Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New treatment plan

Mark had an MRI yesterday and an appointment today with Dr. Fink. She said his scans looked good. Everything she saw looks normal for post-surgery. She feels that the Temodar is no longer an option for treatment. When Mark was at the very end of taking it, she noticed a spot on his MRI to watch and that is what turned out to be the tumor a few weeks later. That tells her that Mark’s tumors became resistant to the oral chemo. She will be starting Mark on Avastin this Monday. He will have that infused via IV every other week. In addition to the Avastin, he will be infused with Carboplatin (IV Chemo) every other time. So, he will be given Avastin twice a month and chemo once a month. The Avastin is a relatively new treatment designed to basically starve the tumors causing them to stop growing and even to shrink. It blocks blood vessels from forming on the tumor. It is used for a few different cancers including Glioblastoma. Dr. Fink said that patients are generally on it for a year or until a tumor appears, showing that it is no longer effective. It has some risks of side effects, some of them very serious, but the percentage of people that have them is low. One of the more common problems is complications with healing. Because of that, Dr. Fink was concerned about a noticeable thread (internal stitch) that had made its way to the surface of Mark’s head through his incision site. She sent us to see the surgeon. His PA saw Mark and was able to snip it down. She said it would dissolve eventually. So, it should be safe for Mark to start the Avastin on Monday. Mark said he is excited to start this treatment. I asked him why and he said it’s because it means he gets to live longer.

There was really no bad news today and I know we do have so many blessings to be thankful for, but I just cannot seem to shake this funk that I’m in. Yes, I’m glad this treatment is an option for us, and I’m glad that no new tumors have grown since the surgery. I know that it is a miracle that Mark is still here. Most GBM patients do not survive more than 14 months and Mark is still here after 18 months since his diagnosis. I am grateful that the Temodar worked as long as it did and that Mark felt pretty good while on it. I’m so very thankful that we were able to take some wonderful trips this past year and make some fantastic memories. But, I’m still sad and angry and very anxious. I have still not had any anger toward God. I still trust Him 100% that He will provide everything we need and get us through all of this no matter the earthly outcome. However, I feel so angry at cancer! I feel like it is so unfair that such a good, Godly, man had to be attacked in this way. I feel sad about the problems our boys are having trying to adjust to things. I wish the cancer could just go away! I am thankful for amazing people that have stepped up to help and support us during this time, but I’m frustrated when I hear people telling me to “chin up”, “trust God”, “don’t worry”, etc. I appreciate that they are trying to do something good and say the right thing, but really, I just sometimes need somebody to listen to me vent and try to sympathize with my emotions. I want to get to the point where Mark is. He seems to be so at peace about it all. I admire him so much. He is just amazing! Anyway, that’s enough about my crazy emotions. Thanks for reading this and thank you especially for all of your prayers and support.

1 comment:

  1. Becky, you are in my thoughts and prayers during this time. May God give you comfort and peace as you wrestle with so many emotions. Sending hugs your way.

    -Kelli (isaac's mom)