Yesterday, February 4, 2009, we spent 9 hours at the University Hospital. We took care of the check-in process at 6:30 and Lois started drinking the “glow juice” for the CT Scan about 6:45. By 8:30 the CT Scan was done and we began waiting to get blood drawn (they use Lois’ port) for the lab work. We met with Dr. Halfdanarson , the attending Oncologist we have been working with since June, and learned the CT Scan didn’t reveal much to him. The radiology team will look at the scan and finalize a report within the next 3-4 weeks and could come to a different conclusion.
Lois’ CEA number went up again. (CEA stands for Carcinoembryonic Antigen and is a type of protein molecule that can be found in many different cells of the body, but is typically associated with certain cancers.) The CEA number has gone from 4.8 in November, to 7.9 on December 24, 10.1 on January 21, and yesterday was 15.1. This indicates that cancer is growing somewhere – the logical conclusion is the liver – but we don’t know for sure.
We made no changes in the Chemo “cocktail.” There just isn’t enough data to make decisions. The Infusion Center was busy and we didn’t get the drips started until almost noon. Lois had her “fanny pack pump” hooked up and we left about 3:30 to drive home. Lois is tired and the neuropathy in her hands and feet is there all the time; she has the “chemo cold” – lots of sinus drainage, but those continue to be the extent of her reactions to the drugs. We are very thankful for this and recognize God’s generous gift of grace in this area.
Dr. Halfdanarson placed Lois in a new study which involves taking some of the frozen tissue from the tumor they removed last May and sending it to a lab in California. They grow cultures and then test different Chemo drugs to determine reactions and efficacy. We should start seeing information from that study in 6-8 weeks and may make adjustments to the Chemo “cocktail” based on that data.
The Oncology team and Infusion Center staff assure us we are doing everything possible to try to stay ahead of the cancer. Living in the ambiguity of knowing that cancer is on the move in Lois’ body but not being able to do anything about it –yet – is difficult. “But we trust in you, O Lord; we say, ‘You are our God.’ Our times are in your hands . . . “ (Ps 31:14-15)
Thanks for your continued love and prayer.