It’s been a long time since I posted an update on Chris’ Cancer. Unfortunately, it isn’t because there wasn’t anything to tell – but it’s been more of a case of me being overwhelmed.
The cancer cells in Chris’ lung are “stable.” This means that they aren’t growing and they aren’t shrinking. The tumors that were in his lung are essentially gone but there is still cancer cell activity. Much of the activity is in the pleura (the lining/sack around the lung). For now the doctors will watch and see what happens. But they do expect that, at some point, it will become a “hot spot” of activity.
The area of most concern is Chris’ brain. There are four stable tumors in his brain. They are watching those and will treat them with radiation (again) if need be.
The side-effects from the drugs are still quite bothersome for Chris; I know he could do without the gastrointestinal upset and the fatigue.
In June there will be an announcement about a new drug being used to treat Lung Cancer. This drug is a “Plan B” drug for Chris – he will go on it when the drug he is on stops working and the cancer in his lung starts to grow. So there are new options for Chris, when we get to that point.
Meanwhile, he is still working full-time. And, things are continuing as they have been.
I’ve been remiss. I haven’t updated anyone for quite some time about Chris. I really wanted to wait until the holidays were over, especially since it wasn’t good news. (more…)
Chris and I saw the oncologist on Wednesday. Basically, things are still stable. The cancer in his lung is unchanged. Two out of the three tumors in his brain are also unchanged. However, the third tumor possibly has increased in size slightly.
The thing with scans is that they are accurate only to a certain point. The new scans had a much higher resolution than the scans done in May, so it is hard to tell if there has been a change. But if there has, it is slight.
This is good news – things are stable. So we continue on as we have. The next set of scans will be at the end of Sept./beginning of October.
For the rest of us…I start back to school on Aug. 7. David starts high school on Aug. 13 and Michael starts 6th grade on the 14th. We are expecting a busy year, as this will be the first year I am working as a full-time teacher (with papers to grade and lessons to plan, etc.). However, it should be exciting.
The boys and I visited my parents in NC in June and Chris and the boys just came back from a visit to Chicago. Michael is playing soccer and David will be keeping busy with Band, Theater, and Honors/AP classes. David will also be volunteering with Kid’s Alive as a jr. counselor and Michael will still be attending.
Thank you to everyone – FB friends, fellow bloggers, the kids’ teachers and school staff members, the boys’ friends’ parents, our friends, co-workers and family for your continued support and prayers.
On Wednesday, Chris saw the oncologist. I am still a bit blown away by what was reported, (more…)
Really not much to report. Mike drove Chris to U of CO Hospital this morning. He had his MRI. His radiation wasn’t scheduled until 3. So Mike drove him home. I met Chris there. Since he wasn’t being sedated, he didn’t need anyone to drive him back to the hospital. He left at 2:30 and was home by 5:15. The tumors in Chris’ brain did not grow. So that is a good thing.
Now we wait to see how he feels. . .
Today, Chris is having a MRI and then radiation on his brain. I’m going to meet him at the hospital after I finish teaching my one class for the day (I finish at 9:20). I expect it to be a long day. I’ll report in after everything is all done.
My recent post, Chris’ Cancer Update and My Bad Mood, earned a comment from my friend, Jessica. She said, “Robin, you have every right to have these feelings… and anyone who has taken the time to read an article on How Can I Help A Friend Who Has Cancer would already have read exactly what you have written.” Her statement made me curious about what those articles said. I found articles about How to Help a Friend with Cancer and How to Help a Family when a Child has Cancer but nothing about helping the rest of the family when one member has cancer. It seems to me that with more available treatments that hold the cancer in check, there will be more families dealing with cancer as a long-term illness. And they will be dealing with the cancer (continuously) for longer periods of time.
When someone receives a cancer diagnosis, many people offer their help. We had lots of help when Chris was diagnosed. And we are very thankful. We have some friends who we know we can call for anything and they will be there. We have acquaintances who have given our family so much in the way of help we will never be able to repay their kindness (AG specifically). There are teachers who have listened to the boys. There are friends who have listened to me. There is Chris’ best friend (MH) who is there every day. But as I reflect on my Bad Mood, I realized that there is much that we would never, ever ask for but could desperately use. As Chris has been fighting his cancer for 26 months now, there is much that has gone by the wayside. So here is my attempt at suggestions for how you can help the entire family when one member has cancer. (more…)