Friday, May 4, 2012
Another update on Jeanine
Every three or four months, Jeanine goes and has a PET scan which shows what is happening with her kidney cancer. It is a much dreaded occasion because of the bad news it can bring. She did that this week and today we went to the oncologist to hear the results. They were not good this time. She was told that the cancer is now invading the left lobe of her liver. Up to this point, it has managed to stay in the right lobe. She was also told that the cancer is actively growing in many of the lymph nodes where it had been previously spotted. I saw one result that said that that particularly spot had doubled in size since June of last year. She also has new lymph nodes that have cancer in them now. These include lymph nodes in her shoulder and in the pelvis area. I'd like to say that this was a surprise to me, but it was not. She has started having a big problem with nausea in the last several weeks, she has been much more tired and she has had a lot of pain in her lower back and other areas. She also has lost a lot of weight and has little appetite. We hoped that these might be issues with the side effects of the medicine, but the doctor said that specifically the nausea and pain in her lower back were most likely caused by the cancer itself. Since she is now using an anti-nausea medicine, her nausea and her appetite is much better. Surprisingly, she has found that the medicine has also helped the pain in her pelvis. The oncologist has taken Jeanine off the Avastin she has been on and has suggested that she go see a doctor at UCLA who is in the midst of a clinical trial on a new drug for Renal Cell Carcinoma. She has agreed to at least go there for a consultation. We'll see where it goes from there. The oncologist suggested that if she waited to try the new drug until after trying the treatments that he has to offer, the experimental drug most likely would not work. This is the time to try it. There was some good news in the PET scan. There seems to be no cancer in her bones. There are spots in the lungs, but they are not growing nor do they react to the dye injected when she is having the test suggesting they are caused by some other issue, such as scarring(?). These are normally likely candidates for Renal Cell Carcinoma, but there is no cancer apparent now. Jeanine continues to work and do her callings in Church. She comes to Sunday dinner at my home. We will see what will happen from here. Prayers and calls are appreciated.