Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Today's Oncologist Visit / Dr. Linette

Kate and I went to Washington University Physicans (Barnes-Siteman Cancer Center) for a visit with Dr. Linette, an oncologist with a specialty in brain tumors. He had a great disposition and was much more knowledgable of brain tumors (thankfully!). He went through the latest pathology report with us, nothing has changed, Kate still has the anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma with unfavorable genetic markers. He explained that this cancer is not curable, only treatable to slow the growth of the cancer. The median life expectancy is 4 years with treatment, 1 year without. As you can imagine, this was difficult to hear.

Median life expectancy means that 50% of patients with this cancer live more than 4 years and 50% live less than 4 years.

He said that only 18,000 people develop primary brain tumors in the U.S. annually. From my own research, less than 3% of these are the type of cancer that Kate has.

Dr. Linette recommended a treatment strategy of radiation therapy and simultaneous chemotherapy (Temodar). Temodar can cross the blood-brain barrier and helps make the cancer cells more receptive to radiation. Radiation therapy will occur daily at Barnes for 6 weeks, Monday-Friday. Temodar will last 1 year with varying dose schedules. We need to start treatment within the next 2 weeks (no more than 1 month from the date of surgery).

We asked if we should consider visiting a more specialized cancer treatment center in the country, like MD Anderson in Houston. He said that would be a good idea, at least for peace of mind, and to see what they had to offer in the way of clinical trials. He gave us referrals to a couple of their neuro-oncologists. We have contacted MD Anderson and expect to visit them within the next couple of weeks.

While all of this is hard to process, we are looking forward to a nice evening of good food, hayrides and a bonfire with extended family.

Please pray for us, especially Kate with the emotions she is going through during this difficult time. She loves her boys!

In Christ,

Dave

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Kate and Dave,
My heart is breaking for you as I'm wiping tears, trying to write this. Please know that I am praying, praying, praying for each of you. Our God is so much bigger than the cancer in Kate's brain. He has you securely in His hands, and He knows what He's doing. We have to choose to trust Him sometimes, even when we don't feel Him near.
Cling to His promises. I'm claiming them for you, too.
I love you,
Tiffani Gibbs

The Jobacks said...

OK: First, let me get a few things out of the way...Soccer Gram: I'm so happy you brought up the memory of the putrid pepto dresses up...I'm afraid, Kate, that I HAVE harbored some resentment in my heart towards you forcing me to wear such a "not my season" color for the WHOLE DAY of your wedding...When Angi Vincent Elliot spilled punch on me, I thought, "Hmmmm....bummer, won't be able to wear THIS one again" (not like any bridesmaid has ever REALLY re-use a bridesmaid's dress anyway)...The wedding was pretty, the dress style was fine, the color was, well, er,...VERY Kate, but not so hot for me. My sister, Tonya, in fact, made me wear an even WORSE pink color for her wedding a ga-zillion years ago-- it was "blush" pink, and I looked somewhat anemic and VERY about-to-puke in it. Sigh. What we do for the ones we love...what we endure in the color palate department for our favorite people...Hmmmm. noticed that the Blog site was somewhat Pepto-ish, too. Figures.
On with the musings of my heart: Kate, I'm at Angi's blogging b/c our computer is still on the fritz. I'm crying in her basement b/c I just read about the oncologist's discussion with you and Dave. Remember: OUR God is bigger than any median survivial times, stronger than any "expected" side effect, and ABLE to pull the wool over the eyes of any malaise that life can throw at us. To Dave: be strong and courageous. To Kate: continue to take in what is thrown at you, swallow heavily, and turn your eyes: a) towards your boys (whether its DIG R's or birthdays) b) towards your husband (who loves you more than his own life) and c) towards your God who cradles your body in His hands, brain and all! He loves you more than Dave (can you believe it...kind of unfathomable!) Blogger to the Blog--ee: hate that I can't access you at home, but you're in my heart and prayers so much I truly MAY be stalking you! Big hug! Laura

Mary Lou Hom said...

Words are hard for me to find right now. The tears just flow! At times like this, I can only run to the cross and to the love letter that is found in the Bible.

Psalms 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From whence shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

This psalm has been by rock during many trying times and through deep waters. May it comfort you too!

love,
Mary Lou (Zook)Hom
ml_hom4him@yahoo.com

Cinda and Steven Lee said...

Kate and Dave,

Never one to be very wordy, just know that Cinda and I are praying for you and following your postings daily.

Cinda and Steven Lee

Anonymous said...

Dear Kate and Dave-
Oh my heart is heavy for you!!
Tears roll down my face as I read the blog report for the day.
My words are simple at this time. I will continue to pray frevently for miracleous healing, recovery and for God to be glorified!!!!
You are loved deeply-
Aimee Wiggers Kuzemka

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, dear friends-

With aching hearts and flowing tears, we lift you up to the God of the Universe in this midst of this overwhelming ordeal.

Once again, I have a song for you. Throughout our struggle with infertility, this and "If You Want Me To" by Ginny Owens have been instrumental in calming my heart. I hope it speaks to you.

PRAISE YOU IN THIS STORM
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms (performed by Casting Crowns)...

I was sure by now, God
You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You
whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

Chorus:
And I'll praise You in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone
how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You
whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

Chorus

I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

I will praise You in this storm.

We send you love and prayer from Mississippi this week.

In Him,
Ramona (Wade, Liliana and all the Hattiesburg Wichts)

Marilyn McDonald said...

Dear Kate and Dave-
As I read your last two entries, God reminded me of what Job said: "What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me."(Job 3:25) Yet he goes on to say later "Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him." On this beautiful Thanksgiving Day, such a mixture of peace and happiness and disbelief and painful reality for you both, here are some words with which to praise the Lord:

1 Chronicles 16: 8-12, 23-36

16:8
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
16:9
Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!
16:10
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
16:11
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
16:12
Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
16:23
Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day.
16:24
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
16:25
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be held in awe above all gods.
16:26
For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
16:27
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.
16:28
Ascribe to the Lord, O clans of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
16:29
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
16:30
tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
16:31
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, The Lord reigns!
16:32
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
16:33
Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
16:34
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
16:35
Say also: Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather and deliver us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.
16:36
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!Then all the people said, Amen! and praised the Lord.
Love,
Marilyn

Marilyn McDonald said...

Okay, not very accurate on the last comment..."Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him;..." (Job 13:15) He is still our hope, and that is reason to praise Him!