Thursday, January 29, 2009

Big Bad Bunny Teeth



I see that my mom's juicer is getting good mileage based on the comments in the previous post! I don't think she mentioned that for a few years when we were kids, my mom bought bushels of carrots and forced us all to drink carrot juice to avoid having to wear glasses later as adults. Now, how many of us in the family wear glasses? Maybe it was these darn internets that screwed up our eyesight! Well, at least you all will stay regular and have a slight gold tinge without the need for a spraytan. BTW, is Dallas Raines still orange and giving the weather report?

Well, thanks for the chemo update. Marco graciously er...-finally- emailed me himself (actually, a while back only I've been blog-weary and didn't update), that the chemo would keep going for six days straight again starting next Friday February 6 until they get the blob shrunk down enough to get it out of his lungs, if not, more chemo rounds. So didn't sound as bad as we imagined but I haven't been updated since last week so were thre any lingering effects, other than carrot juice overdose? Hey, I actually thought one of those chemo drugs, the one that is supposed to protect your bladder would turn your pee orange? True or false? If that's the case, don't blame the poor helpless carrots! :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chemotherapy Complete?





Hi all,

Just checking in for an update on the chemotherapy. With all the inauguration festivities, things have been pretty chaotic. Looks like the kids are staying busy at the City of Hope waiting room. Love the Obama gear! :) I'll have to wait for the crowds to mellow out so I can buy your Obama souvenirs at the DC resident price! Anyway, if I'm not mistaken, today is the last day of Chemo?? I hope there weren't too many side effects. Let us know! BTW, is Matthew growing a moustache?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sarcoma Rears its Ugly Head...



Well, Thursday was the day and the results were positive for Sarcoma spreading to the lung. It had grown from 5cm to to 13cm. Now, Marco is at the mercy of the combined chemo drugs known as MAID (mesna, adriamycin, ifosfomide and dacarbazine. Below are some links that might be useful to understand this combined chemotherapy.

Below is some general info on Chemotherapy Principles from the American Cancer Society and other links from MedlinePlus:

What Are the Goals of Treatment With Chemotherapy?

There are 3 possible goals for chemotherapy treatment.

Cure: If possible, chemotherapy is used to cure the cancer, meaning that the tumor or cancer disappears and does not return. However, most doctors do not use the word "cure" except as a possibility or intention. When giving treatment that has a chance of curing a person's cancer, the doctor may describe it as treatment with curative intent. But it can take many years to know whether a person's cancer is actually cured.

Control: If cure is not possible, the goal may be to control the disease - to shrink any tumors and to stop the cancer from growing and spreading. This can help someone with cancer feel better and hopefully live longer. In many cases, the cancer does not completely go away, but is controlled and managed as a chronic disease, much like hypertension or diabetes. In other cases, the cancer may even seem to have gone away for a while, but it is expected to come back.
Palliation: When the cancer is at an advanced stage, chemotherapy drugs may be used to relieve symptoms caused by the cancer. When the only goal of treatment is to improve the quality of life, it is called palliation.
For some people, chemotherapy is the only treatment used for their cancer. In other cases, chemotherapy may be given along with other treatments. It may be used as neoadjuvant therapy (before surgery or radiation), or as adjuvant therapy (after surgery or radiation).

Adjuvant chemotherapy: After a cancer is removed with surgery, there may still be some cancer cells left behind that cannot be seen. When drugs are used to kill those unseen cancer cells, it is called adjuvant chemotherapy. Adjuvant treatment can also be given after using radiation to kill the cancer -- such as adjuvant hormone therapy after radiation for prostate cancer.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is when chemotherapy is given before the main cancer treatment (such as surgery or radiation). Giving chemotherapy first can shrink a large tumor, making it easier to remove with surgery. Shrinking the tumor may also allow it to be treated more easily with radiation. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy also kills small deposits of cancer cells that cannot be seen on scans or x-rays.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mystery Mass in the Lung



So we've all been on an emotional rollercoaster this past week, trying to figure out what the heck is living in Marco's lung, hoping for the possibility of good news, preparing for the bad news, bracing ourselves for the worst news, but it seems like no preparation exists, no scripted course of action can offer an answer, and no predictions can be made on how one will react to any of the things you hear from what the doctors say or what we see is happening to Marco.

It's a tought time for all. First it was the pneumonia, and now that blob that hasn't quite been identified in his lung, which may or not be lung cancer again. This is an extraordinarily hard time for Marco and I hope Marco won't be shy and can tell us how we can be less of a pain in the ass. Cause we can be...:)

I think I like Patrick Swayze's recent comment about all the would be do-gooders and their miracle cures: "If anybody had that cure out there, like so many people swear they do, you'd be two things. You'd be very rich, and you'd be very famous. Otherwise, shut up."

Please tell us when its time to shut up. We love you guys!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hospital Holidays..



Well, I guess this picture explains the situation from Christmas through New Year's. Marco does a good job of fooling us with his "What cancer? What pneumonia?- face". But we can only imagine how tough it must have been to spend the holidays in the hospital for all of you guys. I hope you all had a relaxing New Year's Eve and were able to get some much needed rest after such an exhausting time. BTW, somebody's missing a face mask...