Thursday, June 11, 2009

Quick Update

It's actually been a pretty busy week as I have had a bunch of appointments, and have a bunch more scheduled (including Boston and Houston). We go to Boston next week to meet Dr. Chen, who will discuss the option of proton radiation with us. I am looking forward to this because we will find out how much damage this radiation will do to my heart. We also get our appointments for Houston (MD Anderson Cancer Center) for the first week of July and I am looking forward to getting their opinion as well. When in Houston we are meeting with two doctors - Dr. Ravi (with MD Anderson) and Dr. Reardon, a cardiac surgeon. I am not sure what to expect from this...other than to get another perspective.

I finished up a round of chemo last week (I have tomorrow off from chemo) and start another round of six treatments next Friday. As usual, I had some scans to check the status and there were some minor issues with my scans. Dr. Scalzo was concerned because the tumor measured a half centimeter larger than it did six weeks ago and one of my lymph nodes also measured a little larger. If I wasn't going to Houston in three weeks Dr. Scalzo would have ordered another PET Scan and Cardiac MRI (these are more detailed scans)as he was a little concerned. Since I will be getting those done in Houston, though, he decided it's OK to wait until then. Another issue that my recent scan showed was a pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart). I had this when I was initially diagnosed, but it went away after treatment started, and now it's back. I am not sure what that means, or why, but I have an appointment with Dr. Gorman, my cardiologist, on Monday.

It was kind of funny because the report from the CT scan said, in the same sentence, that there was a slight increase in the size of the cardiac tumor, but subjectivley there was no change. This was explained to us that the increase was small enough that it could be attributed to the position I was laying on the table, the position of my heart or the way the image was read/measured. My only concern is that this is really the first time the tumor didn't shrink...but I am not that worried about it. The CT scan isn't as detailed as the MRI, so when I get that in July we will see what happens.

Still working full time and feeling OK. The chemo is definatley affecting me more, but not nearly as bad as it could be, so I am happy for that. The question now seems to be how much longer this chemo is going to work for. We talked to Dr. Scalzo about it and he said at this point it could stop working any time, or could continue working for another year. I hope it keeps working for as long as possible because I don't mind the side-effects of Taxol, and I'd prefer not to have to try another chemo for a long time.


Louise Epolito said...

You are amazing! I can't believe you are working full time through all this. However, if you can do it, its great. You are lucky that you tolerate the chemo so well. Thanks for the updates. I'll keep David posted on your progress.

Anonymous said...

Hi Will, Shana, and All,

We're thinking of you always! You're a inspiration to all that know and love you. All our best in next's few weeks in Boston and then Houston! Keep up the Positive Fight as we said from the start you are going to Beat This!

Let us know if you need anything
before you go or done while you're away?

Tom,Karen and boys :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Will,

I just read your most recent post and I wanted to tell you that I think of you often and that I say a little prayer for you each night. Keep up a positive attitude. It will take you quite far in dealing with your life! Email me someitme if you feel like it. Mr. Leskoske

Debra said...

Hey Will & Shana,
Just read your latest blog...
You are doing every thing you can! Get those second opinions and keep that great attitude you have going on! You have a great support system and that brings a lot of strength!
We think of you everyday and pray for everything to work out for you! Stay strong and go to your Mom's for dinner as often as you can!:) HA HA!
Love you!
Deb and Dan, Ethan , Natalie , & Chloe :)

Anonymous said...

Don't Quit Will~
When things go wrong as they sometimes will, when the road you're trudging seems all uphill, when the funds are low and the debts are high, and you want to smile but you have to sigh, when care is pressing you down a bit, rest if you must but don't you quit. Life is queer with its twists and turns, as every one of us sometimes learns, and many a failure turns about when you might have won had you stuck out. Don't give up, though the pace seems slow- you may succeed with another blow. Success is failure turned inside out- the silver tint of the clouds of doubt, and never can tell how close you are; it may be near when it seems so far. So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit- it's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Liz said...

Good luck in boston! wish I was with you guys but I am taking very good care of ur babies here at home. I think of you all the time and never ever loose my faith in you. I know in my heart that you will win this fight. I rely on you and our family so much to get us through these hard days and I am so thankful that we have such an amazing support system. You only deserve the BEST! Please don't ever give up this fight. If you are going through hell, keep going!! I love you (and shana of course!) can't wait to see you guys when you get back!!

jennoonan said...

Keep up the fight Will!

Thinking of you!!!

Anonymous said...