Friday, March 20, 2009

Excellent news: Stable scan

First, the excellent news
Today's MRI shows the tumor looks exactly the same today as it did in mid-February. Dr. M says you could just about superimpose one on top of the other and not discern a difference.

This is excellent news, as it shows that Carboplatin and Avastin are at least holding new growth at bay. We are so thankful for medicine and prayers!

Platelet count and chemo
In other news, labs today showed that Steve's platelet count is dropping -- down to 90,000 this week, compared with 130,000 last week.

Dr. M wants his counts to be at least 100,000 to administer the next cycle of Carboplatin -- the very drug that is causing the platelets to drop.

So, we'll return to the cancer center Tuesday morning for more lab work. The hope is that the platelets have hit their low spot and will start to climb.

If the counts are high enough Tuesday, Steve will receive the next dose of Carboplatin and Avastin on Wednesday. If they're not, we'll delay treatment for another week.

Elevated MCV
Another count is climbing that shouldn't be. Steve's MCV (mean corpuscular volume) has been steadily increasing and is now a bit too high. I don't exactly understand the MCV -- it has something to do with red blood cell volume.

As a remedy, Steve will start taking a B6/B12 supplement.

Feet
Steve's feet have started shedding skin, apparently a chemotherapy side effect. Because his skin is already thin from Decadron and chemo, there are spots where the skin has rubbed too deep. When he puts pressure on those spots, he gets shooting pain in his feet.

He'll need to start soaking his feet at least once a day, and we'll pay close attention to the sores, which are "portals for infection," according to Dr. M.

Thrush
Thrush has returned to Steve's mouth and throat. Today he'll begin taking two drugs to combat that recurring infection.

Overall
Steve is worn out from the day. He opted to use Walker, Texas Ranger today instead of relying on a wheelchair to get around. So, he walked from the valet desk to the elevator to the MRI center to the lab to the exam room and then back to valet. That's a lot of walking for our sweet Stevie D.

He's back at the home office now (our comfy family room sofa), catching up on work.

We both are relieved with the MRI and hopeful that his platelets start climbing up today so we can battle the Damm Spot on Wednesday.

4 comments:

chapman.d said...

You are incredibly good fighters! Much love to both of you! and thank you God for the good news.
Debbie

Anonymous said...

The Crumbs have been praying all day for you, Steve!

noelgross said...

Wonderful news. You so rule, Steve!

Chitnis and Chahal said...

Great to hear. All our prayers are working along with hard work and persistance from you guys.
Stay this way and I hope the little problems clear up soon. Hope the platelets go up so that you can ready for the next round of chemo to keep that damn spot down!