It has been ENTIRELY too long since I updated the blog. I REALLY want to get better about this, because we have been doing some fun things. Also, I want to update y'all on how Mom is doing. Here is an email that Dad sent out yesterday. It updates you on what has been going on since Thanksgiving.
Happy Valentine's Day Folks,
I've added a number of folks to this update, so I'll provide a little history.
During the Christmas holidays, Toni was in the hospital on 3 separate occasions to try and find the reason that she couldn't hold any food or drink down. They finally traced it to an intenstinal blockage caused by scar tissue - either from prior surgery or from the cancer itself. She's recovering from her surgery to remove that and doing well. It's been a couple of weeks since she came home from the hospital and things are going very well. She's eating more, walking around in the house 5-6 times/day. She seems to be getting stronger daily, but her stamina is still low and she gets winded easily. That should get better with time and further activity though.
Dr Yeilding started a new chemo mix this past week: a weeklyTaxol IV and a daily tablet of Sutent, a new drug for us. It's been used only in clinical trials for ovarian cancer, but has been used with good results for a long time for kidney and others types. Dr Yeilding is hopeful since he's used it for those other cancers for a number of years. It's been successful in reducing the size of tumors in Kidney cancer cases and trials have shown similar results for ovarian. The hope is that it will stop the progression of the cancer, keeping it at bay until something better comes along. She's tolerating the new chemo so far. It usually takes a couple of weeks for side effects to show up, so please continue to pray that she handles these drugs ok.
Drs Yeilding and and Barnes are both very pleased at Toni's progress so far. Barnes said he's amazed that she's recovered as quickly as she has. The CA125 blood marker, a rough indicator of cancer presence, was down a few points last time, so all signs are positive. Praise God!
Toni is still on the TPN nutrition IV every night for 14 hours for at least a few more weeks, but she's able to move around normally. Dr Olsen, the nutritionist has seen her recently and advised her on future dietary needs. He's making sure her normal diet is ready to replace the IV bag before discontinuing that.
So far, we've had someone staying with Toni at all times. Today, she's winging it on her own (with regular check-ins) and is doing well.
We really feel the power of prayer working for us, so thank you for your thoughts and continued prayers. Toni's spirits are good and we're all positive about the new chemo regimen.
Thanks also to all of our family and friends who have been so considerate and thoughtful. The cards, calls, meals, errands, sitting with Toni and especially your prayers have all been tremendous blessings. Please know that you are in our prayers as well.
We love you and pray for God's blessings on you and your families.
Dave, Toni, John, Heather, Eric and Lucas
I will post soon and I promise to start doing better about pictures!