the latest news on Dad. We ask for your continued prayers and support.
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