I have to apologize for not updating the blog this past week. We've had a busy schedule around here, a packed weekend and some serious Halloween activities yesterday. Life with two little ones is full! I will continue to keep you posted via this blog, so please remember to check here when looking for an update. We want Andrew to stay as relaxed and stress-free as possible!
This is going to be a long post, so don't say I didn't warn you!
The biggest question people want to know is: is the treatment in Canada working??? This is something that can and may take several weeks to know. So far, on a day to day basis, not a whole lot is changing with Andrew and the way he feels. His treatment is going well and he is pleased to be there and receiving the treatments. He has run into a few problems, but this has to do with his ascites and he also just recently came down with strep throat. He started on amoxicillin on Monday and he woke up today feeling much better. Andrew is still slightly jaundiced but his eyes seem to be a little less yellow and has been up and walking around the house and outside fairly well. Because of the nature of the treatments he's receiving, he has been draining his abdomen every day. This has helped not only the treatments but he doesn't seem to be filling up as quickly and was even able to skip a day of draining. His thighs are not as swollen and the TED hose that he's been using have really been helping.
Andrew receives two treatments each day, 6 days per week. This is what he is getting:
Hyperthermia treatment: He lays on a water bed which helps to conduct the heat from the contraption that they place on his liver one day, then the next day place on his lower stomach. Exposure to the higher temperatures damages and kills the cancer cells and leaves the healthy cells alone. It also makes the cells more sensitive to the Ukrain (the chemo) and any other IV injections they choose to treat him with. Next week they plan to inject selenium and vitamin C along with the Ukrain. Andrew doesn't feel anything during this treatment and has even been able to nap and listen to music.
Hypberbaric Oxygen Therapy: This is oxygen therapy at greater than atmospheric pressure for a total of 1 1/2 hours. The first 15 minutes acclimate him, then he receives treatment for an hour, then the last 15 minutes bring him back to the correct pressure. The idea behind this treatment is that cancer cells flourish in a less oxygen rich environment, so they hopefully will slow their growth. Another goal is the oxygen therapy helps to heal injury. The chemo Ukrain works better in an oxygen rich environment so the Ukrain is given after this treatment.
Andrew had a foot massage the other day followed by an ion cleanse. He put his feet in water with ions which is suppose to pull toxins out of your body. He watched the water change colors which they said was from the incredible amount of toxins leaving him. He didn't quite believe it, but tried it anyway. And he loved the foot massage!
One more medical tidbit...if you want to totally nerd out you can check out this website and read all about Ukrain, the chemo they are giving Andrew. http://www.ukrain.ua/present/
ukrain.html. It is a power point study with great results.
On a slightly different note, I heard from Andrew's friend Stacey in St. Louis that the dancing fundraiser she did for Andrew raised $300! Wow, thanks Stacey! And thanks to everyone who donated. Hopefully you had a fun night of dancing. Here in Seattle this past Sunday was another fundraiser put on by Brian & Nicole Lawrence, great friends of Andrew. A special thank you to them for organizing this. They did a Seahawks game parking & tailgate party. They raised $1910. Amazing! Again, thank you to everyone who showed up for this tailgate party and who donated. We can't express enough how grateful we are. Every single dollar counts and matters and is put towards healing Andrew.
That is all for now. For some reason I'm having a hard time with photobucket and it's way past my bedtime, so I'll have to post some pictures in the next few days. I have a few of Andrew at the health clinic that our mother took. Andrew is very encouraged about the treatments but he is in need of a lot more sleep. So if you pray, please pray that he can sleep for long stretches at a time. Currently he is only sleeping in 2-3 hour increments.