Dr. M called early this evening to tell us that the PET scan shows that the enlarged mass is the result of tumor growth.
She said that everyone was shocked. No one expected this.
She said that this is bad news. (Deep breath.)
Now, let's move on to how we're going to keep fighting the Damm Spot.
Steve will report to the invasive cardiac center at St. Paul on Wednesday morning. The folks there will place a port in his chest. The port will allow convenient access for the drugs he'll receive every two weeks to chip away at the tumor.
(When the St. Paul scheduling people call, they remind Steve to make sure someone drives him home after the procedure. That always makes us giggle -- he hasn't driven for almost a year.)
On Thursday morning, we'll report to the UT-SW cancer center. Steve will have blood drawn, and then we'll meet with Dr. M and her team to go over the new chemotherapy regimen.
Then we'll be ushered to a private infusion room. He'll settle into a recliner and begin receiving Avastin and CPT-11 through the new port.
Avastin is the drug that affects blood vessels. CPT-11 is a form of chemotherapy. The combination is about 70 percent effective in fighting brain tumors. There are side effects and risks with both, but the risks are worth the potential benefit.
Steve will return every other week for the infusion.
We never expected to be at this point this soon. We were praying for a few more years before we needed to start using this second line of treatment.
Now that we're here, we are committed to devoting our strength and faith toward fighting the new growth. We are committed to celebrating how far we've come.
For some perspective: Sharon was at the house tonight. She took Cooper to his Cub Scout meeting and then visited with Steve and washed dishes, including our Spode Christmas dishes. She reminded us that about a year ago she was at the house, visiting with Steve and washing dishes, including our Spode Christmas dishes.
Steve is almost a one-year survivor of a Grade IV glioblastoma in the pons of his brain stem. To borrow a phrase from the late Rev. Kathleen Baskin-Ball, "Glory be!"
Please join us in giving thanks that we have come this far. And join us in praying that the next line of treatment will obliterate the Damm Spot.