I realize we haven’t done reports for Lois’ Chemo Infusions 18 and 19. There really wasn’t much to report. We didn’t even see the Dr prior to those infusions because we’ve all been playing the waiting game. The CEA number has been on the rise since December 2 and conventional wisdom indicated the best course of action was to stick with the plan and wait a few more weeks to see if there was any sign of cancer on the scans. (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.)
Today, April 1, 2009, we left home early to travel to the University Hospital in Iowa City so that Lois could start drinking “glow juice” at 7:30 am for a CT Scan at 8:40 am. From there we moved to the Cancer Clinic for lab work and then we waited for the Dr. to get the results of the scan and labs. We learned the tumors in Lois’ liver have grown – the CT Scan clearly showed the increase. The CEA number has also risen from 14 four weeks ago to 16.7 today. It was 4.8 the end of October.
You might recall that the end of October the oncology team decided Lois was doing so well they removed one drug: Oxaliplatin. Today they decided to add Oxaliplatin back into the “cocktail.” (This drug’s main side effect is a serious sensitivity to cold!) We will have three more infusions of Oxaliplatin, Avastin, Leucovorine, and the “fanny pack pump” infusion of Fluorouracil which lasts for 46 hours. In eight weeks there will be another CT scan and a full set up labs and we’ll re-evaluate the response of the tumors. Dr. Halfdanarson assures us that if this doesn’t work, there are some other drug combinations we can try.
We do not consider this “bad news” or even sad news. It’s just news.
Recently, Lois and I were at a church where someone asked, “How is Lois’ battle with cancer going?”
Our answer: “We are not in a battle! The battle is already won and we know how it ends! Cancer is just part of the adventure right now.”
“Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that. (1 Corinthians 1:6-8 The Message)
Please continue to pray that we will be faithful in “this spiritual adventure.”