Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hi everyone.  It's Richard.  Amanda has been trying to get me out of my depression to start writing in JoAnn's updates.  I'm not a facebook user, so I really haven't had a chance to respond to all the kind words & Prayers that have come our way.  All I can really say is that we miss JoAnn so very much. I'm sure time will be the great healer.  Continued prayers for me, Amanda, and the entire family will be much appreciated.  From my heart, I can truly say that all of you who visited JoAnn in the hospital really comforted her.  Hope to see all of you at the memorial on 11/09/2013.  God Bless all of you.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

OK, so both of my oncologists talked and came up with a plan. The new drug still causes some nasty side effects, like the hand/foot/mouth sickness (for me that's horrible mouth sores and I feel like the bottom of my feet are sunburned and bruised) and fatigue, but the good thing is, it's not a toxic chemo. It sends messages to the tumors so they can't grow & multiply. It's also a pill, so I don't have to walk around for three days with an IV in my arm. I don't have much on details, but I feel good that both my regular oncologist and the Stanford oncologist agreed and chose this for me. Now I just pray the insurance will approve it and we could start as early as next week. It's good to know there are still options. Thank you all so much for the words of support, both on the blog and through email. It really helps to hear from you.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hi everyone--
Well, I'm beginning to feel like I'm on a roller coaster ride. Six weeks ago I had great news, and now it's gone the other way. The cancer is progressing again. Over the last eight years, there has been a spot on my liver and we just keep watch on it. This is the first time it has gotten bigger and now there is a second one. It was hard news to hear. I'm trying to keep positive--that's just a little harder now. I am out of the clinical trial, but I will still have an exit appointment next Thursday. The Stanford doc is going to a national meeting about my type of cancer (Thymic) with other oncologists in Washington DC tomorrow. She hopes to have some news of some new treatments then, but for now I am going back to my main oncologist. The two are supposed to connect before she leaves about what to do next. She listed four different chemo drugs she would recommend, and I've given the names to him. I have an appointment with him on Wed, and we will decide which chemo to go with next and move on it quickly.
My faith remains strong and it's wonderful to be blessed with such wonderful family, friends and students in my life every day, giving me support. Thank you so much. I'll update again next week.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hello everyone--
Well, I have gone through two more rounds and tomorrow morning is my next scan (Tuesday, 8:30). Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers for continued good & hopeful news! I thank you so much for your support. I should have the results Thursday morning, and will update the blog soon afterward.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wow! I got my scan results today and everything that had grown on the previous scan by 2 mm has now SHRUNK by 3-4 mm! Talk about being blown away! I will be staying in the clinical trial! I would have had the next round today, but since the foot-hand-mouth syndrome was pretty bad on the last round, we postponed it a week. I will have the next round next Thursday! Talk about miraculous! Thank you, God!! Thank you all for your thoughts & prayers!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Well, the two rounds have passed and it's time for the next scan. Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be my scan at 2:30. Please do keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I remain hopeful, even though chances are that it will show progression again and we will have to look for yet another chemo drug. Of course I pray it will turn around this time, because this clinical trial drug has been relatively easy on me, except this last round gave me hand-foot-mouth syndrome. I will find out the results Thursday and we will go from there. Thanks, everyone.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Well okay, it wasn't exactly what I hoped for, but not too terribly bad either. Went to Stanford this morning.  The cancerous spots have grown, but very little. I'm thankful that there is no new growth anywhere else in my body. The growth was very minor from the last scan to this one, but the doc went back and compared it to the scan I had just before I started the trial. She said that when compared to that scan back in November, she could look at the two and still say it was basically stable. I can stay in the trial if the growth is under 20%, which it is. She also said that measuring the spots is very difficult, because it's not like measuring a perfect sphere, and the growth was only 2 mm. We did not want to abandon this drug too soon, so together we felt good about doing two more rounds to see how that goes. That means another scan in six weeks. Considering all my blood levels are doing so well and I'm feeling so good while on this drug, I went with it. I pray it is the right decision. We thought it would probably still grow in these next six weeks, but we also thought it would probably only grow a little. If we switched to yet another drug now, there is the unknown factor of how my body will react and again whether will it work. I spoke with my regular oncologist to get his opinion, and he agreed to go for two more rounds, but that he would start now figuring out the plan for what we can do next. I went ahead and started round 9 this morning. Please keep me in your prayers for guidance and healing. Thank you all so much for your support.