Sunday, November 29, 2009

Update: One Month Later

It's been a while since I've updated, even longer than the month it's been since Stephanie did. And what a month it has been. After her last update Steph started complaining about the Taxol and significant numbness in her hands and feet (a common side effect of the chemo). The third week of her three week cycle her blood counts were down and she didn't recieve the Taxol, only the Erbitux and later two units of blood. The next week was an off week, towards the end of the week she began complaining about a sharp pain in her left arm and hand. On Monday when she saw the doctor we discussed this and he determined he would like to scan her and see if there was a reason for her pain. She had treatment that day as well since we were in the bulding. At the end of the week we traveled to O'Fallon IL to visit my family, surprise my sister as she was in a play, and celebrate my mom's 56th birthday. Unfortunately there was a reason for the pain that showed up on the scan. The Taxol/Erbitux combination was not being effective and the large tumor in her left lung (the only one that showed any activity a month before) was growing somewhat significantly. It has begun eroding the chest wall and is pressing on nerves in the let shoulder blade area, which is causing the pain in the arm and hand. He switched her to another new drug to see if it would be effective. She felt good in the beginning of the week, but again towards the end the pain became unbearable. When we saw the medical oncologist on Monday and told him about the pain he suggested we consult with the radiation oncologist and determine if the tumor could be radiated to more quickly relieve the pain in the shoulder. The RO decided that he could and Stephanie started her second round of radiation on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. She recieved two treatments before Thanksgiving and then we headed out to Texas for Stephanie's grandmother's 80th birthday. It was good to see her extended family and celebrate such a long life. Stephanie was of course the second center of attention at the party. Unfortunately all the traveling has pretty well done her in. She slept the entire day Thursday, except while we were actually at the party. We had to return to Gonzales on Friday so she could receive her next two radiation treatments today and tomorrow. She has slept all day today as well, she even missed the Razorback game and slept through all my hollering. Hopefully tomorrow she will get some energy back.

We are still planning on moving back to Tulsa. The date is currently set for traveling on December 18th, and staying in our house for Christmas. The MO is researching cancer centers for us and will make a recommendation, probably sending Stephanie to an academic center in order to participate in a clinical trial.

Grace and Peace