Friday, November 17, 2006

Oncologist Visit

Kate and I went to the oncologist/hematologist today to find out his recommended treatment strategy for her brain cancer. He explained the initial pathology report from St. John's a little further. The tumor was diagnosed as a grade 3 (on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the worst) anaplastic oligoastrocytoma (mixed-glioma). Grade 3 is considered mid-level. Unfortunately, we are still waiting on the extended (second opinion) pathology report from Barnes. Apparently, their "world-renowned" neurological pathologist is in Germany this week attending an international conference on brain tumors (I guess that's a good thing). He'll be back on Monday, so hopefully we'll hear something early next week.

The oncologist said that if the initial path report holds up and the tumor is indeed a grade 3, he would recommend long-term chemotherapy (Temodar, an oral medication) and radiation therapy. He said that Temodar has relatively mild side effects, although radiation therapy will definitely cause complete hair loss and fatigue; and the possibility of nausea, vomitting, headaches, memory loss, and blindness in one eye (if they get too close to the optic nerve, which is extremely rare).

If it comes in lower than a grade 3, he would only recommend Temodar. Please pray that it would be.

Since our oncologist is a generalist and rarely treats any brain cancer patients (I asked him about this), we are seeking a specialist in that area, a neuro-oncologist, for their analysis and recommendation. Fortunately, we received a referral for one that works at Barnes and I think is the only one in the area. Please pray that we can get in to see him next week.

Kate's resting this evening and I'm getting ready to do the same! Its been another long week for our family.

Blessings to all of you who are supporting us.

Dave

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dave and Kate,

We have checked anxiously all day for the oncologist update. True, the news we were hoping to hear was that the initial pathology report on the tumor had proven wrong, but regardless, we know God holds this situation in His hands. Perhaps the second path. report will prove more optimistic.

Nine years ago, grieving over a particular situation in my life, I sought the counsel of a Christian counselor who referred me to the book "When God Weeps" by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steven Estes. Now I know you are thinking that your trial is TOTALLY unique compared to most suffering, but I have to say this book was a tremendous comfort. One of the sections was entitled "What Is God Up To?", and it seemed so applicable to many circumstances in life that I wound up buying it. I would be so happy to pass this book along to you if you ever feel interested.

We continue to pray for you.

Erika and Larry

Ramona Lisa said...

Jesus said: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14.27)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Prov 3.5-6)

None of us can fully understand the turbulent and raging waters you are experiencing, but the Lord of the world IS with you. God holds you in the very palm of His hand as you bear this heavy burden. He will lead you through this trial...and you will hear the sweet words, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

The rest of us will continue to run along side you on the river bank, shouting words of comfort, encouragement and prayer. Many of us will try to throw you a rope, and others will even jump in and swim with you. No matter what, Kate, you will never be alone. God is with you, and we are with you.

You are dearly loved.
Ramona

AJ said...

Kate,
Just wanted to let you know you are loved and we are continuing to pray for you.

Andy

Anonymous said...

Dave and Kate,
My heart is heavy for you-words cannot express the concern that we feel for your family. I am so deeply sorry that you are going through these events. Please remember how many people raise your name to the Father, minute to minute. Your friends are with you in body and spirit throught this long, hard trial.
Kim Vander Velde

Aunt Julie said...

Kate,
Dan and I were sorry to hear about your report yesterday and we just wanted you to know we are thinking of you guys.
Julie and Dan
PS - Don't worry about the hair loss thing, I've got that covered. I know a flamboyant costume designer that works miricles with wigs. You could have any hair syle or color you want. And just so you know, my personal favorite in our costume shop is the Blonde Farrah Faucet look-a-like wig, circa 1975. Everybody looks HOT in that one, even Dave could wear that one.

Crista Johnson said...

Dear Kate & Dave,
I just wanted to let you know that I was at school yesterday for the presentations that the kids did on their Native American projects. I wanted to let you know what a terrific job Cole did. He was wonderful and confident. He held his head up and spoke clearly. Ms. Ablin wanted them to explain why they chose their projects and how they made them and he was so sweet describing how he thought a pringles can would make the perfect long house. You have a real budding public speaker on your hands, he did not seem nervous or shy at all. All the kids liked his project and as he passed it around the room they all stuck their hands in the pringles can to see if they could find any crumbs to eat. You remain in our thoughts and prayers.
Love, Crista Johnson

Jen Peskorse said...

Kate,Dave and boys-
We continue to pray for you and trust God's plan for your life- I am thankful for the treatments available to you and for the doctors careful process of determining the best course of treatment.
As you are being pulled down this icy stream, remember who is in there with you- He is your rock and redeemer- your faithful helper. And, Kate- we are here to support, encourage and help where we are needed. I will call after Thanksgiving to see where gaps need to be filled in, or to pray with you on a regular basis (or as needed!) if you so desire.
Hunny misses you and your boys! I look forward to the day when your strength is restored and you can walk the neighborhood and visit our dog!
Praying for increased strength and for peace- and for your hearts to be encouraged by Jesus.
Love in Christ- Jen Peskorse

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