February Duke Appt – Glioblastoma Recurrence Update

There is slight growth (cancer progression) on the MRI since the December appointment. Mike and I have wanted to ask the tough questions for awhile so we finally did. The dr only told us stuff we already knew. I asked if this is as good as things will get for him and mentioned that we have had conversations between the two of us regarding the thought that medically we know this cannot be cured and we are putting his body through a lot just to prolong what is inevitable if God doesn’t intervene and change the course.  She said her goal is to give him as many quality days as she can, but she did say that this is as good as it will be.  She said there is obviously always “hope”, after all that is Dukes motto.  But she was real with us and held my hand and told me she wanted to try one more round of chemo but if there was no positive change next MRI she will be worried. It’s crunch time for that miraculous healing.

The social worker put in a referral for some home health care including occupational and physical therapy. Someone will come in 3 days a week for an hour and work with him.  I also woke him up this morning and got him to the gym.  He always talks about wanting to work on his strength and physical health, but like many of us “tomorrow” is always a good day to start working out.  😉  Its really hard to find that motivation to go somewhere when just simply getting out of bed is a struggle.  I knew that going to the gym would be good for our minds and bodies.  Hopefully we can make it a habit.  I don’t know how he will feel with the upcoming treatment though.

As far as treatment changes… He will continue the Avastin infusions every two weeks at the local cancer center.
He will continue the same dose of Etoposide (chemo) on a new schedule of 14 days on and 14 days off. (Instead of the 21 on/7 off)
He will get Temodar (another chemo) daily.  Every day from now until the next Duke appt in two months.  With no break.   So two chemos and Avastin is the game plan.  This will be an aggressive treatment for 8 weeks with no breaks. (Unless his body weakens too much and can’t handle it)

Even though the MRI looked decent (besides the slight growth) the doctor said that there could be microscopic cells causing damage that the MRI cannot see.  These cells can travel deep into the brain and not necessarily give a good cluster of a tumor for the MRI to pick up.  His cognitive skills are declining and some every day tasks are getting more and more difficult. Hopefully the home care that is being set up will help with some of those things to improve his quality of life on a day to day basis.  These are the facts for now.

It was an emotional appt, so he wanted to make sure that my update was full of facts and not pushing peoples emotions toward one direction or another, because we just don’t know what will happen.

2 responses to “February Duke Appt – Glioblastoma Recurrence Update

  • Jennifer Simons

    Shauna, I am reading my own words as I read your post. We are at the exact moment in time with my husband as you and Mike are. I’ve been trying to express my feelings with others now that we are to this point and I haven’t been able to do it. All I’ve been able to do is state the facts. Reading your post makes it ok that I cannot explain what we are going through to others. I see my husband slipping away from me little by little every day. Thank you for having the courage to lay your experience on the table for all to see. You may never know how much you have helped others, including me.

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