Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winning our battle

Things have been a little busy, so updates have not been high on the list of priorities.  In the past week we have gotten a new cat, had 2 snow days from work/school, Ryan has been to the ER twice for treatment of a MRSA infection, Logan has had a low grade fever on and off and we have been doing some coordinating to get our powder room fixed (had to rip up the floor thanks to a leak coming through the wall).  So I hope you will excuse the lack of updates.

Last Thursday I ventured to our usual chemo day solo (see note above re: Ryan with MRSA) with the added bonus of an appointment with the neuro-opthamologist.  Everything was pretty standard.  His eyes checked out ok with a continued slight asymmetry of his pupils.  The neuro-opthamologist was very please that the tumors are in check and no longer appear to be affecting him.  We'll see him again in 3 months.

Oct MRI (No clear pic of Jan MRI)
On to the chemo clinic.  Everything was as it always is.  Logan did a great job, as usual.  With the new addition of Ritatin, we spent some time talking about that and how it is going.  The doctors even noted how much more calm and focused he was.  Although, I'm sure if they saw him when the drugs wore off they would be telling a different story.  That's a whole other post for another day.  Lets just say, it has had it's ups and downs.

During this appointment, we also sat and reviewed the MRI that was done the week before.  Nothing but good news there.  The tumors are responding very favorably to the new chemo and have shrunk quite a bit.  All of the current measurements have decreased several millimeters. Put into perspective, that's about a 20% decrease in size.  GREAT NEWS!

While I love hearing the that tumors are shrinking, what I really wanted to know is what it all means for us.  It's GREAT that they are shrinking, but what's next? Go figure, I get good news, and I want more! One of the neuro-oncologists spent some time with me while Logan was getting his chemo in the pod to discuss this further.  Provided that Logan continues to show improvement with this chemo, he will continue on it for the rest of the year.  It is very likely that the tumors will continue to shrink and hopefully at the end of the year we will be able to stop chemo.  At that point he will continue to be monitored for regrowth of the tumors or even new tumor growth.  How likely is it that he will have tumor regrowth and potentially need to start chemo again?? 80%.  Not exactly what I wanted to hear.  I knew there was a good chance of it happening.  I knew it was a potential outcome. Doesn't make it any easier to hear.  Do I hope he is one of the 20% of patients who only have to go through chemo once?  Absolutely.  Will I be prepared if he is in the 80%?  Of course.  I know how strong he is and that he can do it.  I refuse to live in the fear that this will be his life long battle but am prepared to support him no matter what the outcome. While I don't know what the battle will be a year from now, or two or five or ten, our battle today is shrinking these tumors and this battle we are winning. 

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