Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Growth

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.

7 comments:

chrys said...

i am praying right this minute.

chrys

Sweetest Whimsy said...

I am so sorry I didn't call earlier, and I wish I could change the outcome of the PET scan. We are still praying for you and hope this week's treatments don't cause too much discomfort.

Anonymous said...

Not at all the news we've been praying for. We'll just have to re-double our efforts! And while it's little consolation on nights like this, know that y'alls strength is a blessing and an inspiration to us all.

-Layne

The Locke Family said...

We will be praying. I am so sorry to hear this.

Anonymous said...

Be assured of our continued, fervent prayers! You are loved!
Roy and Trish Jones

Laura (Ambrook) Redmond said...

I am so saddened to just now learn about what you all have been struggling with. Steve and I were in MMB together and if anyone could make you smile, it was him. I will pray hard for you all and be checking the blog for updates. Be strong, fight hard, and find peace in God's love. Your maize and blue marching band family are here for you!
Laura

jhuckaby said...

You are in our prayers. I am so sad to hear this. I'm not sure how many folks read the comments, but if it's okay, I'd like to repeat a small message I sent to Tyra a few weeks ago. A challenge, maybe. During our church services a while back our pastor asked everyone in the congregation to shout out their own names, after the count of three a very loud, undecipherable noise burst out. Then he asked that we all shout out Jesus...at the count of three. And the sound was clear, crystal. This exercise was supposed to show how much more clearly we can be heard by God when we shout in unison. I would like to suggest that everyone say a prayer for our dear, dear friend Steve at noon each day for the next week. That gives everyone a chance to pray in unison, a collective shout for Steve and the entire Damm family ... in Jesus name. Just a thought, I hope everyone can join in.