Sunday, November 15, 2009

#3 Houston Update

We have traveled many literal and figurative miles since our update on Wednesday. Two big items of news are Matthew's eligibility for liver treatments called TheraSphere and for (are you sitting down?) surgery.

Simplistically put, TheraSphere treatment of the liver is a "string" of radioactive beads smaller than human hair that is fed through the artery that goes directly to the liver and deposits the radiation into a predetermined tumor. The idea is for the radiation to "kill" the tumor (of which Matthew has many in the liver.)

As far as surgery is concerned, we spoke to an incredible surgeon, Dr. Andrea Hayes-Jordan, who has been at MD Anderson for 5 years and has done a study on a specific surgery for the cancer Matthew has: Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor or DSRCT. It is RARE and not much study has been done on it anywhere. She has done 20 successful surgeries over the past 3 years for this cancer and feels Matthew is a possible candidate.

In order to erase all doubt that Matthew is eligible for surgery, Matthew will have CT's and CT/PET scans tomorrow as well as a series of MRI's on Thursday. So we should know something definite by Friday.

The amazing thing is that even if tests show that surgery is NOT an option, we still have other things we can do that we have already uncovered since we have been here!! Praise the Lord for options!

This past week was Matthew's week "off" of chemo and his white blood count, ANC, etc. hit an all time low. He received a Neulasta shot on Wednesday (thanks to our Dr. Kubove at Burzynski Clinic and Dr. Anderson at MD Anderson) and had to stay away from crowds. Friday, new bloodwork showed that the white count had doubled so we celebrated by heading to a Tex-Mex restaurant Friday evening. Mmmmm...... Hopefully Matthew will be able to resume chemo this week.

We have had a quiet weekend since Matthew hasn't felt up to doing much. It was a good rest after the busy week we experienced. Tomorrow the process continues. I will most likely wait until I have a definitive plan to report before updating the blog again.

Thank you for your continued prayers for wisdom and calmness as we face each day's challenges. I would ask a special prayer for Matthew that he will be able to rest. Sleep has been very difficult for him here in Houston.

A favorite hymn says:

Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord and be of good courage for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord and rejoice for the victory is yours.



Anonymous said...

Nancy and Matt: The beading and the possibility of surgery are amazing and sound very promising! God holds you both in his hands and works wonders. I'll continue praying (there are SO many people praying for Matt) until he's completely healed. C. Massello

quig said...

These new possibilities for treatment are indeed amazing. We thank the Lord for these new opportunities and for those yet discovered. We pray for you and Matthew and your family. God blessings to you. John