Monday, January 31, 2011

Scan Results from last week's MD Anderson visit

Happy Monday everybody,

First off I want to thank everybody who was praying for me this past week, there are a ton of you out there who have stayed so faithful with prayers/positive thoughts during these first two years of my cancer fight. Texter's, caller's, emailer's, facebooker's, you know who you are, THANK YOU-I feel so supported by all the kind messages.

Now to the visit. The trip went really well with regards to travel. Flights, cabs, hotel stay - all very simple. That always makes for an easier journey up to the ol' 9th floor sarcoma unit when travel has been made easy. I had my really good friend Myles along with me, and he made the trip as fun as possible for me. We ate some good food, went to a couple movies, talked sports/business/life, and he even kicked my butt in Pop-A-Shot (maybe I've lost my jump shot) HAHA.

The Scan results didn't go how I planned. This was the first time I truly had gotten poor results from when we began this adventure a few years ago. The tumor in my stomach lining that has grown slightly over the past few scans has continued to grow even larger. Also for the first time I have new spots that have appeared on the scan. All the new spots continue to be growing in the abdominal area. My heart sank when the Doctors Assistant read the scan results to me: "The results of the scan aren't very good" were her exact words. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I actually feel pretty good, don't have pain at the moment, and wasn't expecting those words to come out. Had two years of agonizing chemo every two weeks gone down the drain in one Scan? Well, we waited for Dr. Araujo to come in and talk further about what was next. She walked into the room and said "Whats your problem?" as my head was slunk down in disappointment as if I had just lost a big game, or big sales contest. I responded to her how frustrated I was with the scan results, and I just couldn't believe it because I felt fine. I couldn't have asked for a better coach at that exact moment in my life. She told me I had 24 hours to feel sorry for myself then I needed to get focused on the next phase of this process. We talked at length about realizing that this particular type of tumor comes back, and when it does she has the right mix to combat it. They continue to remind me how well I have done, how I am beating all of the odds of this cancer, and how strong and good I look for having done nearly 30 rounds of chemotherapy without any break for two years. I guess I don't always feel that way because I just want it to go away, and in my head sometimes don't think victory has happened til its gone. I do realize that my goal right now is to live with this cancer until otherwise noted (long-term solution, etc.)

Whats next? I will be going back to a chemo drug ifosfamide. Its generally regarded as one of the strongest, toughest, chemotherapy treatments there is. I have to be in the Hospital full time for the 6 day treatment, as my body needs the 24 hour infusion of "Mesna" for the entire 6 days. This helps protect my organs from the stiff chemo dose. I will be doing the treatment at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, starting sometime this week. I will post my schedule once I hear back as to when I'm being admitted, etc. I want everybody to know that while this news was very discouraging to me, I actually feel pretty good going into this next phase. The tumor is basically the same size as it was in September of 2009 when I left Houston, after the initial 8 rounds. I am thankful that it hasn't spread outside the abdominal area yet. I can walk, eat, talk and function like a healthy person. Many of my cancer pals cannot say that. I have had this drug before, and I know that it works on my body. I know what to expect with it, and am ready for it. Thanks everybody for following my blog, progress, and results. I really appreciate the tremendous love and support from all over the world.



Elizabeth said...

We love you Andrew and are cheering for you big time. You are always an inspiration to us.

Laurie and Alan said...

Much love and many prayers coming to you from over here Andrew. Like you said, you're beating all the odds with this type of cancer.

Keep up the faith,
Laurie and Alan

Heidi said...

You've got this! So so many prayers your way!

Lauren Cook said...

Loving the candidness and optimism of your doctor and I know you will take their advice :) Keep that chin up Andrew. We are all on your side and know you can beat this.

Much love,
Lauren Cook

Mia A. Rapier said...


You are constantly in my prayers friend. I pray for your continued perserverance and positive outlook. Hopefully we'll get a chance to hang when I'm back home for my 15th year GHS reunion this spring (dang, we're getting old!).

Love ya!
Mia :-)

Kristen said...

you can do this andrew!!! we're praying for you!!

kristen (gadbois) gough and family

Laura said...

Our prayers are with you as always. We love your positive attitude and faith in God. Thanks for keeping us updated. Richard and Laura

Anonymous said...

I love this! Your fight, your determination, your courage, your strength, and your energy are all the things that make you such an AMAZING man!

Much love!

Casey said...

Drew, you are amazing and an inspiration to many. Keep up the good spirits, and positive mindset. You are in my thoughts and prayers!


Mom said...

andrew, you are the bravest person i know. I love you. Mom