Saturday, June 26, 2010

More of the same...

We are almost two weeks since Mom's first chemo treatment. We decided to stay with Emory for the first round and revisit MD Anderson after the restaging. For those who don't know, there are new staging guidelines that made her a stage IVa when they originally staged her at a IIIb. They reassure us that this is really not a difference in her condition, but a difference in what they call it.

She is not eligible for radiation b/c she has a pleural effusion. So we are using a chemo duet of Carboplatim and Alimta. It is common to also include Avastin, but it had additional risks and the doctors also wanted to keep her eligible for the Pfizer gene therapy clinical trial.

In the meantime, Mom is having some trouble with confusion. We are taking turns caring for her until we figure out the source of her confusion.

Overall, things are going as well as can be expected. She is comfortable and in good spirits. The chemo was a piece of cake and under an hour. She will have one more treatment then a scan for restaging. She is seeing a couple of other doctors to further investigate the issue of confusion. She has kept her hair so far and will know better after next Wed. if she will be lucky enough to hang onto it.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The saga continues...and then there were 3

It is all a haze now the timing and the stories. So, I will stick to the facts and spare the drama. Blogging was a great way to keep everyone informed about my battle with cancer so I will use it to update my mother's and my aunt's conditions as well.

My Aunt Carol (my mother's sister) was diagnosed earlier this year with CLL. A rare form of leukemia/lymphoma. She is scheduled for PET scans every three months to monitor her condition. Fortunately, she does not need treatment at this time.

Today, my mother was officially diagnosed with stage III lung cancer that is inoperable. Fortunately, it is treatable with chemo and radiation. We are still awaiting a clarification on the staging that could change the staging and the treatment. The diagnosis is serious but a bit more manageable than we initially thought.

For those looking for an update on me, I technically have a positive PET registering with an SUV of 3. The doctors are optimistic that we will retroactively be able to call this period remission once I am at 5 years post stem cell transplant. With little to no activity over the past 2 years, we have decided to discontinue additional PET scans unless symptoms develop.