As you know I had my 5th round of chemotherapy yesterday. Because of my foot neuropathy, I had a long conversation with Dr Doug Lee, my oncologist, prior to setting the dose. After talking with the clinical trial administrator and director, I was told they would have to pull me out of the Taxol/Taxoprexin Stage 3 clinical trial because they could not support a reduction in the Taxol while remaining in the study. Doug reaction was “While it would be nice to stay in the study, the good news now is that we have the freedom to do whatever we want.” The options are to lower the Taxol/Carboplatin dose to the normal level (20% reduction), change to the TGen DNA profile chemo recommendations, and/or consider surgery at the University of Washington with Dr Jorge Reyes. Doug’s concern on surgery is that I would most likely be hospitalized 4 weeks or more and would not be able to resume chemo for at least 8 weeks. Other than the neuropathy side effect, we continue to make amazing progress on killing the tumors which makes it hard to consider any significant change in our strategy.

Now a word on the CT results:

This is a perfect opportunity for you to save on your Nitrofurantoin buy, because we offer it only for 0.6 USD! All is legal and real! lung-1115.jpeglung-1226.jpeglung-206.jpegWe went through the CT slices from both this week’s scan and the December 26th scan, one layer/section at a time to get a better sense of the total shape and size of the tumors. While we had astonishing results in December, Doug said the results this time are “stellar”. The lung tumor is about 50% smaller again and so is the liver tumor (first reduction of the liver tumor we have seen!). Doug said “You just need to know how rare your results are. We only get positive response to Taxol in about 30% of patients, and seldom a response as dramatic as yours!” The tumor reduction is greater than last time although it is harder to see that from single CT slices that I am including in this e-mail.

Doug is very concerned, however, about the foot neuropathy. It is a common side effect but not to the extreme I am experiencing. His real concern is that it may be permanent. I have had several calls and e-mails from friends with similar neuropathy so it appears I have entered a special club. It’s nice to know I am in such good company Wes and Doris.

After our lengthy discussion we decided to drop the Taxol to the normal dose of 175 to see if that reduces the neuropathy while continuing to kill the tumors. He also asked me to up the dose of the Gabapentin (neuropathy med) to 900mg/day from 600 mg/day to see if it has any effect. Otherwise we have several other meds we can try.

Last e-mail I mentioned that my foot pain was so intense that I tried 30mg of quick- release morphine. I had about 24 hours of relief so I have been continuing that every 24 hours with great relief. Unlike previous experiences with morphine, I am not feeling loopy. In discussing this with Doug, he was thrilled that the morphine helped with the neuropathy but has no idea why it would work since it dissipates from the body in 2-4 hours. He said to continue it as long as it is working. Doug also said we need to continue to pray that the neuropathy would be reduced since this is the most effective medicine we have.

nov-15-liver.jpgFor those of you that are interested I am including CT scans from just prior to beginning chemo (November 15-top left), 6 weeks into chemo (December 26- top middle) and 12 weeks into chemo (February 6, this weektop right-click to enlarge). You can select each picture above to enlarge. I have one composite image that combines all the CT scans with colored circles around the tumors to help you follow the reduction in size over time (you can also print it out as a reminder to rejoice in the “stellar” results to date and tliverdec.jpgo pray that God’s will would continue to be done-whatever that may be). There are also 3 close-up CT scans of the liver (on the left with the most recent one, 2/6 last)) and 3 close-up CT scans of the lung (on the right with the most recent one last). The most recent CT of the liver dated 2.06 has a white line though the liver- this is the liver tube.

Thankliver-feb.jpg you again for all your encouragement in notes, e-mails and prayer.

God is Good- all the time, God is Good!


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1 Comment so far

  1. Javier Tola on February 10, 2007 1:04 pm

    no news are good news,
    I want to know how are you feeling, i want to know about your family.
    don’t let the time go so fast and know nothing about our lives.
    un gran abrazo,

    Javier Tola from Lima the capital of the people who believe in the fairies!

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