Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Latest Update on Mom

Hi friends!

As many of you already know, last week we learned that my mom's latest scan results showed that one of the four tumors in her brain had increased in size.  Dr. W, the oncologist in Greenville, wanted my mom to meet with Dr. A, also an oncologist, in Chapel Hill again about the next step in treatment.  Mom has met with Dr. A before about a clinical trial that is in the works at UNC and also for genetic testing.  We had the appointment today and we have made some new decisions!

First, we met with Dr. E, a neurosurgeon at UNC.  He is not 100% that the scans indicate cancer growth because sometimes after radiation, the brain gets "radiation dump" and can swell... Yes, even a year after gamma knife (in fact, even up to 2 years later).  Surgery is a possibility in the future, but not needed at this time, just something to "keep in our pocket."  He is also weening her off the steroid unless she starts to show physical symptoms.

Then, we met with Dr. A, who is SO sweet!  Even though Dr. E feels pretty sure that there is not cancer growth (based on his experience), she wants to be a little more pro-active, just in case - and we fully support that decision!  We talked about a bunch of different options (some we decided to "keep in our pocket" for the time being).  What we have decided is to stop Tykerb & Xeloda (treatment for brain) and switch to Irinotecan.  It will be infusion rather than pills once a week for two weeks, off a week, repeat, repeat, repeat... The side effects are a little bit more severe, but should be manageable with other drugs.  There is also about a 40% chance she'll lose her hair :-\, but that means a 60% chance she won't!  She will stay on Herceptin (it protects the neck down) since it is doing it's job wonderfully!

In 2 months, she'll go back to UNC for scans and to meet with Dr. E and Dr. A again.  They will be in charge of her care from now on, but Dr. W will be able to administer treatments in Greenville so we won't have to travel back and forth.

In general, we are super pleased with the plan and decisions made today.  We left the hospital laughing, which I think is a great sign!  Thanks for the prayers!  We can feel God's protection!
laura ann

1 comment:

Steven & Kimberly said...

So glad to hear the good news. We'll keep praying that the new growth isn't cancer... your wedding is quickly approaching, wahoo!