Roger Slideshow

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Taking Stock

Very encouraging news from Dr. Stadtmauer on Monday. Dad's protein levels have dropped further (more so than after the previous stage of the chemo), down to .2, compared with the high of 3.8 about six months ago. Given that the protein levels are the most reliable indicator of the myeloma's activity, this is a great sign. Dad's platelets are also much improved, up to two hundred, which actually puts Dad in the "normal" range. To put this number in perspective: back in February and March Dad was struggling with single-digit platelet counts, with transfusions required just to get him up to the twenties.

So all of the lab numbers are heartening. The plan is still to go ahead with the Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) treatment, starting this week or next, for 4 days every month, barring new developments. This chemo drug is one of the four he has been taking for the past months (the "C" in "CVAD"), and has shown good results as a "maintenance dose" chemo for myeloma patients. Dad is thankful to be spared the hospital routine with this treatment, as he can now be doped and monitored in the comfort of his own home.

Mom and Dad had a very nice, if hectic, Father's Day weekend with the family, and anticipate numerous visits from out-of-town family and friends this summer. Please pray for wisdom for them as they try to pace themselves and keep Dad healthy. Pray that Dad's immune system would maintain this new strength and not be overly compromised by the continued chemo. Pray that Dad would be protected from the short- and long-term side-effects of these drugs. And thank God for his mercies and grace over the past few months, as we thank him for all of you and for your many acts of love towards Dad, Mom and the whole family.

Friday, June 6, 2008

What's Next

Hello all. Dad reports that he's recovering well from the latest chemo, still tired but feeling better than last week. He's been able to spend some time working in the garden with Mom, and he was talkative and chipper over the phone, too, all of which is encouraging.

At their visit earlier this week, Dr. Stadtmauer indicated that he wants to go in a new direction with Dad's treatment. While Dad and Mom had understood that he would start on a milder, oral chemo at this point, Dr. Stadtmauer has decided instead to proceed with one of the drugs from the CVAD regime Dad's been on, administered intravenously from a device worn around his waist--from the sound of it, sort of like one of those portable insulin pumps for diabetics. Kind of a chemo fanny pack. While you struggle actually to picture this, just note that it'll be a more aggressive chemo than the oral forms, but not requiring a hospital stay, for which we're grateful.

Please pray that Dad's newly won health will be preserved by these measures, and continue to thank God for the remarkable improvements in his condition over the past few months. We will keep you updated. We might ask you to pray as well for Nancy Macha, who, if you didn't know, is an old New Life friend also battling cancer. She and her husband Dan found out a couple of weeks ago that the cancer had metastasized to her liver. The situation is grave, and she is now on a very intense chemo regimen.