Friday, January 16, 2009

MD ANDERSON Appointment

Yesterday at 1:30 Andrew had his appointment with Dr. Araujo at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Sarcoma Department. Below is a summary of the results.

  1. The diagnosis of Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumors was confirmed.
  2. A treatment plan was recommended. It is a 21 day cycle that consists of 4 days of treatment and 17 days of rest.
  3. The treatment involves a very high powered chemotherapy. Radiation and surgery are not recommended at this time.
  4. Treatment involves 3 drugs, all of which will be administered through a catheder inserted just below his collar bone: 1) Ifosfamide - this is given on the first day of the cycle 2)Doxorubicin: this is given over a 72 hour period starting the first day of the cycle and ending on the third. 3)Vincristine: this will be given over a 3 hour period each of the four days of the cycle. Then 17 days of rest, and it starts all over again. Dr. Araujo, recommends that Andrew be in Houston for the first 25 days, this will allow him to receive his 1st full cycle, and the 4 day treatment portion of his second cycle.
  5. Side effects include: hair loss, nausea, fatigue, numbness in the hands and feet, cramping, bleeding bladder, low white blood cell count, decreased kidney function & low potassium levels. The levels of chemo are very high compared to other treatments, due to the fact that this cancer type (sarcoma) only responds to intense chemo. The doctor can regulate the dosages and add other drugs to help with all of the side effects and only time will tell which ones will affect Andrew.

Andrew is taking the next few days to digest this information and formulate a plan. This is a lot to take in at this time. On one hand it is great to have a path to proceed down, and a vision as to how Andrew will beat this disease. On the other hand it is very, very difficult to grasp the enormity of what Andrew has in front of him. In the next couple of days a plan will be formulated that will include where treatment will be done, what time it will start, and also, how all of you great supporters can help Andrew. Please pray for wisdom during this time, so that the best decision for Andrew is made. Thank you for all of the support, donations, and prayers - it means a lot to Andrew and our entire family. When the final plan is decided, I will post all of the details, until then understand that Andrew is carefully weighing all of his options.




Siobhan said...

Drew, you are in my thoughts and prayers and if you need ANYTHING let me know..I know everyone is glad to see you in St. L...but we want you back..they've had you long "smash" on home..:)

Anonymous said...

hey Andrew
I'm so thankful we have Dr.s who have knowledge of how to get you better! I can't waitfor you to be healed!

Tammy Luker said...

Andrew I remember when I was sucker punched with the scary and life changing news about my mother's cancer. Trying to digest everything coming at you and the FEAR of the unknown was the scariest thing to make sense of and conquer. I remember searching for comfort, reassurance, guidance and strength. You are such an amazing young man with a list of impressive successes and accomlishments. You have such a magical way of inspiring people to push themselves to reach places and do things they never thought possible. Now its OUR turn to inspire you!!! Your incredible courage again will help you resist fear, push you to places you have never been, test your limits and help you break through any medical barriers. I always loved how aerodynamically the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly but it doesn't know any different so it goes on flying anyway. You are such a fighter Andrew you WILL beat this thing and come out a winner because well, you don't know anything different. THAT's JUST WHAT YOU DO!!!!

Chris Walcott said...

We are praying for your complete healing and great wisdom for all of your doctors. You can beat this diagnosis!

Jen Juris said...

Hi Andrew!!

Please know that I will be praying for you and the Doctors, that God will give them the knowledge and wisdom to make the best decisions for you and your recovery. I have seen God work some major medical miracles in some of my closest friends' lives in the past year and a half - here's to at least one more!!