Friday, 10 August 2012

Update on Mary: Still Fighting

The news around here has been pretty poor lately. At Mom's last appointment with her cancer doctor he told her that it was time to start thinking of her life in terms of months. He said that usually when a tumor stops shrinking it is done shrinking, and that keeping things stable is the best we can hope for from here on out. On the one hand, we appreciate honesty and we want to be realistic about her situation, but on the other, since Mom is feeling so good and in good shape again she wants to continue to explore options to keep fighting as long as she can.

Mom's doctor did agree to refer her to a surgeon . Last time Mom and Dad met with a surgeon they were told that if the tumor shrank it could come out, but they weren't given any idea of how much it had to shrink. Since it has shrunk a bit (15%) they are going to ask again, knowing that surgery would likely carry a very high risk. The procedure is already a very risky one even in the best of circumstances, and they will be asking the surgeon to operate on a tumor close to a very delicate area. That meeting will occur on August 20. Please pray for good news (we could really use some). Pray that the surgeon will have wisdom as he evaluates Mom's scans and charts and that he will give Mom and Dad clear answers. Pray that they have the strength and courage to accept whatever he says.

Then, today at chemo Mom found out that the UCLA study she was in has been discontinued because the drug has not been found to be effective. Thankfully, whatever she has been taking has been working for her. Since she is no longer in the study she will be exploring some other chemo options. There is another drug that can be added to her chemo that has a better track record for shrinking tumors (30% of patients get shrinkage), but she has been warned that the side effects are harder to deal with. There is also the possibility of creating a different "cocktail" for her chemo with another doctor who has gotten good results for a friend of a friend, and she will be seeing this doctor next Mom has some big decisions to make.

All of this bad news has taken it's toll on us. It has been especially hard on Mom (obviously). Right now she is getting a nice boost for her spirits in the form of cuddly baby Owen - my sister Katie and her husband are visiting - but after they leave things will be very quiet again. If you have been wanting to spend a few hours with Mom, she would love a visit, a lunch date, a walk on the beach, whatever, anytime after August 20th. She just needs a phone call, email, or text before you drop by, because no one likes to open the door when they are still in PJs!

So, in summary, Mom would love a visit after August 20. Please contact her before coming by so that she will be ready to see you. Please pray for Mom's spirits, for her chemo to keep working, and for wisdom as she and my Dad evaluate what her treatment will look like from here.

Thank you all for your prayers, your love, and your continued support. It has been five full months since Mom's diagnosis and she is feeling better now than she was when all this began. We are so grateful for all of you who have helped care for her (and for the rest of us) during this difficult time. God has been so gracious to us by placing you in our lives. Since we have to walk this terrible path, it is good to to it with friends by our side.

Mary with baby Owen

1 comment:

Robin said...

It was very nice to see Mary, Owen, Jeremy and Katie this week. Love, Uncle David