All’s Quiet in the Western Suburbs

Dave had a scan on Monday.  Unfortunately his oncologist is out of town.  But because Dr. Spira is a caring doctor, he got a look at the scan report and emailed Dave.  In a nutshell he said, “The progression of cancer growth is minimal although clear.”  Disappointing but not altogether surprising since Dave was off of chemo for almost six weeks.  The plan is to add Avastin back to the mix this week and hope that stops the tumor growth.  

xoxo

Robyn

The Latest Scoop

ImageToday we went to see Dr. Spira to discuss Dave’s chemo treatments.  We are all in agreement that it makes sense to go off of the trial.  Basically, if he stays on the trial, he would 1) have to have a scan that shows no tumor growth while he was off and 2) he wouldn’t be able to resume any treatment until the end of January.  The drug trial protocol is pretty strict.  Instead, he will restart his folfiri regimen which is what he has been on since May.  Once he is fully healed, he will add Avastin back to the mix.  Avastin works in a very similar way to Ramucirumab (trial drug) but is already approved.  In fact, he was on Avastin during his first line of chemotherapy last year.  It was thought that Avastin isn’t effective in second line treatment but more evidence is changing that way of thinking.  I continue to believe that we are in the right hands and the decisions we are making are the only ones that make sense.

xoxo

Robyn

Stranger Than Fiction

I wasn’t going to write anything tonight because frankly I am tired.  But my mind is spinning with thoughts so I decided that this might be a good way to slow the old thinker down.  I had a GREAT day.  I worked with different groups of first, second and fourth graders on assorted activities.  All of the kids were engaged and excited about what they were doing.  The first graders brainstormed what they are going to teach their peers about recycling and Terracycling based on a lesson I did with them last week.  They are so excited to be the “experts”.  I worked on observation skills with two very different groups of second graders who were equally insightful and amazing.  I taught a lesson on the design cycle to the fourth graders all while holding Sandy, the corn snake.  The kids amazed me with their designs, teamwork, enthusiasm and focus.  I also wrote my first grant application.  Fingers crossed that they will pick my application and give the school some money!  Tonight when I got home, I sat down and reflected on a professional development book that the resource team is reading.  I made a mind map that reminded me of the fun GUIs from the movie Stranger Than Fiction. Professionally and intellectually, I would give today an A+.

Dave had a very different day.  He spent the day getting treatment #12 of his Folfiri and Ramucirumab combo.  When he entered the infusion suite and sat down in his chair, he thought at first that there was a young boy sitting in the chair next to him.  It turned out to be a very tiny, frail woman.  Dave said her hair was very very short, and she had a blanket pulled all the way up to her bruised sunken eyes.  Over the course of the day, he got to talking to her as seems to happen when you are sharing the same pod for many hours.  He found her to be the most positive and uplifting person.  What a stark contrast to the lively, healthy children by whom I was surrounded today.

Dave was exhausted when he got home tonight.  He stayed awake long enough to eat dinner and then headed back to bed.  During that brief time, we shared about our days.  A crazy disparity.

xoxo

Robyn

Juggling

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Dave goes in for his fourth round of Folfiri this morning. This is a cocktail of three drugs: Irinotecan, 5FU, and Leucovorin. In addition, he is also participating in a drug trial – fingers crossed that he is getting the good stuff and not the placebo.  He will wear a chemo pack delivering the 5FU (greatest chemo drug name ever?  FU cancer!) until Saturday morning.  He mentioned yesterday that it is much easier to get geared up for another round of chemo after such positive scan results.

While the powerful chemo drugs are doing their job beating the snot out of the cancer cells, they are also causing unpleasant side effects.  So there are lots of other things prescribed or suggested as remedies.  It is like a precision juggling act – this drug may cause this, so take this, but if this causes something else, make sure you have this on hand.  Dave has handled it all like a world champion.  I can’t tell you how many times people have told me how great he looks and how well he seems to be doing.  He is still working full time and working out daily.  The man is incredible.  But you know that.

xoxo

Robyn