Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New treatments

I saw my oncologist yesterday and he had been able to speak to a radiologist concerning the tumors in my brain and treatment for them. Since I've already had whole brain radiation, I can't have that again so they were looking at picking them off one at a time. The trouble with that is that there are too many tumors to use this method. Most of them are very tiny - pin pricks - but if you misss even one, there's not much point in having done anything. Also the brain swells around the site where it's radiated so if you have more than 3 or 4, there can be too much swelling for the brain to handle. Because of this, it was decided that radiation was not an option. The only other thing he had to offer is a newer type oral drug that crosses the blood-brain barrier and may have some effect on shrinking the brain tumors. It's called Tykerb and you have to swallow 5 large horse pills a day. I guess it's worth it if it works. They will check my brain again in a month (s)? to see how things are progressing. If things are shrinking, all is well but if not....I'm not sure there will be any other treatments available.

As for my liver - the doctor has decided to try me on a new chemo drug (Ixabepilone) which is similar to one I've already been on that I tolerated pretty well. Of course there are always side effects but we're hoping they will be few and not too bad. It will be given once every 3 weeks. It's so new that none of the oncology offices had it in stock so they had to order some and my first treatment is tomorrow.

My hair was beginning to grow back in spite of the chemo but now I'm told there's a 50% chance it will fall out again. Bummer. It's a little thing but it made me happy to have some hair growing back.

5 comments:

Bethany said...

Yvonne,
Thank you so much for taking the time to update us this way. I think of you often anyway, but it's nice to know how to pray a little more specifically. Don't ever think we're getting tired of praying for you!
May grace cover you and Walt today.

Michelle said...

Hi Yvonne-I echo Bethany in that I am so grateful that you take time to give us the details about your treatment. I am pray that "horse pills" aren't the only thing you'll be swallowing - know that with every breath you take in, the goodness and love of the Father and the prayers of your family and friends are dwelling deep within you. I love you.

Grandma Alice said...

Yvonne, just remember that you are precious...to the Lord Jesus and to all of us. We keep holding you up before the throne. May you really sense the sufficiency of His grace TODAY. We love you!

Deanne said...

Wow Yvonne, you are a magnificent and amazing person. God 'done good'. I hope you find smiles in your day that bubble up from inside you.

Rose Marie said...

Dear Yvonne,
You are a true warrior! I pray the side affects will not be too bad and that you will continue to draw on the "peace that passes all understanding". I can't imagine the daily battles you face. Know that we love you (and your whole family of course!) and care about you very much.